At some point in time most working professionals will be faced with a new career opportunity outside of their current employer’s offerings. Most of the folks I know have some sort of fantasy involving a job opening that pays a higher salary, contains added career growth potential, and/or generally sets them in a direction that suits their future ambitions. But when that ideal job opportunity moves from the fantasy land of their dreams and into the landscape before them, how will they react? How would you react?
When this door of possibility opens, the initial reaction of the working professional is usually extremely positive. They are gung-ho about the idea of advancement and the excitement of something new, but once the opportunity translates itself into an official offer letter, the frame of mind adjusts 180 degrees. Apprehension of change takes over the consciousness and fear sets in. Hesitant thoughts begin to traverse the mind: “Maybe this bump in salary or career direction isn’t worth the jump right now.” “Maybe I should hold off for a little while and see where my current position takes me.”
Yeah, maybe they should, and maybe they shouldn’t. Nothing is certain, and the fear of change is completely natural. However, surrendering to this fear and hesitation without an accurate evaluation of the options can lead to unfortunate personal growth stagnation.
The bottom line is that we all must evaluate our options realistically and be ready to face change if necessary. We must be willing to adjust in the event that we are dealt a straight flush. Sure, the house might have the royal flush, so you’ll never be absolutely 100% certain where your current position will take you. But if you perform a constructive assessment of your options weighted against a timeline of the next five years and your gut feeling tells you that the bump is worth the jump, your instinct is almost certainly correct. Make the leap and never look back.
A buddy of mine is currently in a state of extreme hesitation concerning a career opportunity that I truly believe he should take. Either way, I just hope he makes a decision that he won’t regret down the line.
Update: This article was picked up by the Carnival of Careers in Middle Age.