While there is more job movement today than in earlier generations, leaving a steady position can seem a bit risky in a competitive job market. There’s a delicate balance when it comes to holding onto a secure job and taking a chance on moving forward on your career path. You can take actions to lessen the risk. Follow these tips when deciding whether you should leave your job for career advancement.
Think About It
While it’s understandable to be frustrated with a lack of movement within your company, especially when you feel you are doing an excellent job, moving on without introspection and critical thought can be a mistake. Many people make a quick decision to leave for what they perceive to be a better position, only to find themselves in the same boat at a difference company. Think about your interactions with top players within your organization. Are you viewed favorably by them? Have you demonstrated your knowledge and skills to them? If you feel there is potential to build favorable relationships within your current company, to learn and to demonstrate your competence, staying might be your best bet. If you truly think your work is being taken for granted or that higher-ups don’t like you, perhaps a fresh start would be wise.
Ask for Feedback
Though it can be intimidating to ask people how they perceive you or ways in which you could improve, taking the time to do so could provide you with a great deal of insight. Once that knowledge is gained, you may decide that it’s something you can work on within the ranks of your current organization where you are familiar with the culture, expectations and players. For example, if you learn that colleagues see you as passive and reserved, it might make sense to work on your communication skills and on taking initiative in an atmosphere where you already feel comfortable.
Assess the Situation
Finally, assess the overall situation and listen to your instincts. If you’ve been passed up for promotions multiple times or if it seems that your current superiors are content with the current departmental structure, you could probably deduce that you won’t be seeing a change any time soon. If you decide to move on, take time to do so strategically if possible. Work on growing your network and putting feelers out regarding jobs requiring your qualifications. Join or get involved in professional organizations. Take time to build your skills and gain insight from your network while you search for new opportunities. The hiring process can take a few months from start to finish, so even if you are given an opportunity to interview for a new gig, you’ll have time to think about whether you’d be a good fit within the organization and looking for other opportunities that might be just right for you.
The moral of the story here is to not rush into anything and to make strategic decisions. Follow the lead of professionals like music executive Marc Shmuger who spent years gaining experience and building connections at Universal before moving on to start his own company, Global Produce. Well-planned moves based on experience are always best.