“It’s not you, it’s me.” We’re all familiar with the line. When someone breaks up with you, but insists it’s not about you at all (even though it obviously is, at least a little). That’s not to say you did something wrong, but it’s still you being broken up with.
We experience a lot of breakups in recruiting, and we’ve gotten the “it’s not you,” speech countless times. We get it, sometimes you need a few dates (or conversations/interviews) to figure out if a relationship (be it personal or professional) is right for you.
The worst break ups are what we like to call the ‘runaway brides.’ These are the candidates who seem too good to be true—they say the opportunity is perfect and just what they are looking for. They seem excited throughout the whole process, and you feel absolutely sure that this is basically a done deal. But then the offer comes out and they don’t accept right away. “That’s fine,” you tell yourself. After all, it is a big commitment to make. So you give them the time they need, only to get the break up speech a few days later. The reasons vary—some candidates are only looking to get an offer so they can receive a counteroffer, some never decided if they actually wanted a change, and some didn’t take the time to have hard conversations about the consequences of a new job (such as relocating), until the last minute.
If you find yourself thinking about breaking up with your recruiter or hiring manager, that’s okay! We know that not every opportunity will be the right fit for you. But don’t burn any bridges while doing so—if you’re honest up front, the better we may be able to help you in the future. This might not be the right opportunity for you, but we might have one that is later on! So after saying “it’s not you, it’s me,” try “but I’d like to stay friends!”