You’ve come back to work after a long weekend. It’s like slipping into an old slipper, perhaps slightly less dank. It’s warm, comfortable, homely, the people are nice, the work is nice and easy to do. But it’s the same old slipper. It hasn’t changed. The stitching is still a little loose at the edges, there’s some bits that are fraying. As a slipper it still works, it’s functional and fills the requirement very comfortably but it’s never going to take you places like a brand-new pair of Nike’s.
So how do you know when it’s time to ditch the slippers for a pair of Nikes? What if the Nike’s turn out to be uncomfortable or cheap rip-offs, ‘genuine copy’?
Things to consider
Here’s a few suggestions to help you in the decision-making process:
Your current job situation
Ask yourself honestly, is there a better than 80% chance of your current job providing you the career growth you want in the next 18 months?
If the answer is no, then looking for alternative roles is a good idea. Here’s why. 18 months is long enough to know what plans your employer has in place for company growth and how that might affect IT systems. If there’s growth opportunities but they are not likely to come your way because of more senior staff ensconced in their positions, then hanging around will pay the bills but won’t advance your career.
The longer you hang around and stay comfortable, the longer you stagnate.
Options vs skills and experience
Is there even anything better out there given my current skills and experience?
Find out. Put it out as a question on Linkedin. Ask a recruiter. Search job boards, even apply for some positions. However you do it, you’ll need to put yourself out there to get the information you need. You’ll never know if you should leave your current job if you don’t know whether there are better alternatives.
Do the research rather than being paralysed by the comfort of your current job or some internal monologue that’s telling you it probably won’t be worth it.
Job compatibility and growth
What if I get a new role and I don’t like it as much?
It’s possible and it happens but it’s not the end of the world and you can do a lot to mitigate that risk. Let’s face it, you’re in a good position. You don’t have to move but you will for the right role with the right growth opportunities.
So, when you’re in an interview, ask some insightful questions about the company and the role and the team you’ll be a part of. Even ask to meet the team if it comes to that. Some companies might misrepresent themselves or the role but that’s the exception not the rule.
If the pair of Nike’s turns out to be a cheap rip off, then what’s the worst-case scenario? You might have to find an old pair of slippers but more likely you’ll find a genuine pair of Nike’s, an opportunity that only came around because you tried on the fake pair first.