Monday, October 23, 2006

When Its Time To Go

It's always an awkward situation when you are a corporate recruiter and leave one company for another. You've just hired someone, now you have to tell them that you are leaving? You build up a level of personal trust, that person trusted you that you were offering them a better situation. They trusted you enough to leave make a life-altering decision. Now this place isn't good enough for you to stay? I've changed jobs a couple times in my career now and have always found this situation to be awkward. This time around may be the most awkward at all however.

First of all, I really do think my employer is special. I'm not leaving because of the company, my boss, my job, my compensation, etc. I'm only leaving because I've been presented with an opportunity to move up into a strategic leadership role, an opportunity that would not have happened with my current employer for at least a few more years. Yes I'll be getting more in salary, yes my commute will be shorter (or non-existent when I telecommute), yes I'll get to travel a bit more (which is something that I've wanted as well). But it all boiled down to the opportunity to make an impact in a way that I can't do in my current role.

So that's what I'm communicating to people, my colleagues as well as those who I've recently helped to bring aboard. And unanimously they have told me that they understand, which helps, but it is still awkward. It probably relates to the fact that I feel that I have done some of my best tactical recruiting work over the past few months. I have put my networking skills and utilization of new recruiting tools to the test and it has paid off with hiring some great 'passive' candidates. One of those in particular was one that I will remember for a long time. The day after I gave my notice, she was still one of those who I wanted to tell personally. I felt I owed it to her. Around Noon that day, I get an e-mail from her saying "I hear you are leaving???" I dropped what I was doing and practically ran to her desk to talk to her about it. As with the others, she was very gracious. Turns out that things at her former employer were not going so well, so it was really a blessing that we offered her this opportunity.

It's a strange sensation for sure, but I'm thankful that I am surrounded by good, gracious people, who can see that although I am leaving, that it's for something bigger and better. They congratulate me and wish me well. I can't ask for much better than that :-)


At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Recruiting Animal said...

Benny, it sounds like you're a sincere guy. I enjoyed this posting. Good luck.

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Jason Alba said...

When I say that folks will "change jobs" every 3 - 5 years I think most people assume that is because they are fired or laid off... but in reality there are lots of reasons to change jobs. Loyalty is not what it was 25 years ago, so why do employees think that they have to stay at their job?

I think its great that you are moving to another opportunity. When two of my key employees (from my old company) resigned to move on to better roles I was proud. I was happy for them professionally, and I was proud that I allowed them to grow in a way that prepared them for those roles.

And I think that most people that really know you (I only know your blog personality) will see that and be happy for you, and not see it as a sign that there's something wrong with the company.

Mucho congrats Ben!

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Thanks RA and Jason. People have been happy for me, and that certainly makes it easier. I have alot of passion in what I do, and much of what has made me an effective recruiter is due to the fact that I care deeply about the organizations I work for and the people I help to bring into those organizations.

These days, 3-5 years in one company is pretty normal. I've never gone into any new employment situation thinking "3 years and I'm out of here". I always hope for the long term, and hope for that again with this new opportunity. I can say this though, each move I have made has been for something better. In each case, it was the right opportunity at the right time. This opportunity takes me into the type of leadership role I've been looking for. Those that know me understand that and have been nothing less than gracious.


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