Stay or Go?: remain in a “good” job or look for a great one?

Your job is comfortable. You like your co-workers. Your supervisor trusts you. You know what to expect.

That’s part of the problem. During the pandemic, you saw your company leaders place profit over people and don’t expect them to change their ways. In contrast, many of your friends have recently landed jobs with managers who show their employees they respect and value them. Worse, your “good job” has grown dull. When you think about performing the same duties for another two years, you worry your brain might turn into fudge.

Still, you hesitate to jump ship. You’ve invested two years with this employer, most of that during the pandemic. You’ve put in time, built a network of work friends, and have developed a solid relationship with your company’s leaders, even if you don’t admire them.

You stand at a crossroads and wonder “What am I giving up if I stay in a comfortable, familiar ‘good job’. Am I losing out on a great one?”

You’re not alone. According to LinkedIn’s recent survey, 47 percent of more than two thousand adults reported the pandemic had changed how viewed their careers.1 73 percent said they felt less fulfilled in their jobs. 35 percent reported they’ve changed jobs since the pandemic began and another 51 percent said they’re considering it. This aligns with another survey reporting that 65 percent of the 1007 full- and part-time U.S. employees surveyed were looking for another job.2

Stay or go? — These 19 questions may help you decide.

Take an honest look at your job. Not your job as you wish it was, nor what it’s like on the best or occasional worst days, but the job as it is most of the time. What’s happening that you value and would miss? What would need to change for you to feel great about staying?

Do you want to do what you’re doing for the next two to five years? When you look at the opportunities your employer offers, do you feel excited or disinterested? If going to work would feel like stepping into a daily bath of boredom, you need to pull the plug.

Next, reconnect with yourself. What do you expect from your work and workplace? Where do you want to be in your career one to four years from now? Every job we take leads us to the next one–or doesn’t. If you stay in your present job, will you be less or more able to land and succeed in the next job on your career ladder?

What part do you play in “dull”? Have you stagnated in your skills? Could you use technology to make changes to your job to create time for taking on new challenges? Do you expect your company leaders to come talk with you about new opportunities, or have you exhausted all options for making your current job and company better? If you haven’t initiated a discussion with your manager about the kinds of additional or different responsibilities and opportunities you’d like, what stops you?

What changes do you personally need to make? While making a fresh start often entices us to believe we can leave our old baggage at our prior job, we generally transfer our problems to our new workplace. It’s always a great idea to look in the mirror before exchanging one job for another, so we can fix ourselves first.

Can you clarify what bothers you in your company culture, so you’ll be able to recognize prospective employers you won’t want to work for? Our jobs are much more than the work we do. Leaders shape the work environment.   

Finally, make a list of what matters to you in a job and measure any new opportunity against your current job. Which position offers you more chances to do what you most enjoy? Which position offers you the opportunity to do meaningful, stimulating work? What do you know about the managers and work environments at the two potential employers? What type of job stress and amount of flexibility might you experience at each?  

Do you stand at a crossroads, torn between staying in a comfortable, familiar job and exploring new opportunities and challenges? What have you decided?

If you’re an employer reading this post, and want to hang on to your employees, you’ll benefit from reading Managing for Accountability: A Business Leader’s Toolbox, which has many chapters on engaging and retaining employees, https://bit.ly/3CTFTKV

If you’re standing at a career crossroads, you might enjoy this earlier post, https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/08/is-it-time-to-leave-your-job-2/.

1 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/unfulfilled-your-career-heres-what-do-andrew-seaman/?trackingId=PooFNHUzSsyQh7hk%2BaEy%2Fg%3D%3D

2 https://time.com/6106322/the-great-resignation-jobs/\

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3 thoughts on “Stay or Go?: remain in a “good” job or look for a great one?

  1. To me, this question about should I leave my good job for a great one is very much about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence and listening too much to all the fluffy, silly, repetitive, time-filling so-called business trends talk without looking inward. Also, perhaps because I haven’t had that many/any great jobs, perhaps I think this concern is more about creating great social media posts and boasting to acquaintances than about inner satisfaction. That said, in part, your job is what you make it. Also there are employers who lie convincingly at interviews and walk-throughs, and you might leave your good job, thinking you’re going to a great one, only to discover you have landed a hellish one. Work on your goals and growth in your current job!

  2. Susan, an insightful comment, as always. You’re wise to focus on inward and realizing that a great part of your job is what you make of it.
    And thanks for liking this morning’s “extra hour” post:)

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