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You are ready to start a confidential job search...now what?

August 26, 2016

The moment may have already arrived.  Your third manager in two years.  Your fourth incentive plan in four years.  Rumors swirling of an impending acquisition.  You have been passed over by someone else for the promotion you know you should have received. No matter the reason, when you are ready to begin a confidential job search, there are some critical things you may want to keep in mind:

1. Have a plan.  Sit down and put pen to paper.  Take the time to map out how you would like to see this transition play out.  The odds are it won’t go exactly the way you plan it, but you will be better off with some sort of roadmap versus wandering aimlessly around looking for that next opportunity.

2. Make sure the people close to you, or will be part of this decision making process, know what you are about to embark on.  Their input can be invaluable and they can sometimes see things from angles you won’t necessarily see.

3. Do your own investigating into the banks you have jotted down as potential landing spots.  Don’t take the word from people who have left or know someone who know someone who worked there as gospel.  There is a reason they are no longer there and while asking them should be done, don’t use that information as the only reference.  I could tell you something good OR bad about EVERY bank based on all the conversations I have had with bankers; it doesn’t make any of it true.

4. The grass isn’t always greener.  Write down all the things frustrating you and all the things you really love about your bank.  Think about all the great experiences you have had and all the bad ones.  Write those down as well.  Step back and look at your list.  Is your situation really that bad?  Have you spoken to any of the bank’s leadership about correcting/changing any of the frustrations you currently have?

5. Know that while you are planning on keeping your search confidential, there is a risk you run putting your name and resume out there.  You may run into someone you work with while out on an interview.  Someone at another bank may catch wind that you are interviewing and tell someone.  While recruiters and the banks they serve will do their best to keep everything confidential, there will always be a chance that someone finds out you are interviewing.

6. Be selective.  Don’t spray your resume all over town.  Once you have listed out your targeted list of banks you want to potentially work for, make sure your resume only goes there through a trusted source or search firm with a relationship with that bank.  This will maximize your wish for confidentially.

7. Have a list of “must haves” and “would be nice to haves” with regards to compensation, title, vacation, etc.  You want to know before you start, what you want and what you are willing to take.  You also need to know what you are willing to leave behind; stock, cash, title.  Very rarely will you be able to take everything with you.