Should I stay or should I go?

To follow on with a blog that I wrote earlier this month on ‘choosing between making money and following the career that you love’, have you reached that point of career where you are debating whether to leave your job?

It is first important to consider the reasons why you would want to move jobs and assess if this is enough reason to take the plunge and hand in your resignation. Common factors could be, but are not limited to the following:

  • You aren’t performing to the best of your ability – sometimes lack of motivation or challenges within the role can cause you to take a less attentive approach to your daily tasks.
  • You can’t picture your future with your current employer
  • The cons of the job outweigh the pros
  • Your skills are lagging and your position offers no opportunities to update them – this can apply to individuals who have been in the same role for many years without the prospect of progression
  • Your company or work situation has changed radically since you were hired
  • Your salary isn’t enough
  • You want to live somewhere else
  • Difficulty connecting with management or members of your team

Are all of these ringing true for you?  Well you are not alone. As individuals we crave knowledge and challenges as part of career growth. Even as a manager you have to face many different challenges and changes the more the industry or economy changes around you. So naturally if you are feeling like you are stuck in the same routine role with no recognition or chance for progression, will you still continue to be performing at your best? Or will your eyes glaze over and you find your passion for the role begins to diminish more and more?

The next thing to consider is what opportunities are available for you in the current employment market. According to Greg Savage, blogger for The Savage Truth, this is what he had to say about the current employment market in Sydney:

The Australian economy is in much worse shape than the politicians would have us believe, relying so heavily as it does on the resources sector (which clouds recession in other sectors) and facing the very real impact of the carbon tax. Hiring was subdued throughout 2011 and indeed, the latest surveys of hiring intent show sentiment to be at its lowest point since 2008. However it is also true that some companies are hiring specific skills sets. Indeed, we see many employers laying people off, while hiring at the same time, as they re-calibrate their skills balance sheet.

Even so, we describe the Sydney market as cautiously optimistic, and we are seeing more orders, albeit in very niche areas such as PR Account Managers with health care experience, UX designers and Social Media Community Managers.

While there may be a high level of competition out there at the moment for positions, I think it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of your current situation and ask yourself, does this make me happy? Does this job just get me through the day or do I go home feeling pleased with my accomplishments? Am I learning new things? Does it give me the balance I need on a day-to-day basis?

No one should compromise happiness for a job, nor should they let any aspect of their current role prevent them from performing at their best.

In order to make this change happen the decision has to be yours. And if you want to move on or are seeking something badly enough, then you will do your planning and preparations and work hard for it. Even in your current role, if you are finding lack of inspiration, have you stepped up to management and asked them for more responsibility? It’s always important to look at all avenues, and remember attitude can affect the outcomes of situations as well, so try to take every step and situation as optimistically as you can.

But often we see this as either or situation, but at any point in your career, you have up to 10 options – not just 2.

1) Remain in Current Role – No content change

Recognition that your current role provides you with your desired level of challenge and development at the moment.

2) Enrichment – Develop current job

Considering what job tasks you wish to do more of and negotiating with others to take over those which no longer motivate you.

3) Vertical – Seek promotion

Considering what would be the real gain for you in seeking increased responsibilities.

4) Exploration – Test out options

Seeking project work, or deputising in another job function to test out how you like it.

5) Lateral – Sideways move

Moving to a similar level of job task difficulty but with different job content.

6) Realignment – Moving down

Downshifting to less responsibility for a short- or long-term period.

7) Relocation – Change business unit

Deciding that work of a different nature from your current business unit is more appropriate for your career future.

8) Redirection – Change career field

Changing the career stream or field of work with your current employer.

9) Proposal – Create new job

Submitting a proposal for creating a new job which would meet the needs of your employer and you.

10) External – Change employer

Deciding that work of a nature different from your current employer is more appropriate for your needs and career future. (Source: Paul Stevens, Worklife).

Which choice are you going to make with your career?