I had an interesting conversation the other day with someone struggling with her current role. She knew she needed a change, but also remarked many times during our conversation that “I should be happy here.”
On the surface her job was a great fit for her. She had flexible working hours, and really enjoyed the people with whom she was working, but there was something missing. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
She was able to get in touch with it through our conversation, recognizing that she had changed a lot over the last five years, and her job had not. She had outgrown many of her tasks, but was afraid of inviting chaos into her life by seeking out bigger assignments and more accountability.
She just didn’t see how she could have the type of work she wanted AND keep balance in her life. She truly believed that to take more on, she would have to sacrifice something she valued.
Hot Tip #1, you never have to trade what you need for what you want in your career
Another client I spoke to knew he needed to move up or out of his current job, but with the uncertainties of COVID he didn’t think now was a good time to change jobs (within his current company or to another). He didn’t know how to virtually build the relationships he would need to do well at his next job.
He also mentioned several times how grateful he was to have a good job. He said it in a wistful way that implied if it were a crap job it’d be easier to make the decision he needs to for his career wellbeing.
Hot tip #2, career change isn’t always comfortable, but it doesn’t have to be excruciating
Have you had similar thoughts lately?
It’s difficult to consider leaving a role that suits you really well (or leave a great employer). In fact, you may not have to. It’s intimidating to think you may have to leave your comfort zone to get more of what you want, but there are options that support change without sabotaging what you have today.
Here are some things to think about if you are putting off your career growth needs with “I should be happy” thinking:
Gratitude is important, but when it becomes a reason not to make a change you need, it’s no longer gratitude. There will always be reasons to stay where you are that make good sense, but if you are not happy then that needs to become your priority.
You don’t have to rush into anything you are not comfortable doing, and there are advantages to sitting back and seeing what it is you want to do with your one precious life before jumping into change.
You only get to go on this ride once, make it count.