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Should I Stay or Should I Go: Thinking Through Your Next Career Move

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It’s 2020 and times are changing rapidly. Nobody could have foreseen the worldwide impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workforce and jobs. During economic downturns a natural reaction for many is to stay within their current job and try to weather the storm of the crisis. However, some workers also view a crisis as an opportunity to land a new job with better prospects - yes you read that correctly! Even during a time when organizations are freezing open positions or even downsizing staff, many workers are starting new jobs...by choice!

Let's be honest, the decision to change jobs is a difficult task in the best of times an economic crisis makes it even more daunting. The dilemma boils down to two choices: the first: stay in the familiarity, comfort and perceived safety of your current job while the second choice offers new challenges, new surroundings and potentially better benefits.

If you are weighing the pros and cons of changing jobs and face the dilemma of should you stay or should you go, there are a number of factors that should be considered before you make a leap towards a better and brighter future…..

Remind Yourself About Your Purpose.

Change is difficult, but switching jobs is necessary for both personal and professional growth. During times that you are required to make big decisions on your career it's important to make a conscious effort to remember why you started in the first place. It can be as simple as asking yourself why you chose your current role. You could probably take it a step further — look back at your career and recollect! Make a list of the moments in your career that brought you sincere joy.

These may be interactions or projects which enabled you to learn more about your strengths and what you are passionate about, or simply, work that you take immense pride in. When you take yourself on this journey, you will begin to realise what it is you want to strive for. And when you get clear on what you want to achieve in your career, you’re able to plan around this purpose and work on how you can better support your dreams. That way, in the face of challenges, your willpower stands formidable, and you attain better clarity in discerning which career opportunities are best for you.

Imagine A Spectrum Of Possible Futures.

It is an understatement to say that this year has caught us unprepared. At this point the outlook could appear gloomy but the difficult times will pass and a world of change and opportunity is on the horizon.  When you’re considering a career switch, keep an open mind and enjoy the exploration process. To do that, you need to learn to experiment — brainstorm about the various roles and ideas that will grow and develop you in your career. Keep in mind that a career change is not a linear process. It’s your chance to stoke your curiosity and learn about possible new areas of interest that could take you beyond your current network or industry.

Get Connected With A Diverse Network.

This is where your LinkedIn profile will come in handy. When it comes to thinking about your next career move, take on virtual networking. It’s time to initiate and build the relationships you need to reinvent your career. You’ll almost always find others who are willing to help and share advice on how they managed to change jobs or take a step in a new direction. 

Reach out to them, and also share your best tips and resources that could help them out too. Expound on your past experiences, and learn from their expertise as well. These initiatives will certainly spark productive conversations about what you should expect when making a career change.

LinkedIn is also useful for mobilizing your weak ties. These are the relationships you have with people you don’t know so well, which could be friends of friends or colleagues and most importantly take the opportunity to reach out to future colleagues at your prospective employer. This will help you understand the culture and the type of colleagues you will be working with..

It's Time To Do What Makes You Happy

If you’ve found that you’re doing a job for the sake of it, but you’re also constantly feeling as if something is missing, it’s time to seriously consider a change. Finding a career which provides great benefits and a stable income is great, but perhaps what you need is a career which gets you excited and provides you with a feeling of fulfilment. Amongst all your career goals, it’s important to prioritize your long-term happiness. Take the leap of faith against the uncertainty that something better exists for you. You are worth the risk.

The key is to take time to research your options, such as potential fields of interest that could be a better fit for you and self-reflect. Find a role where you can unleash your capabilities, grow and feel genuinely happy. Your family, friends and co-workers will feel happy for you too. 

Ultimately, when you find yourself asking this age-old question, whether to stay or go  remember that this is your journey, and your choice to make. Several circumstances will affect your decision. Some of them will be practical ones, such as financial security vs the risk of the unknown. But more importantly, take your time to recognise the push and pull factors which are integral to your personal development. 

Only after carefully weighing the merits of each option should you decide whether accepting a new job or remaining at your current one will move you closer to your career goals.

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half the sky (HTS) is a career platform for women in Asia. We connect women to career opportunities at companies that care. We also want to equip you with information, tips and strategies to navigate the workplace today and the future.

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