Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

Are you looking at your current career status and thinking that it may be time to leave your job for something new? At some point, many of us end up with this dilemma, so it’s good to know how to navigate the situation to create a positive outcome.

Why do you want to leave your job? When it comes to your current position, what’s lacking? Maybe you’re feeling stagnant and unchallenged, or perhaps it’s looking like there’s nowhere else to grow. For anyone serious about his/her career, these are legitimate concerns.

What can you do?

Before you mentally decide to leave your job, a talk with your manager could be a great start. Should you choose this route, rest assured that the context of the conversation doesn’t have to be that you’re thinking of leaving. Instead, the focus should be on the current position and the opportunities that may be available to you. For example, can you be given more responsibility and a chance to learn new skills? What steps can you take to climb up to the next level? Are there even options for higher-level positions for someone in your career track? The information you gain from this meeting could really help shed some light on the situation.

Other ways to research

Besides evaluation of your current position/company, you can (and should) research to see what the alternatives actually are. Do some legwork and search out positions and companies that could be a match should you decide to leave your job. Compare opportunities, positions available, and benefits of those companies to what you have now. Give careful focus on whether or not these new opportunities could ultimately present you with the same problem you’re experiencing now.

Is the grass greener?

Sometimes, the best way to really figure this out is to interview. Even if you’re on the fence, take the interview if you get it! During that process, you may discover something substantial (whether good or bad) that suddenly makes everything clear. This is information you would never have in your corner without meeting the hiring manager(s). Doing the interview costs you nothing except a little bit of time but can provide peace of mind. Going on the interview is the path of least regret—it gives you what you need to know so you’ll never have to stress over any what-ifs because you did your homework and made a fully informed decision.

A quick caveat: If you know beyond all doubt that you have no interest in the position, the most polite thing to do would be to turn down the interview. There’s no value in wasting your time or theirs.

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all approach here because everyone’s situation is different. But if you take some time to reflect on things and research the possibilities, you can make the right decision for you.

Written by Adam Lafield, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist