Of course I'm a big fan of hope. It's what keeps us going as humans, even in our darkest hours.
But sometimes hope gets in the way. Such as when you hope your current employer changes their salary structure. And you hope your manager stops micromanaging you. And you hope the company would just be more ethical, or more innovative, or more expansive, or more serious about your career development.
When you realize that
of those Big Things About the Company is going to change, you have a choice: either continue to hope they change, or leave. Now this is often where clients say "But I've never been a quitter; I don't want to leave the company in case things really do change."
Quitter?! I'd argue you are already giving up if you're sticking it out waiting with hope that things there will change -- and in doing so you've given the company more credit than you've given yourself. Doing that, means you’ve quit on YOU.
Yes, companies can change course, but my experience is that too often candidates would rather hope than see the reality, and would rather stick it out than launch a job search. Meanwhile, what they're becoming blind to as they are hoping, are the changes in their field that demand they pay better attention to their own career. For example, in the 1980s and 90s, too many New Englanders hoped that Digital (DEC) would turn it around, and while hoping, their own skills began to stagnate. Eventually DEC was bought by Compaq, then Compaq by Hewlett Packard, with massive layoffs each step of the way.
Result: all those "hoping" people had skills that pertained only to DEC. Few other companies needed those skills.
And that's the biggest reason for leaving your company: Don't stay if your skills are stagnating. This is a career killer!
Here are 4 reasons to leave:
- As mentioned, if your skills are stagnating and you feel you’re coasting on the job, or there’s little new challenge;
- If the company stops investing in or developing its people; or
- if if the company is losing sale after sale and isn't changing things to fix the situation; or
- if your company or organization is putting out less-than-cutting-edge products or services.
Don't let this happen to you. Leave.
So make it more about yourself and what you want for you and your family. It's OK to be selfish in that way -- that's a good selfish. A good reason for thinking ahead, and for launching a search.
Besides: In your one life,
who will take care of you if you don't?