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Career Crossroads - Should I Stay or Should I Go. Presented By: Erica Woods, Apex Systems Brandon Berlett , Experis. Session Abstract.

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career crossroads should i stay or should i go

Career Crossroads - Should I Stay or Should I Go

Presented By:

Erica Woods, Apex Systems

Brandon Berlett, Experis

session abstract
Session Abstract

Have you reached the point where you are considering a change of pace?  If you find yourself at the career crossroads you are not alone.  We will take a look at the most common reasons professionals make a move and how to transition without burning bridges.  Our discussion will cover obstacles, opportunities and the potential pitfalls in the search for “greener pastures”.   Whether you are committed to taking the plunge or standing on the edge testing out the waters, this discussion will provide insights and suggestions to help you make the right choice. 

who are we
Who are we?

Erica Woods, Apex Systems

  • Manager of Contractor Relations, with 6+ years of Applications Recruiting (focus on Microsoft Tech (.NET, SP, SQL))
  • Supported 30+ clients in the local area with SQL Server environments across a variety of industries, and placed hundreds of IT professionals
  • Community Involvement: BSSUG, CMAP, BaltoMSDN, PMI, GiveCamp, & PARW/CC
  • Contact Information:

Office: 443-539-3320

Brandon Berlett, Experis

  • Sr. Technical Recruiter (Microsoft Technologies)
  • Over 6 years with Experis/Comsys (Recruiting and Business Development)
  • Lead National Microsoft Talent Community
  • Lifetime Baltimorean – Go O’s/Ravens
  • Community Involvement: BSSUG, IIBA, CMAP, GiveCamp
  • Contact Information:

Office: 443-703-3840

process should i stay or should i go
Process – Should I stay or should I go?
  • Step 1: Take measures to try and improve your situation. Ensure there’s no potential for improvement in your current opportunity.
  • Step 2: Determine Motivators and Goals
  • Step 3: Update resume, LinkedIn, portfolio, references, etc…
  • Step 4: Start the search
  • Step 5: Carefully evaluate any opportunities you consider. Match them up against the criteria you outlined early on that matters to you.
  • Step 6: Make a sound decision and communicate that decision. Think about your exit strategy.
  • Step 7: Leave with dignity and grace
  • Step 8: Enjoy the next professional chapter of your life!
deciding should i stay or should i go
Deciding: Should I stay or should I go?
  • Before deciding to explore what’s out there, ask yourself:
    • Is my frustration minor in the grand scheme of things?
    • Do I understand why I’m frustrated? What are the primary reasons? Are these short-term frustrations or will the situation resolve itself?
    • Is the situation I’m in salvageable?
    • Have I made any attempts to help improve my situation?
    • Is there a possibility things could change or improve?
    • Have I exhausted the potential of my current position?
    • Is there any potential to transfer to a different team/department within the organization?
understand what motivates you
Understand What Motivates You!
  • Know your Motivators:
    • What have I liked about the opportunities I’ve had?
    • What do I wish I could of changed? What do I wish I had known?
    • What’s important to me (regarding a company, project, manager, culture, job functions, technology, growth potential, benefits, etc…)?
    • What motivates me to do something well?
    • In what direction do I want to move?
    • What are my priorities (both personally and professionally)?
ask for accommodations fortune favors the bold
Ask for accommodations (fortune favors the bold)

“You should quit your job when quitting is the next step to a better life” – Caroline Ceniza-Levine, Career Expert for Forbes

  • If you feel underpaid - research your true market value and try both to negotiate a raise where you are and to find an alternative higher offer.
  • If you feel undervalued – Make your boss aware and ask for more responsibility, praise or promotion.
  • If you no longer enjoy the work - pinpoint exactly what you do enjoy and try both to arrange your current job to include more of this
  • If your work/ life balance feels out of alignment – Ask to telecommute, have a flex schedule, negotiate more PTO, Redefine what is expected of you on nights/Weekends
it s time to make a move now what
It’s time to make a move – now what?
  • Get the basics out of the way (Updated Resume & LinkedIn Profile, Connect with References, Quick Temp check on “Personal” Brand)
  • Know Thy Strengths – Develop areas where you are lacking
  • Be Organized and plan a course of action
  • Leverage your network and technology
  • Do not search on company time – Continue to be productive
  • Do not “Bad mouth” former employers
  • Plan for the What Ifs
    • Have a nest egg set aside for 9-12 month of expenses
    • Think About Benefits
evaluating your options is the grass truly greener
Evaluating your options – Is the grass truly greener?
  • Know your primary motivators, and avoid “settling” or “jumping the gun.” Take the time and energy to see how things match up with YOUR big picture.
  • Take your time and consider multiple opportunities.
  • During the process, do your due diligence in researching any prospective companies.
  • Interview the interviewers.
  • Create a Pro’s and Con’s list for any viable opportunity.
designing your exit strategy
Designing your Exit Strategy

“Before you do your victory dance and unload your pent-up frustration, design a plan for your resignation. You need a plan to make the notice period bearable and also preserve relationships that may benefit you down the road. Focus on blazing forward in your career and not burning bridges behind you.” – Debra Wheatman, ‘How to Plan for your Resignation’

how to part ways professionally
How to part ways professionally
  • Putting in Notice
    • Don’t discuss with anyone until you’ve informed Manager
    • Schedule a meeting with your Manager
    • Present resignation during the meeting
    • Remember the standard is still 2 weeks
    • Stay positive
    • Minimize details
  • Last Couple Weeks – Leave a good legacy
    • Don’t take your foot off the pedal; keep your work ethic and production up
    • Do what you can to close out any big projects/tasks
    • Document any ongoing projects, issues and key contacts
    • Ensure you do a complete knowledge transfer. Offer to train your replacement.
    • Keep open lines of communication with any Managers, Clients, etc… to ensure all loose ends are tied up and you’re not leaving them in a bind.
parting ways continued
Parting Ways (continued)
  • Wrapping Up & Leaving
    • Say goodbye to everyone you worked with closely; who knows when you might see them again.
    • Verbally express your appreciation for the opportunity they gave you, and anything you gained from it.
  • Exit Interviews = optional
    • Continue positivity and showing appreciation.
    • Don’t bash anyone or anything on your way out the door.
    • If you feel the overwhelming need to criticize, ensure it’s constructive, balanced and includes a recommended solution.
handling counter offers
Handling Counter Offers
  • Before you succumb to a tempting counter-offer, consider these universal truths:
    • Any situation in which an employee is forced to get an outside offer before the present employer will suggest a raise, promotion or better working condition, is suspect.
    • You’ll now be considered a fidelity risk.
    • Counter-offers could be stall devices to give your employer time to replace you.
    • Your reasons for wanting to leave still exist.
    • Counter-offers are only made in, response to a threat to quit. Will you have to solicit an offer and threaten to quit every time you deserve better working conditions?

Counter Offer Stats:

Only 6 out of 100

employees were

still with their company

12 months later.

  • 2012 Dice Salary Survey
  • Article, “Exit Strategy: How to Plan for your Resignation.” Debra Wheatman
  • Article, “Counter-offer Acceptance: Road to Career Ruin.” Paul Hanson
  • Article, “How to Handle Counter Offers.” Brian Moore
that s all folks
That’s all folks!



Additional Suggestions?

Contact Information:

Erica Woods: / 443-539-3320

Brandon Berlett: / 443-703-3840

**Connect with us on LinkedIn!**