Fear of taking a risk is a common barrier for people who are respected at work, great at what they do, on a good salary, but unhappy in their job.
It’s no surprise really, as it’s much easier to stay somewhere you’re comfortable and do something you find easy than it is to take a leap of faith and start afresh.
At work, when you feel safe and in control you build self-confidence and, if you’re delivering for the business, over time, you can begin to influence the environment and improve your work-life balance. This is a fantastic position to find yourself in but, if you’re driven and motivated by personal development, learning and growth, it won’t take long-standing still before you get itchy feet.
Working in recruitment, I speak to people in this dilemma all the time, particularly in the accountancy sector where the job market is driven by the availability of skilled people.
Right now, I’m working with several accountancy practices who are looking for talented people and this can mean the time between joining the job market and being offered a new career opportunity is quite short.
One minute you’ve made the decision to look around and see what your options are, and the next you have two or three options on the table. For some, this speed can be quite unsettling and when the reality of stepping out of your comfort zone kicks in, it can be quite scary.
So how do you know if a new job is the right one for you? Well, to be completely honest I can’t answer this question for you, because you don’t - and never will - know 100%.
Moving job, buying a house, joining a club, trying a new sport, and even going to an unfamiliar restaurant, all involve taking a risk; and you can always find an excuse not to do it. The only way you’ll ever truly find out if it’s better is by taking the plunge, but you can easily reduce the level of risk and limit your gamble.
In order to step out of your comfort zone, the first thing you need to have is faith in yourself and your ability. Are you confident that you can prove to a new employer that you’re as good as your current boss thinks you are?
Assuming you are, the next question to ask is whether you’ve approached your job search sensibly. Have you sought advice from people you trust? Do you know what is making you unhappy in your current role? Have you spoken to your employer to try and improve things?
This is very important because, if you’ve thought things through in a considered way, hopefully, you won’t feel a huge amount of pressure to decide when the time comes.
It’s imperative that you remain calm when weighing up a career move, rather than going into panic mode. If you’re confident and level-headed, sit down and make a list of the pros and cons of the options available. Include your current role and drill down on the detail, making sure you address why you want a change.
I’m a strong believer that you only live once, so don’t try to find excuses, instead, try to put your emotions aside and be guided by the reality of the situation. After this, you should know deep-down whether any of the possibilities excite you, or if you’d prefer to stay in your current position.
Too many people compromise and stay in a job when they’re unhappy because they’re scared to make a change. Moving on is a big and brave decision, especially if you’ve been employed by the same company for a long time, but you only live once and if your passion is no longer there and you’ve done your homework, what have you really got to lose?
If you like what we do and know an accountant who's looking for a new challenge, why not recommend them? When we find your friend the perfect job, as a thank you, you can choose from making a charitable donation to Meningitis Now or earning yourself £300.
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