Submitted by Jrlz on
BLUF: Should I interview at a competitor of my current employer given that there is a high probability that my interviewing would be discovered?
A recruiter contacted me about a possible career move that intrigues me. Problem is that this career is with a competitor of my current employer and my bosses boss knows a lot of people at this competitor. There is a high likely-hood that my interviewing at this company would be "discovered" by upper level executives at my current employer. This position at the competitor would not be a step up, more of a lateral move. However, the specifics of the job are intriguing to me on a number of levels. I would really like to explore this opportunity, but don't want to risk damaging my current career. Should I risk it? Does anyone know of a a way to mitigate the risks?
I think my first thought is no, don't go. It's a lateral, and there's risk.
But, that kind of risk really depends upon the cultures of your firm and theirs, and the nature of the competition. If it's not polite (what I might call gentlemanly, but nobody but me talks that way) then it's probably best to avoid this kind of imperial entanglement.
Here's a thought: look around at the more senior folks in your group/division/company. Any of them have any experience over there? That would be a sign that you could make a case that this wasn't you becoming a traitor, but rather just being a smart professional and considering all your options.
Thank you Mark. Actually there is at least one VP that came to us from the other company. Great point - I am going to at least discuss the opportunity with the competition and if discovered I will make the cast that I am being smart professionally. I have to manage my career and be open to options.
Good, and beware...
Interviews are often places where competitive information is gleaned. You have to be VERY close hold with your own company's information.
And, there is still risk outside this issue. Be careful.