You Have Been Approached! Now What?

It is, I imagine, very exciting and flattering to be approached by another firm, via a recruiter or directly, to open a discussion about joining them. We all want to be wanted. This is especially true if this firm is credible and has a good reputation in its field. Don’t get swept away as they ‘love bomb’ you; rather, a cool head is now needed to make a sober and realistic appraisal of your current firm and the approaching firm, contrasting and comparing their respective merits so that you can make the best decision. 

Here are some things to consider; 

  • First, at a strategic level, think through how well your current firm is positioned in this market. Has it got the vision and leadership to remain relevant to its consumers and compete effectively? There are plenty of performance parameters that can be found, especially if the firm publicly held. It is worth reading broker reports for your firm and its market.

  • At a more micro level, consider your own position within this entity. Are you doing well? Are there opportunities for advancement, developing your skills and gaining experience? How good is the leadership at your level? Do you enjoy the culture of the operation and are you happy and fulfilled? Is there genuinely a compelling reason for you to leave? Forget for a moment the other side of the equation: why would you leave? If indeed you would.

  • Now look at the approaching firm and answer the same questions both at a strategic level and a micro level. Do your research. Ask people in your network who will have an informed opinion about what it is like to work there, the culture and the reputation of those who you will be working with most closely. Proceed with discrection.

  • There are always risks with moving. Try to mitigate those risks by finding out as much as you can. There may also be risks by not moving and staying with your current organisation - think of that too.

  • Consider also the idea of loyalty not only to the firm, but also to those on your team, especially if you have recruited some or all of them. How would you feel if you left them behind?

  • Watch out for things that you currently may be taking for granted and which may not be available in the future firm. For example, I know of someone who had taken for granted the sheer volume of market data at his former Investment Bank and was astonished at the dearth of information at the smaller firm that he joined.

Summarise your thinking before joining. Is there truthfully a compelling reason or reasons for you to leave your current firm? Are there genuinely compelling reasons to join the firm that thas approached you? Nothing is for certain so, to an extent, you are trying to take a view on the likelihood of scenarios playing out at your current firm and the possible future firm.

As ever, I really value your thoughts, comments, likes and shares.

Stephen Wright