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Interviewing at competitor -- need advice

Obviously a touchy subject but any advice here? It's not personal, but this might be a better move for me and my career and allowing me to sell in an industry I am privy to, IE: quicker ramp time and using that experience to my benefit. In terms of career growth, compensation increase, etc.. I feel like if I leave for a competitor, I will burn bridges and damage relationships with peers and managers I've cultivated the last few years.


Thoughts?

☁️ Software Tech
👥 Hiring
🚀 Career Goals
13
CuriousFox
Arsonist
+10
Senior Account Executive
A couple of thoughts here.

Do you have a noncompete?

Have you read the fine print of the offer?

At the end of the day you are responsible for you. No one else has your best interest in mind. Do you boo.
Ni
NickyMeats
Contributor
+1
Growth AE
Appreciate you. No noncompete!
OnlySales
Good Citizen
Regional Enterprise Sales Manager
If you don’t have a non compete don’t over stress about it. To the comment above, you have to do what’s right for your career because at the end of the day the company is going to replace you and move on with their day (maybe not if they’re smaller) but you have to look out for you. You’ll make new relationships! If you’re not learning and growing where you are, it’s time to move on!
CaneWolf
Politicker
+11
Director of Business Development
I've never seen an AE get blocked from a non-compete. I'd be curious if others have.
GongRipper
Good Citizen
+1
Account Executive
Yes. Multiple AEs that I know have been blocked by a non-compete 🙃
Show 1 more replies
LordBusiness
Politicker
+7
Chief Revenue Officer
One thing I'd share is that companies (and states) are taking non compete agreements a TON more seriously than they did 10-12 years ago.   I know its common place to think (and some leaders say) "Non compete's don't have any legs" ----> but I can assure you they do, and make sure you discuss yours (if you have one) with an HR lawyer. Remember, the company you are going to's legal team will be working in the best interest of the company. 
Filth
Good Citizen
Director of Client Development
^ My last company is currently suing a manager who left for just this. Commenting and upvoting to give your already legit comment some more weight.
JustImpaired
Good Citizen
Director of Partnerships
I think it depends on industry. Is this THE competitor? If so that could be dicey. If it's just another company in the space, I think it's okay to be specialized in a market.

Just make sure you check your non-disclosures and Non-competes VERY carefully. 
Ni
NickyMeats
Contributor
+1
Growth AE
It's THE competitor and OTE is ~ $50k more... Feels like that is tough to ignore. But, would stay w/ current company if they matched. But, doubt they would.
Captain_Q
Arsonist
+8
Sr. Account Executive
It's certainly a tough situation.   If you truly believe it's a better fit for you more total comp, then do it!    How familiar are you with their culture?   One thing big thing that I have done with my last two job changes is to ask to spend an hour or two with their top producing rep. Pick their brain, see what their day-to-day is, how long did it take to get off ramp, etc?  Get a feel for the organization and make sure it's really great fit because an X% increase in pay isn't worth shit if you hate your job.

As far as burning bridges.  A bridge will only burn if you set it aflame. If you're professional about your departure, there shouldn't be any hard feelings.  If there are, then those people suck and never wanted to see you succeed anyway. 



Best of Luck!

-Capt!
Ni
NickyMeats
Contributor
+1
Growth AE
Love this advice. Thank you. 
Captain_Q
Arsonist
+8
Sr. Account Executive
No doubt @NickyMeats Best of luck, my dude!
Soldmysoultoselltech
Praised Answer
+1
Account Executive
Great advice
Captain_Q
Arsonist
+8
Sr. Account Executive
Thanks, @Soldmysoultoselltech Ya live and you learn:)
Hotsaw
Acclaimed Answer
+3
VP Sales
At the end of the day, you gotta look out for yourself. As much loyalty you feel to your current company - or as much as your current company talks about loyalty - make no mistake: they will bounce you if you're not pulling your weight regardless of the relationships you cultivated. If you do it the right way, the people that get it will be happy for you and the people who are selfish losers will be petty.
Ni
NickyMeats
Contributor
+1
Growth AE
thank you!
Ja
Jaga
Good Citizen
+1
Director of Sales
Depends on the relationship you have with your current leadership, but don't underestimate the power of sitting down and having an honest data-backed conversation with your manager about these considerations. (In my experience this is largely impacted by your relationship with mgmt, and your overall brand and performance at the company, since they either stand to lose something with you exiting, or they don't. As well, if the relationship is surface level you may not get more than self serving feedback). 

For example: "hey manager, I appreciate everything I've learned here and the relationships i've cultivated and it's important to me that these stay in place, but i've been given this offer and I'd like to consider my options. I haven't made a decision or ruled out staying at my current role. Here is the data on their offer, and my pros/cons list. I want to know what your thoughts and feedback are, and whether this is something you would be open to discussing since I value your opinion and the guidance you've given me in my career thus far"
ARRisLife
Politicker
+3
Account Executive
Would be lying if I said I'd never considered it.


You're right though- some will feel personally slighted and likely disown you. HOWEVER- that being said you need to look out for number 1 (that's you). So if that's the best long term move you'll make more relationships and connections. I would advise not making the jump for a few extra bucks and maybe a preference on territory- but if it's significant enough to change things in your life then by all means.


Lastly, it's a bit dicey but I'd encourage having an honest conversation with your management/leadership. If they've been good to you, you owe it to them to share how you feel and what you're looking for, ie specific industry preference or more money. How they react will validate whatever your decision is- if they blow you off with lets evaluate in a year then peace out. If they take you serious and come up with a plan then it may be worth considering it.


