You are one of the lucky ones who have reached the best part of your career. You are happy achieving success in your job and feel like you can stay in this job until your retirement. Wait a minute, does this sound like you are in your comfort zone? It sure does. It happens to everyone throughout the career. After all, you have changed jobs a couple of times and finally the current mix of circumstance suit you.
Should you change your job or stay put being happy with the status quo?
“The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo” – Bob Iger
Fear of losing out
You current happiness stems largely from:-
- Your immediate superior – he/she understands you well and appreciates your work. The moment you think of switching jobs, you fear that your next superior’s leadership style will not suit you.
- Your colleagues – you are surrounded by people who are almost like your second family. It is desirable that you work in an environment where there is mutual respect and surrounded by like minded people. Since 50% of your waking hours are spent in an office, colleagues form a very important social circle to say the least.
- Reputation in your current company – you have worked hard for a better part of your life and have been recognized internal as an asset. Working in a new job would put you in a position where you would have to prove yourself in a new environment.
What if circumstances change?
How do you challenge yourself when you fear losing out? To challenge your fear, ask yourself. How permanent are all those factors? Do the factors change over time? Yes they certainly do.
- Your immediate superior might be promoted to another department.
- Your colleagues might leave the company for better opportunities.
- Your reputation might take a turn for the worse if something went awry under your watch.
I have personally experienced these 3 situations at different stages of my career. When I stayed back in the company for the sake of my immediate superior, when I had a great opportunity in hand. I stayed on as I had the impression that I am indebted to my manager who had invested much effort in developing me. He left in about 6 months when something better came by for himself. At that point, I felt left behind. I had to wait for a year before the right opportunity came by.
My point is that current circumstances are dynamically changing, so don’t assume your future happiness is guaranteed. While you can enjoy the stability in the status quo, remain focused on improving your circumstance by managing your career.
The two possible reasons to move are:
- Leaving a job you love for better opportunity
- Leaving a job you love for more money
What is a better opportunity?
To evaluate a better opportunity, you need to add skills/increase responsibility over the time spent in your career.
These are the 6 aspects to look whether the next job opportunity is better than your current job.
- more dollar transactions
- increasing number of direct reports
- having higher quality direct reports
- higher $ value customers
- a larger geographical area
- technical skills that has future demand
While you may be comfortable earning your current income, overtime your needs change. You may need more money to start a family, unexpected health emergencies in the future, reach your retirement goals earlier.
A note to further address, “Why change my job when I am happy?”. You do not have to change your job now, but consider this. As with most people, you would only actively look out when circumstances change and you are unhappy. Ask yourself, “Why wait until you are unhappy to take action?”
I bet there is certainly more pressure (push factor from current job) to take the less than ideal job because you are in a desperate situation.
Time to dust of your resume and look for the next opportunity. You can thank your lucky stars that you have the luxury of time to do so in a job where you are happy.
Never be too comfortable and delay taking action. Just by standing still in this world that constantly moves ahead, you may find out years later that you are unhappy and left behind.
“Change before you have to” – Jack Welch
Are you happy with your salary increase? Read this article on Average salary increase per year & inflation
Thinking of career progression? Read this article on Career progression: how long to wait for a promotion before looking out
Thinking of attending the next interview? Read this article on How to stand out in an interview? 5 ideas to make a good impression
Afraid to make mistakes in the next interview? Read this article on 5 common mistakes to avoid during an interview
Feeling dissatisfied with work lately? Read this article on Are you feeling disengaged from work? 4 simple ways to know
Thinking of how to choose your next job? Read this article on How to choose your next job? 7 criteria to consider before accepting
Thinking of career development? Read this article on How to develop your career and 4 steps to achieve what you want