Q. I have worked at a leading communication consultancy firm for two years. During my time here, I have undergone various training programmes and courses facilitated by my employer.
An opportunity with a better package recently came up in one of my employer’s fiercest rival companies. I am tempted to apply for it but I am concerned - will I be betraying my employer’s support and investment in me by moving on to work for a rival?
Having invested in your development by taking you through training courses that have built your skills, it is reasonable for your employer to expect a degree of reciprocal diligence and loyalty from you.
Although supporting the development of employees comes at a cost, improvement of employee capability is equally in an organisation’s interest as therein lies, at least in part, the ability to meet its objectives.
What does your organisation’s HR policy spell in terms of investment in your development? Some organisations bond employees for a given period after significant investment in certain training courses.
Is this the case for you? While training courses are valuable, bear in mind that one comparatively learns much more through on-the-job training and interactions with others in the course of work.
You join an organisation to make a contribution as well as build your career, therefore any scruples you may have concerning betraying your organisation ought to be seen against that light.
Needless to state, if you were to move, it would be improper to divulge information that could confer unfair advantage to the new organisation and thereby undermine the competitiveness of your current one.
Your skills and ability may be part of your capital but not so the commercially sensitive or proprietary information that you come across while working for an organisation.
You seem assured of being offered the job in the rival organisation if you apply for it: has your die already been cast? Have you done your homework on the rival organisation?
Beware, the world has known sabotage-laden wiles of organisations that poach, use and then dump talent from competition.
Would the organisation be seeking information or your capability? Does the rival organisation presently appeal to you as a better nursery for your career aspirations?
The question is not only whether you would betray your organisation by moving to another one, but also whether making such a move would be consistent with your career goals.