1) You just never know.
Have you ever declared your undying love for something (like your new iPhone or grilled cheese sandwiches) only to discover there was another version that was even better than you ever could have imagined (like latest version of the iPhone or grilled cheese with brie)? Well, the same concept applies to your job. Stick with me on this one – it’s possible that you might find a job that is even better than the one you love now. Why not look?
2) You’ll expand your network.
Having meaningful, one-on-one conversations with colleagues, recruiters, and leaders in your industry is an incredibly valuable opportunity – and it’s often hard to come by. Networking events, while completely worthwhile, tend to be a bit hectic. It’s tough to get more than a few minutes with anyone. Interviewing, on the other hand, guarantees that you’ll have someone’s undivided attention as you discuss your role, your goals, their company, and the job market. Pretty great, right?
Think of interviews as another opportunity to expand your network. Connect with the people you meet on LinkedIn, send them personalized thank you notes, and do your very best to make a great impression. Even if you end up respectfully declining an offer, you’ll walk away with a few new professional contacts. And you never know when they’ll come in handy.
3) You’ll strengthen your interview skills (practice makes perfect!).
This may be hard to hear, but someday you might actually be ready to leave your current job. When that time comes, you’ll be glad it hasn’t been years since you last exercised your interview skills. This is also a great opportunity for you to take inventory of what you do every day, what you’ve accomplished since stepping into your role, and what you’d like to do next. Having the ability to summarize your stunning array of skills and career accomplishments in a clear, compelling fashion won’t just serve you well in an interview – it’ll also be incredibly useful during your upcoming performance review or the next time you ask for a raise or promotion.
4) You’ll get the inside scoop on the competition.
Interviewing with another company is a great opportunity to benchmark your current responsibilities, projects, benefits, compensation, and work environment against what is going on in the marketplace. This could either serve to affirm that you are in the right job with the right company, or reveal a potentially more interesting, lucrative, or flexible role.
Taking the time to investigate what your skills and experience are worth in the job market and understanding the opportunities that may be available to you is a super savvy career move. Even if you conclude that you aren’t ready to take on a new job right now, you may be in a year or two. Whenever that time comes, you’ll be ahead of the game.
5) You might end up loving your current job even more.
You know that feeling you get toward the end of an awesome vacation? The trip was great, but there’s no place like home. You can’t wait to get back, sit on your own couch, cook in your own kitchen, and sleep in your own bed. Something similar may happen when you decide to explore other opportunities.
If the interview doesn’t go well or the company doesn’t meet your expectations, you’ll just end up loving your current job even more. You’ll feel a renewed sense of excitement about going into work every day, and the tough days (everyone has them) may not seem quite so tough.
6) You’ll still be in control.
Saying yes to an interview doesn’t mean that you’re definitely going to leave your job. Only you can make that decision. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re the one in the driver’s seat. If at any point in the interview process you realize this job isn’t “the one,” you can respectfully withdraw yourself from consideration. Just be sure that you aren’t backing out of scheduled meetings or calls at the eleventh hour – the more notice, the better.
Admittedly, if you know you have absolutely no intention of even entertaining a new opportunity and are completely unwilling to make a change, it doesn’t make sense to move forward with an interview. Recruiters and hiring managers put tons of energy into the interview process, and there’s no point in wasting your time or anyone else’s.
If there is a part of you that’s curious and could potentially be incentivized to make a change, don’t hold yourself back from exploring interesting opportunities. Sure, you may decide to stick with your current job in the end, but expanding your network, strengthening your interview skills, and gaining a better understanding of your industry are all pretty great reasons to at least have a conversation with a prospective employer. Even better? There’s always a chance that you’ll find a new job that you love even more.
Jaclyn Westlake is a career advice columnist, creator of the Job Hopper's Job Search Strategy Guide and founder of The Job Hop. With more than ten years of experience in the recruiting and human resources space, she is passionate about empowering job seekers to achieve their career goals. She's also particularly fond of coffee, every dog in the world, and the city of San Francisco.
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