When it’s time for change

By | 2011/05/23

How can you tell when it’s time for a change?

Regardless of how much I may like to be “comfortable”, there is nothing like the feeling of needed change – especially when that change is necessary for your own personal growth.

I recently struggled with the job-change decision, after 18 years in the same job. During this process, I realized that the decision often involves issues much larger than pay scale, title, and perks.

Here are some hints that may indicate a change is required, even if you’re satisfied with your job overall:

  • I’ve done everything I can within my sphere of influence – I’ve always like the quote “bloom where you are planted”. But there are times when we’ve done all we can, where we are. To do more may require a move.
  • I’m ready for new challenges –  In some cases, we simply outgrow our current position. If the company has no growth opportunities, we may need to move on in order to experience bigger and better challenges.
  • I’m looking to the future – Focusing on the past is seldom helpful, except in learning to avoid past mistakes. Equally important is to expand our focus away from what’s happening today and move toward what can or should be. This is the difference between managing by crisis (focusing only on today’s fires) and strategic management.
  • I don’t see passion around me – Maybe I’m too ideological, but I think a career should include passion. What’s the point of spending a significant amount of your time at a job that doesn’t inspire you? I’m passionate about Information Technology – not just the hardware and software, but specifically the part of IT that solves business problems. I don’t expect everyone around me to share my enthusiasm for IT, but ideally each person has their own passion to contribute to the business and ultimately help move the company toward success.

While I’m sensitive to differences in leadership styles, I think passion is one trait that isn’t easily learned. You either have it or you don’t. Leaders with a natural enthusiasm seem to radiate confidence and optimism, while a lack of passion can easily lead to apathy.

Are you struggling with a tough, life-changing decision? Think about what is really important to you and then embrace your decision with confidence!

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