Should I stay or should I go?


I couldn’t resist using the title of the song by the English punk rock band, The Clash, from their album Combat Rock. It has a nice catchy ring to it and the song was the band’s only number-one single on the UK Singles Chart.

But I digress, to come back to the article, there comes a point in people’s careers when they ponder the question, should I stay or should I go? There are several scenarios but today we’ll focus on the ‘You want to stay in the same field, but are just looking for another company’.

This thinking doesn’t come overnight, it’s the little things that bug you, and you finally reach a point where you are seriously contemplating your next move. Little things like;

  • Feeling underappreciated. The pay doesn’t cut it anymore.
  • Benefits and perks are being cut.
  • You’re overworked. Too many multi-tasking events where prioritization just doesn’t work.
  • Your manager is a ……… and you can’t work with them anymore.
  • The job is too stressful.
  • Management just doesn’t understand! They are too restrictive.
  • Your colleagues aren’t helpful.

And the list goes go on and on. Suffice to say, when you reach this point, something has to give. Feeling this way is not conducive to your well-being.

Consider this before you head off in this direction.

  1. Make a list of the pros and cons of staying in your current job. This could include:
    • Timing – does the morning time still suit you. Do you stay too late?
    • Current compensation, benefits, vacation and perks. Will another job pay you more? Research the market for trends.
    • You might have to start all over again. Presently you may be the senior most employee. Does this matter to you?
    • You know everyone, you are comfortable. You’ve built up a reputation. In the new place you probably have to prove yourself. Are you okay with this?
  2. The cliché, the grass is not always green on the other side of the fence, still holds true. Ask yourself what would be different in the next job – refer to your pros and cons list.
  3. Are you just wanting to move because you’re bored? Or because truly, you don’t see any opportunity to grow? Is emotion getting in the way? Is the job impacting your health and well-being? Stack your reasons in the pros or cons columns.
  4. Do you need a new challenge? Is this not possible in the same job?
  5. Have you looked at the current company you are in? Can you move laterally or be promoted?
  6. Check the positions in the job market. Go on job sites, look at the ads. Talk to people in the field, do your homework.
  7. Write out ‘what if’ scenarios if you were to stay or go. Which alternative is acceptable to you, in keeping with your goals and objectives?
  8. At the end of the exercise, compare your reasons for moving or staying. If you have considered all options, you should be able to see a clear contrast that should assist you in your decision.
  9. Chalk out a clear plan of action including next steps. Map it all out. The more detail you put on paper, the better.

At the end of the day, you have to do the best thing for YOU. Make your choice and follow your plan.

Remember, as life happens, things may change, outcomes are never guaranteed. But if your choice is based on good reasoning you should be able to move forward, confident in the knowledge that you made the best decision given all the information available to you at the time.

Image courtesy David Castillo Dominici/
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