Several friends and colleagues have reached out to me lately, looking for advice to help them answer an important question: “Should I accept a new job offer or stay with the one I have?” As the Great Resignation (or the Great Reshuffle) continues, almost 50% of workers are looking for another job. From my perspective, it’s worth considering where your desire for change comes from?
We know the chaos, confusion, and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic comes into play, especially as it seems to have triggered a society-wide reevaluation of priorities. But are you also being influenced by the very human suspicion that if you were just in a new company with a new job that everything would be different – and by different, I mean better?
Sometimes, when we make big external changes — new job, new house, new partner — we bring along all the stuff we actually wanted to change (e.g., patterns of thought, habits, behaviors, feelings, etc.). A new job might be the spark you need — a way to realign your values and purpose. But in other situations, you may be better off staying where you are instead of “paving paradise.”
So, should you stay or should you go?
How to Evaluate Staying vs. Going
If you’re stuck in a loop, wondering whether you’re better off at your current job or branching out to something new, take some time to evaluate your desires and motivations.
Start by envisioning success. Be specific and tap into your emotions, too.
Ask yourself a series of questions:
- What does success look like for me?
- Who do I want to be?
- What do I want to achieve?
- What do I want to contribute to the world?
- What’s most important – income, perks and benefits, career advancement, work location, company brand and culture, supervisor, etc.?
Similarly, ask these questions that relate to your values:
- What excites me?
- What would make life unbearable if taken away?
- What am I most proud of?
- Who are my role models?
- How do I want to be remembered?
What themes are emerging? Reflect on your thoughts, including how you would feel once you achieve your version of success. Then start to develop or clarify related goals. In other words, how will you achieve the success you’ve envisioned? It helps to write things down.
Once you have a few specific goals, take inventory of your commitment to your current job. Does it support your goals?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel heard at my job?
- Do I feel valued?
- Do I understand how I contribute?
- Does my work align with my vision for success?
Once you’ve reflected on your responses, take a step back. Let these new perspectives marinate, so to speak. Clear your mind before readdressing the primary question: to stay or to go.
Creating a Reality
Give credence to what these perspectives tell you about what you desire at this stage in your career, then take steps to create your ideal reality. Is it best attained through a big external change like a new job? Or is it something you can develop and grow from where you already are?
Ultimately, once you better understand your ideas of success, values, goals, and your current commitments, you can choose the path that satisfies them. Lasting success is a cycle and balance of choices and revaluations you’ll need to revisit again and again throughout your career.