To Stay or Leave – Your Personal Criteria

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

May 30

This week I’m focusing attention on to stay or leave your employer. These articles present examination areas to help your decision. Yesterday, in To Stay or Leave – Your Manager, I covered how your can affect your decision. Before that, I looked at your industry and company affecting your decision.

There is one last evaluation area: Your Personal Criteria.

Each of us has our own unique universe of what is important to us right now. For example, we have a value that spending time with our children is first. For another, time to travel rules. For others, moving up the managerial hierarchy is important.

Robyn noted in the comments on a previous post that:

I went to a nonprofit after working in high tech for 20+ years. It was a safe haven because it suited my lifestyle needs at the time and because my experience allowed me to make a significant contribution to their processes. I left because I felt there were no more contributions I could make to improvement and I therefore felt less engaged.

There are hundreds of such examples tied into our values about life and how work fits into that life. Thus, what is happening with your industry, company, and manager compares to what is happening in your life.

It is this comparison that makes you decide to stay or leave.

If your company is doing great and you have a good manager, all of that is trumped because you don’t want to live here, you want to live there. To do so requires leaving. Your personal world is different from where you are with your life.

Or, your industry is in a deep nosedive. Your company is losing money. And your manager sucks – but your spouse just got laid off, you have the corporate health insurance and the two of you are paying college tuition for your children. Despite the difficult work environment, you stay.

Deciding about work in your life should seem easy. Yet, without great self-awareness about your life, these decisions can seem random — or wrong. This is why relationships within your nuclear family (related or not) are critical to your support. Good discussions help your family awareness of what is important to you right now in contrast with your work. It is how one person can stay in a job and be called crazy and another person leave the same job and being called just as crazy.

In the end, it’s all about us – our goals, our dreams and how work fits into our life. The industry, company and manager? If your industry, company, manager and personal situation was equal, your analysis will sway the decision. But your industry, company and manager are not equal to your decisions about life, so consider them bonus points.

  • Erika says:

    Great advice, Scot! I especially like your emphasis on the role of your family is making this kind of decision. After all, decisions that affect your career affect your family as well so it’s important to keep this in mind.

    • Scot Herrick says:

      @Erika
      One of the most important characteristics of Cubicle Warriors is that they have strong family and/or support groups. When the going gets tough — and it always does at some point — the support makes all the difference in the world. Maintaining the support is an important skill to learn and implement.

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