Wednesday is the day I don’t start work until 1. That means I have time in the morning to do housework, run errands or, like this morning contemplate life while I’m waiting for the laundry to be ready to fold. The contemplations are not always fun. Today’s contemplations are brought to me by the increasingly clear signals that it may be time for me to move on. As I think about moving on, I think about some of the lessons I need to learn before I make a jump.
Look before you leap – I practiced this one recently when I opted against taking a new job. I won’t rehash the details as I’ve written about it already. In short, I took the time to consider the pros and cons of the job and decided that is was not the right move for me at the time. Change for change sake is not the right decision. Really investigate the jump before you take it.
The greener grass might be misleading – The grass might be greener on the other side, but that might just be due to a lot of bullshit. It’s easy to clean your house and threaten the kids to behave when company is coming. It’s easy to be fooled into thinking everything is great somewhere because of this. It’s similar to the social media effect. You think everyone’s life is better than yours because of the fake snapshot they post online. Before you consider jumping to a new place, look below the surface. Is it a healthy work environment? This might be hard to know for certain, but try to find out what you can.
Jumping is scary, but staying put might be worse – I’ve been with the same employer for 24 years. The thought of leaving is scary. The thought of giving up the comfort and security of being a long time employee could easily keep me from considering making a move, What’s scarier, though, is the thought of watching everyone around you move up and move on while you remain stagnant. Sometimes, the only way to move up is to move out.
It doesn’t hurt to look – Even if you are happy where you are right now, it never hurts to look to see what’s out there. You might miss out on the perfect job for you by not even knowing it’s an option. It doesn’t hurt to look, apply and even interview. You don’t have to take the job if you decide it isn’t the right fit, but how will you know if you don’t try?
You don’t owe anything to anyone – Do what’s best for you and your family. That is all that matters. You don’t owe anyone else anything but ample notice that you are leaving. That’s all.
All that being said, even when it likely becomes clear to me in the next few months that it is my time to jump, it will be hard for me to actually do it.