How to Maintain Integrity in Your Job Search

The words integrity and ambition are rarely seen in the same sentence. The thing is, they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. There’s no need to be shady while you’re climbing the ladder and even less so when you’re looking for a job – unless you want to make enemies of the people trying to help you. What may seem like a shortcut now will come back to bite you in the butt later, karma isn’t always instant but it sure does sting! Just in case you haven’t given it a thought before, we’ve listed a few types of behaviours which are far from scrupulous.

You Went Quiet

Finding the right candidate for a role is nothing short of gruelling and there is undoubtedly an art to it. Once a recruiter made contact with you and you have responded favourably to a potential opportunity why duck and dive phone calls and emails after that? Honesty from the absolute start is of utmost importance. If your circumstances have changed, you’ve found something else or you’ve simply changed your mind that’s totally cool – tell your recruiter.

Didn’t go to the Interview

Okay, so your recruiter managed to get you an interview with a great company or even with a not so great company. Bear in mind that it can be difficult arranging a meeting with more than one important person at a time. Unless you are absolutely unable to make it, don’t cancel it. Worse still, you didn’t pitch. Never ever ever just not pitch. It makes the recruiter look bad but most importantly it makes you look bad. If you are genuinely looking for a job, you need as many people on your side as possible.

You Took a Counter Offer

Oooooh, this is a tough one. Very often people leave their jobs in search of better pay but they don’t anticipate the counteroffer. It’s a great ego boost to have your boss beg you to stay, offer you more money, a better package, more flexible hours, whatever the case may be. Just remember that the reason you were looking for a new job in the first place. It’s probably because your employer drove you to a point where looking elsewhere was the only option. They are unlikely to suddenly value you more now than they did before. They may even expect a pound of flesh in return.

You Weren’t Honest

Looking for a job is stressful, but so too is being unhappy in the job you have. Your first and most important remedy is to speak to the powers that be to try smooth things out before leaving. Did you approach your current boss or line manager before you gave up and decided to look for a new job? Of course, without directly telling your boss that you are on the market you need to have an honest chat with them in order to remedy any dysfunction or issues at your current place of employment. This simple act of pursuing an open line of communication can save you so much stress in the long run. Most importantly your manager or boss won’t be blindsided and hastily give you a counteroffer. Often these counter offers and promises wear thin and after three months you are back on the market.

Take All the Offers

Now and then there is a candidate so charming and talented that they get more than one offer. Now let’s be clear here, there are circumstances when less than scrupulous people will push you to sign an offer, but there are also people who sign all the offers and wait until the last minute to tell companies that they will not take up the position. In this situation, you have left a company and a recruiter at a loss. They could have spent their time looking for another candidate but now they may be faced with a situation in which their team is down by one and you have shown a bunch of people that you have no integrity. They will remember this moment.

Last Minute Doubt

We all have that nagging voice at the back of our minds when something just doesn’t feel right. Cold feet is a universal struggle and there are times when we need to listen to these feelings and then there are times that you have to push through them and embrace the incredible opportunity that lies ahead. If you just decide not to pitch up on the day you were supposed to start your new job; you will forever be painted with the crappy person brush. That’s an unflattering shade which can haunt your career even in the best case scenarios.

At any point in the process, you can tell your recruiter that it’s not going to work for you. Rather be honest as soon as possible in order to avoid potentially putting yourself on anyone’s naughty list – if you mess people around, they are more likely to remember your name and avoid you at all costs. Do yourself a favour and just be cool.

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