We’ve all been there. In a stable but not very desirable position, faced with a new opportunity, and not sure when to jump.
If we stay where we are, we know we can deal with the consequences but we run the risk of stagnating and never improving. If you go toward the new situation, it might be better, but it might not, and we really don’t know. We can’t know the future so it’s hard to know when to jump.
I’m in a similar place right now. I do work that is satisfying and that I enjoy, the schedule is good, and I have seniority. I’m in a comfortable rut. However, I really want to make more money at the same time as I keep my stability. The new job I might take pays more, and I know the work, but I’d have to start fresh and lose all my seniority. I’d also have to drive farther and I wouldn’t be able to pick my schedule for a while. The rewards are great, but there is risk. When exactly do I jump?
I personally do this by setting criteria, and preparing for my move when I’m in my current position. I keep my resume updated, I watch job postings, and I pay attention to my current situation. In my case, employees are being treated less well than they used to be. No one has had a raise in over four years, even though the company is doing well. The company makes it hard to make bonus, and every time we get good at it, they change something. They don’t communicate openly with the employees. This has been a slow creep but it’s become noticeable.
As things get worse, the “math” of the situation changes and I get closer to jumping. The true key is, not to jump too late – when all the opportunities are gone.
Similarly, when I was liking my apartment less and less, I waited till there was a good opportunity – and jumped then, even though it cost me a little more to get the new apartment a month early. In the end it was more than worth it, considering the comparative lack of stress I and my partner experienced.
If you have a situation like this, whether it’s with a job, a home, or a lover, it’s important to engage your mind at the same time as you follow your gut.
Writing is good for this. You can take some time to write out your feelings, all of them. That way you not only have a good idea of how you really feel, you will have vented some of them so you are better able to handle this next step.
After you’ve written about your feelings, write about the facts. Make lists of the advantages and disadvantages of each. Then you can tell at a glance – which list is longer? Where is your balance point? Perhaps there are certain factors that weigh more in your decisions than others, but the idea here isn’t to be exact, but to activate your thinking mind.
With your thinking brain and your emotional brain united and listening to each other, you can have much better idea of what to do at any given time.
If you like this post, feel free to check out my blog at Mindflight!