To stay or not to stay. Is that the question?
Oftentimes professionals fall into the trap of viewing finding a new job as an all-or-nothing decision: “Either I stick with the status quo, or I try for something better. What to do?”
Sadly, framing the question in this way leads to indecision that can drag on months or even years, because we’re searching for perfect clarity (or waiting for a perfect gig to fall in our lap) before we take action.
But you can’t think or wait your way out of career indecision. It just doesn’t work. It takes more action -- and less thinking -- to either land that next job or come to a place of peace in your current one.
What you should be asking yourself is, “What small action could I take today to move my career in the right direction?”
Because every step you take, no matter how small, leads to new learning, inertia and insight into what you should do next.
In fact, simply starting your search can be the best way to figure out whether it’s time to leave your current gig -- and it offers tremendous skill-building and developmental opportunities every step of the way:
- I mean serious skills like strategic networking, turning contacts into advocates, influencing through structured storytelling, crafting a compelling professional brand, negotiating, acting on constructive feedback, and turning messy situations into concrete goals and action plans.
- I mean self awareness development like discerning your core values, which passions you want to pursue at work, and the work preferences that make you your happiest, most productive self.
- I mean relationship building with contacts who will enrich your understanding of the jobs you may want to pursue, broaden your professional network, and advocate for your success in the hiring process.
This is what’s most exciting to me about the job search process: it’s not some black hole of doom that may or may not result in a better job, but rather a series of steps that make you a stronger professional and a stronger version of yourself.
That stronger version of yourself may very well land your dream job. Or, at the very least, you’ll gather enough concrete information to put your existential angst to rest and affirm that staying in your current job is the best possible decision (for now).
No matter your situation, there’s almost no excuse not to job search in 2017.
If you’re ready to shift from thinking to action, stay tuned as each week we’ll help you take a concrete step in the right direction. In our latest Next Step Careers series on job search best practices, we’ll break down:
- How to give your current gig a real shot at becoming great
- How to tiptoe into job seeking mode and figure out if you’re ready to double down
- The 8 steps of the most effective, skill-building job search process
Have other questions you want answered during the series? Feel free to pop them into the comments! We're listening.