24 January 2014

When it comes to changing jobs, I’m not somebody who believes that you should jump ship simply because it’s January or because the grass looks greener on the other side. In my experience, the grass is seldom greener unless you really are in the wrong business. And whilst people often feel like a new job because it’s ‘time for a change’, I think they aren’t quite hitting the nail on the head with the word ‘change’ as in most cases, what they really mean is ‘time for a challenge’.

I had somebody send me a message on Twitter recently asking for my advice. He explained that he was in a predicament and didn’t know what to do with his work situation. From what he told me, it sounds like his employers had a lifestyle in mind and were stripping the money out of the business to fuel that lifestyle, regardless of the consequences for the team they worked with.

While this is a real shame, it’s an honour to have someone who reads my blogs contact me out of the blue, and I was relieved when this particular person contacted me again to say that our little chat had given him the courage to leave the business. As a result, he is now working for someone else. If you’re reading this, friend, I’m glad I could be of some help and even more glad that you’ve found a better situation.

When it comes to whether or not the business you work for is right or wrong, I think it’s down to your own values. When we employ people, we look for people with similar values. If you value the people around you, you enjoy working with them, learning from them and you want to stick around. A lot of people’s decision to leave a job comes down to development. I’m not convinced it’s really about money. It’s about how much you develop on that journey.

So if you’ve stopped developing then ask for ask for new challenges. And if you can’t find any then, yes, go and find something new. Go and set up your own business if you’re looking for the ultimate challenge. Just make sure you’re always learning. I think more businesses should pay more attention to creating an environment that stimulates growth. Even business owners are in danger of enjoying the fruits of their labour and not developing enough.

I think Mahatma Gandhi summed it up perfectly, when he said: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

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