Before You Move On… Read This.

Man sitting on stair

You like your job; you have mastered the role. You’re not unhappy, but you aren’t learning or growing. Recruiters are contacting you with potentially great opportunities. But, you’re afraid. What if you make a wrong move? You aren’t miserable, just not challenged.

One of the biggest doubts is worrying about making a mistake. What if I take this new job and regret it? Just how, exactly, can you tell if you’re about to make a wrong move? If you are in doubt, ask yourself these questions!

Do you feel a tiny lingering sense of dread when you think about the new opportunity? You’ve decided to accept interviews and you now have an offer, but you feel uncomfortable. Maybe you met the team you would work with, and they were polite but seemed like you might not fit in the department. Are these the dreaded “red flags?”

Don’t kid yourself–there are plenty of reasons we ignore warning bells, like a bigger paycheck, higher status, great benefits or an opportunity close to home. But, if you sense that something doesn’t feel just right, you shouldn’t overlook them. A nagging unease or feeling of discomfort could be a sign that it’s not the right opportunity for you.

A job change is a major life stressor and it’s going to create some anxiety. You don’t need to turn down a great offer if you’re feeling nervous, but you should try to determine if it’s more than just the fear of change. Ask yourself, “Am I uncomfortable about the vibe I felt during the interview process?” If you’re just anxious about leaving your current job and starting a new position, you’ll feel a sense of excitement with that nervousness. If you’re just anxious, think back and try to identify any red flags so you can think it through, and truly identify what made you uncomfortable.

Are you feeling desperate? If you are in a situation where you are unhappy in your current role or have a new boss that is picking on you, or you sense a big change coming in your workplace, you could be feeling desperate to get out. When we feel desperate, we often “tune out” the clues, red flags, and any information that should be a warning to run the other way. (For example, there has been excessively high turnover in the position or company.)

Experiencing your situation while in panic mode is a set up for a potentially disastrous career move. Be aware when it’s time to “get out” if you’re in a bad situation and you know you hate your job or your boss. If this is the case and you get a chance to move, then you should consider your options. Make sure you’re approaching the decision with a clear head so you can determine if the new opportunity actually offers something better.

If you can’t get away from the feeling of panic, talk to someone you trust. When you feel panicky, it’s difficult to maintain perspective. Someone on the outside, someone who doesn’t have your emotional attachment to the situation, can be of enormous help. A trusted friend, mentor, career coach, or a counselor can help you sort through your options. You may be surprised at the choices in front of you when you calm down enough to think rationally.

Are you trying to spite someone? We’ve all worked with a miserable person who couldn’t wait for an opportunity to criticize our work, our achievements; someone who talks behind our back and takes credit for our work. You dream of getting an incredible opportunity to rub it in that colleague’s face. However, that’s a terrible reason to actually make a career move. If you let someone else’s behavior tempt you to leave a great job, you’re giving away your power, and it’s unlikely that the decision is truly what’s best for you and your career.


Bottom line: you’ve got to know when the right opportunity arises. Know your worth, so you can be on the lookout for a company that recognizes and rewards hard work and ambition. When the right thing comes along, you can jump on it and sail off to bigger and better places along your career path.