“I need a change of pace.” If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all thought it from time to time while sitting at our jobs.
And, keeping your options open can be a smart decision—especially when it comes to a career. You never know when a great opportunity will present itself, requiring you to seize that moment.
But more often than you think, that new job offer could possibly be a detour on your career path—and maybe even a dead end. When it comes to your career, especially in your 20s and 30s, it’s easy to fall into believing that the grass is greener on the other side of the cubicle wall.
But, how do you do know if your current position does more for you over the course of a lifetime, or leads to more life satisfaction that new job posted on LinkedIn? To help you evaluate whether to stay where you are or to take that next job, consider these five signs that your current job may be better than you think:
You Love the Mission
When you love the mission and the people in the organization, you tap into a well of creative potential that will allow you to do your best work with a clear conscience. Tapping into this resource is the best career move you can make.
Living your life in alignment with how you were designed by God will prevent you from having a case of the “Mondays” every week, and will also allow you to make the impact in the world you were created to make. Psalm 90:17 observes that God, when asked, establishes the work of our hands. At the end of the day, doing work that God approves of and supports is the ultimate job satisfaction.
You Are Challenged
You should always be looking for a challenge, because it’s in times of challenge when you are growing and becoming the best “you” you can be. Never fear things that are hard. Instead, always fear easy. Those who look for the easy jobs and assignments are on the path for career mediocrity and potentially ruin, because the path of least resistance is sought after by too many, leading to average: average careers, lives, and impact.
Tough assignments and jobs that challenge you will make your career. When you look back on your life, it will be those challenges that you are most proud of and that will have produced the greatest opportunities and results in your career.
You Are Learning
Dan Finnigan, CEO of JobVite, told SXSW attendees that today it is all about “learning agility,” the ability to show employers you are able to acquire new knowledge and leverage it for the organization. Having the ability to learn on the job and acquire new skills and competencies that are transferable to other career sectors is extremely valuable.
Famed author Peter Senge put it: “A company’s only sustainable competitive advantage is its ability to learn faster than the competition.” This means those companies must invest in YOU by teaching you on the job and also presenting opportunities to learn at conferences, and continuing education through MOOCs or other means.
Recently a Harvard Business School professor was addressing 192 CEOs from around the globe regarding the importance of training and educating their employees. One CEO said, “This is very expensive. What happens if I train someone and they leave?” The wise professor quickly responded, “What happens if you don’t and they stay?” Those organizations that are not developing their people will not be in business long.
You Have Access to Leadership
Good leaders are always looking for ways to mentor the next generation. Over time this mentorship can also lead to them opening doors to new opportunities and their very valuable network.
Think of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook who while studying at Harvard was mentored by Professor Larry Summers. By the time she graduated, Summers had received a promotion, was working at the World Bank and recruited her to be his research assistant. A few years later, Sheryl went back to get her MBA at Harvard Business School and Summers was promoted to Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton. He once again reached out to hire Sheryl when she graduated and hired her as his Chief of Staff.
These opportunities were well-deserved and earned by Sheryl’s smarts and hard work, but she also capitalized on having a great mentor and leader in Larry Summers. You can’t put a price tag on having access to leadership that can open doors for you.
You Have Flexibility
Money can be replaced, but time cannot. In our fast paced world, more and more is being demanded of employees who are always tethered to their smartphones, on-call around the clock, and working multiple jobs in an organization. In many ways, this is the new normal. Because of this, always value the organization that allows you to have time and flexibility in your schedule over organizations that do not.
Great companies allow flexibility and care most about quality work being created over where and when the work is done. Having the ability to have a flexible schedule or working from home periodically can actually help you produce better work while giving you a better quality of life.
Every life story has twists and turns, road not taken and choices offered but declined. So take time to evaluate the opportunities presented, especially seeking out wise counsel and spending time in prayer because you don’t know what the future holds.
But, before you ditch your current job for one with slightly better pay, remember these five, often hidden “perks.” Every job includes things that won’t be your favorite and days that are difficult, but in the end, your career will be what you make of it.