To stay, or not to stay | How to make the most difficult career decision your easiest

Unless we get truly lucky, most of us at some point in our careers are going to have to conquer this decision. The idea of moving on from a job, no matter how much it may be uninspiring, can be pretty daunting. It’s very easy to get caught up in the familiarity and comforts of your day-to-day, without properly considering if it leaves you truly satisfied. Despite the comforts of your job, it’s important to remember that our careers only last so long, so there is no need to waste time in a role that doesn’t make you happy.

However, that being said, when faced with this question, it’s important to consider what’s made you feel this way. Is one bad day at the office enough to warrant a desire to leave for good? Do you just need a new challenge but in the same company? To make the bold move to leave a company is a tough decision, so it’s not one that should be taken lightly. Here’s how to properly evaluate your stay, or not to stay dilemma.


Is it just a one off?

As human’s we can, unfortunately, be prone to zone in on a negative situation rather than assess the bigger picture. If you’ve had a fall out with your boss or a coworker, disagree about team direction or are having a tough week in sales when you usually fly, maybe you shouldn’t just up and leave yet. Take the time to evaluate what about the situation made you consider leaving. If it really was just a one off incident that you can mitigate against in the future, it’s probably a good idea to stay put.


Getting comfortable?

What if I can’t do the new job? What if I don’t fit in with the new team? Am I wasting an opportunity by leaving this job?

Fear of the unknown holds us back than any other psychological obstacle. Finding yourself in a position where you quickly and easily achieve all of your targets without any real progression is a problem. You never know what’s on the other side until you try. Simply staying put because it’s the easy option is a risky move career wise and could set you back far more than the challenge will take your career forward.


Feeling valued?

We all want someone to at least notice what we do for the company’ we appreciate someone taking the time to show our work is valued. This can be as simple as your boss taking the time to praise you on a 1-1 level, but also where the company takes opportunities to publicly recognize your work within the company. Though ’employee of the month’ may be a little cringe and a thing of the past, having some kind of employee recognition program shows that what you do is appreciated by the company, and this will go a long way to helping your decision to stay or to go.


Could you be earning more?

Whilst money is always everything, it’s certainly a very important consideration. Despite the various benefits of staying with a company long term, one of the undeniable drawbacks is that it can leave you susceptible to being underpaid in comparison to industry averages. It’s can be much easier to earn more in a new job than it is to get a pay rise.

If pay is a critical factor that’s making you consider the question, check out Reed’s average tool here. 


In a time where we’re more than ever aware of the opportunities, it’s important to be fully aware as to why we try to stay or go. Short term problems that are likely to be forgotten the next day shouldn’t be enough to force you to move on. However, when the opportunity is rife, and you’re feeling stagnant in your current role, it could well be time to move on.


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