When the head hunter calls

Late forties, early fifties you’re at your peak. You’ve got the experience and you’ve still got the energy and drive. There is this nagging doubt that if you don’t make it by fifty five you probably never will. So now is the best time to go for that top job. You know from your former boss that a well known management consultancy engaged to recruit for top jobs has been making discreet enquires. You’re on the head hunters list, expect the call. So why are you in hesitating. Could it be that your current job is the best you have ever had? You like your job and you like the people you are working with. You have a dynamic team and it’s beginning to get some impressive results. Which is one reason you have come up on the head hunters radar. You have a great working relationship with your boss and you have been told from more than one source that the members really rate you. 

It’s always a gamble going somewhere else. Why would you put yourself through the torture of the executive recruitment process. It’s exhausting mentally and emotionally, it’s very distracting, despite the head hunters encouragement realistically you’re unlikely to be successful first time and it’s unsettling for the team once it gets out that your applying for other jobs. Some elected members won’t take it well. Once you start applying it feels like there is no turning back you have to keep going till you are successful. It could be a very unsettling 12 months and what if it just doesn’t happen? 

What about your family,  how well will they take the news, uprooted again. Is it selfish to put your career and ambition first? What about your partner’s career? What about the kids schooling, will the new school be following the same exam syllabus? Will they find it difficult to settle in and  make new  friends? What about the elderly parents, they didn’t use to be a consideration but that was when they thought nothing of driving a couple of hours to visit on a Sunday and see the grand children now they won’t drive in the dark! Moving to the other end of the country is not going to go down well.

On the plus side the top job has a top salary which means a bigger house in one of the better areas of wherever you relocate to. On the down side every weekend will be spent house hunting and it can take over a year to sell your house. That’s a year living away from home only seeing the family at weekends. 

Why would anyone put themselves through this more than once? Ambition can be a cruel ,selfish task master.

Blair Mcpherson former director , author and blogger 

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