Good luck!
Ni
NickyMeats
Contributor
+1
Growth AE
Appreciate it. OTE is $50k more at the new company and others I've gotten recruited from.. Clearly underpaid in my current role at my current company, so maybe that's the convo I need to have. 
ARRisLife
Politicker
+3
Account Executive
Well- as I've advised a few friends- you don't ultimately have to make a decision until you get an offer... have you gone that far down the process yet?

I few folks that the company has valued here has actually countered to keep people before so if you did want to stay but the pay gap is too hard to ignore than you could tell your manager that you werent looking but were approached and being sought after but your preference would be to stay.

You never know- they may make a move and try to keep you, if you think you're valuable and they know it. If they dont then no harm no foul - accept the job!
SalesSpectre
Opinionated
+5
AE
Gotta be selfish when it comes to your career. With that said...Is it a much better move for your career or is it a lateral move? Or is it a "im kinda bored and the OTE is 20k higher" kinda move? 
Ni
NickyMeats
Contributor
+1
Growth AE
$50k more OTE.. Kind of hard to ignore.
softwarebro
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
OTE is like the carrot on the end of a stick. 50k more is great but what percent of reps are achieving that? 
Show 5 more replies
Ho
Hocael
Fire Starter
Partner Manager
Very very good point. Ask how many reps hit their target. $25k doesn’t mean anything if the goal is unattainable.
AnchorPoint
Opinionated
+7
Business Coach
Several things to consider:  1. Do NOT talk negative about your current employer.  In fact, I would avoid most question in that area.  "If we decide we are a fit for each other, I bring that knowledge with me, however, today I do not feel it is appropriate." 2.  The grass is always greener... probe to confirm that you are a fit for each other.  Ask about their top performers, what they do differently, and what kind of compensation you can expect if you are in their bracket.  3. Highlight your abilities against what they tell you their top performers do.  4. Be crystal clear on what they expect and what they expect... and get any "promises" in writing.  
Ni
NickyMeats
Contributor
+1
Growth AE
When you say get promises in writing, what are some examples? @AnchorPoint 
AnchorPoint
Opinionated
+7
Business Coach
Anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary... 6 weeks vacation, above average commission rate, covered parking spot, company car after first million, only in office one day a week, etc... and anything that can be misunderstood or is not typical.  Remember, you like each other now... get it in writing so there is no confusion or misunderstanding as to what is expected.
el_dude
Good Citizen
Industry Market Leader - Sales and Delivery
I made this move 5 years ago. It was unpopular at my old shop at the time, but I've been able to maintain many relationships still.
Seeing this is software tech, this is not uncommon and you see a lot  of folks moving across competitors.
My main driver was career growth opportunity and that's been positive. You need to consider whether this is a short term gain or a long term benefit or it both.
Short term - $50k sounds like a lot, but its not salary...is it attainable?
Long term - Is there more growth opportunity starting in the new shop?

Ni
NickyMeats
Contributor
+1
Growth AE
Appreciate it, thank you!
Selichimorpha
Politicker
+6
Growth Executive
Don’t be too willing to share inside secrets - it’ll make the new company think you’d be willing to share theirs too.

but honestly if it’s the right move for you do it, if those relationships with your current team are strong, they’ll get it
Ni
NickyMeats
Contributor
+1
Growth AE
Definitely. I have nothing but great things to say about my company.. It just feels like it's time to move on.
SaaSsy
Politicker
+2
Sales Executive
If the people you’ve formed relationships truly respect you, they’ll know moving on and up is a natural part of the sales game 😉 Look out for yourself and just don’t burn bridges on the way out!
MSPSales
Acclaimed Answer
+4
Account Executive
I know it goes without saying but don’t bad mouth your current company. Emphasize what your current product does well and what are the gaps 
Chep
Arsonist
+9
Business Development Team Lead
Put yourself first, but give your current employer a chance to make a counteroffer. Tell them you like the company but this opportunity is a real step up in your career and unless you are willing to make me a more competitive offer I think this is the right move for myself.
TheLoneGun
Good Citizen
Extremely Rad Product Offloading Specialist
Your company isn't going to pay your bills if you quit selling, they'll fire your non-closing ass.(sometimes eventually if their inept). Point being, this is a trade, your time & effort for future earnings. You owe them nothing.

So if it means more money, and the ability to move up career wise. Absolutely take it. If you don't look out for yourself no one else will, Just be polite but firm, they'll understand;)
WenWest15
Praised Answer
+3
Principal Business Development Manager
What is the NDA and non-compete in place for you right now? 
YankeeClipper
Fire Starter
+1
Enterprise Account Executive
Don't ask don't tell~!
SA
SADNES5
Politicker
+6
Business Development
Do what's best for you. Do the interview. Get the offer. 

Talk with an employment lawyer make sure all T's are crossed and i's dotted. Will cost you 1-200 bucks (worth it)

No sense worrying about burning bridges if you don't have a firm offer in hand.

Also - do not go to your employer and say you have an offer! - 

First, ask for more pay/responsibility etc, if they shut you down, then you wait a day or two and announce your THREE WEEK notice. The longer the notice, the likely more money you will get paid to sit at home with.

If an employee at my business gave three weeks, we'd say "preesh you! But you can chill for the next three weeks at home" paid. If they want you to come in... That's on them to have a disengaged employee in office for three weeks.

Bridges won't be burned, you asked to be paid what you're worth/more responsibility. They declined. If for whatever reason they say, ya. Here is more money etc. No sense accepting the other offer right?

Only after you say you will leave will they talk pay? You are not their priority. Leave. 
Kanyebut4sales
WR Lieutenant
+6
Account Executive
Do it! If the company you are at was doing more to keep you happy then you wouldn't be having this conversation. They would probably drop you tomorrow without worrying about bridge burning soooooo
Ni
NickyMeats
Contributor
+1
Growth AE
So true! ha
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