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Should I stay, or should I go?

Either way, there could be trouble, or so the song goes. Similarly, your next career move, whether orchestrated by you, or is something you’re in line for already, may lead you to trouble, or worse, it could be double.

Understanding how you’ve gotten to where you are now, what you really enjoy about what you’re doing, what you don’t enjoy, as well as what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, what you’d like to get better at, and your ideal working environment, can help you move forward with confidence, and enable you to take control of your next career move.

I’ve fallen into the trap of progressing in my career without really being in control of the process. A number of internal promotions in my mid-to-late twenties led me through the corporate ranks quite quickly, and while I accepted the work and the promotions, liked the extra money and felt proud to be recognized, I never once stopped to consider what it was that I really wanted to do, or even what it was that I enjoyed doing. I just kept doing whatever it was that was in front of me to do. After a few years of managing two departments, now in my early thirties, I had what is now known as a “Thrisis” (Thirties Crisis). I started to wonder what I was doing, why I was doing it, what was next and if this was really all there was. It felt like I’d progressed to a position I didn’t really enjoy, and the next step was even further away from that again. Problem was I had no clue what it I was that I would really enjoy doing.

I’d like to say that I sensibly took some time out for self-reflection, talked to people who could provide objective feedback and advice, and worked through each part of my job, identifying what I was good at, what I wasn’t good at, what I liked doing and what I didn’t like doing. That I mapped out a plan and carefully considered my options. But I didn’t. Instead I panicked, quit my job, and spent 3mths in Germany and Spain spending all of my savings, and when I came back, spent another 3mths wondering what on earth it was that I was going to do.

Funny how I’ve ended up working at CareerBuilders after such an experience!

My point is, that it’s difficult enough to weigh up opportunities, especially when you’re being lured by the prospect of moving up the corporate ladder, a higher salary, a promotion, recognition, experience, change, excitement or you’re moving away from where you are because you don’t like your job, or the people, or the company you work for, but when you don’t know what you actually do enjoy doing, or even what you’re really good at, or what your ideal place to work might be like, it’s even harder, and decisions to stay, or decisions to go, can both land you into trouble.

The key to making good career decision is in having the awareness, knowledge, insight, and perspective to be able to recognise the choices you have, and are able to consider all of the options, seeing each for what they really are, before you act. While it is possible to do this on your own, it can create a lot of unnecessary stress, (not to mention empty pockets!), and it’s true that we don’t always see in ourselves, what may be obvious to others, and getting truly objective advice from our friends or family isn’t likely. Being coached through the process can really help, giving you perspective and insight so that you can make better, clearer, more sensible decisions about your future.

So before you make your next career move, or decide to stay where you are, consider taking some time to really think through the options with a professional CareerBuilders coach and get clear about your next step today, so you can start really enjoying what you do!

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