Sunday, September 18, 2011

To Move On or Not To Move On...That Is The Question

Okay, so I took a couple liberties on a famous quote. On the other hand, today this is the question - when is it time to move on in your career?

As is the case with most, we often struggle with balancing when we take a risk and move on to another position and/or company. Sometimes the decision is easy. For example, you're not happy in your current job, are not being rewarded appropriately, poor pay, bad atmosphere, weak job-fit match. Typically, these reasons make a job change a little easier to determine and take the risk. There could be several other contributing factors, but these are some high profile reasons that people change positions from a negative perspective.

On another, more positive note, the decision may not always be as easy. Sometimes we enjoy what we're doing, who we're working with/for, how we're being recognized, opportunities that come up, the team we lead, etc. When this is the case, loyalty to your current position and team can play a large part in your decision-making. When things are good, they're good.

As a good, loyal employee, you don't want to be seen as the "ladder climber" throwing all else aside, you don't want to be seen as a job hopper to future bosses/companies, and of course you don't want your team to feel abandoned.

I don't have any concrete answers on this question, but here are some things to take into consideration:
1. Communication. If your boss and other trusted people around you know your genuine goals, you can mitigate negative perceptions if you do decide to move on to another position.
2. Next Best Thing. Don't make a job change just to get the next best thing. Be conscious and deliberate about the decisions you're making.
3. Pros and Cons. Whether you like or dislike your current position, it is always helpful to put together a list of pros and cons for any changes under consideration. This will allow you to look more objectively at the possible changes to make a more informed decision.
4. Be selfish. At some point in your career, you will have to be selfish. Of course balancing out the opportunities in front of you with your current position is important. Sometimes, though, you will have to simply throw all else to the side and be selfish making the best decision for you, your career, and your future. You can't regret looking out for your own development.

This is the evolution of careers. It's the good, the bad and the ugly that must all be known to be successful on your career journey.

What do you think? Anything else that we should be considering when facing these decisions?

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