Should I stay or should I go

For those of you who know the 80s really well like me, you could be forgiven for thinking this blurb is going to be about the fab 80s Combat Rock album by the Clash!  Now this would be a brilliant subject, but another is a tad more important. 

Many of us can’t wait to leave school and start earning the bucks, but hey, no sooner do we do that, we are wondering when we can retire!  I will leave advice on saving for a healthy retirement to our Financial planners!  But there is a lot that can happen in between.

There are several people who are quite happy to do a day’s/night’s work in the same job, doing the same thing forever more.  Some might categorise these people as “plodders” and you know that’s just fine, because every business needs “plodders” otherwise we would all have retention problems.

You might have undertaken a qualification, or specialist training courses and you are now viewed as fully competent in your chosen profession.

You may be offered a promotion within your organisation; do you accept it?  Your thoughts are most likely to be along the lines of:

  1. Do I actually like working here?

  2. Ok I do like working here and it is safe, but what if I can’t do the job?

  3. That’s really nice to be thought of like that and I feel really valued!

  4. Oh my, this was Bob’s role, he had so much experience what if the team don’t accept me?

  5. Well if the team don’t accept me it will be tough I am here to progress! (wrong attitude by the way)

  6. Am I ready for this, I must be or they wouldn’t have offered it to me…. And so on, you get the drift

In my humble opinion most of the above falls under the banner of self confidence or self belief.  As long as you haven’t told any porkies and you do have the skills needed, then if it’s what you want, go for it!  Work with your new team, show some vulnerability, let’s face it just because you have been promoted doesn’t mean you are suddenly great at everything, does it?  Your team will support you much more if you empower them, utilise their skills and knowledge and most of all don’t forget to delegate; this shows trust.  Many newly promoted leaders and, I include myself in this group when I was in my 20s, feel delegation means you passing the buck, but it can so often show trust in your team; get to know what makes them tick.  You will always want to look at processes and probably want to improve them.  This will mean you will meet the “we have always done it like that” person and so let your new challenge begin!

We have very briefly looked into the thoughts and considerations of promotion or change of role within your current organisation, but what about resignation; eeek!

Now it is most likely you will ask yourself the same questions as above and depending on the answers you give, they may dictate your actions.  There are some additional questions you will need:

Is this a side-ways move?  If it is, is there good reason to do it?  I recall moving from one organisation to another and whilst I went from being a Payroll Manager to Assistant Payroll Manager, my reason for moving was more employees, new payroll components and the Payroll Manager was going on maternity leave in a few months.  Therefore, I would be Payroll Manager of a much larger organisation in a short space of time and earn more money; score! By the way as you get older money isn’t everything, qualify of work life balance can be so much more important to you.

If you are unhappy with your current employer then it might seem the obvious choice to move, even if sideways.  It might be financial incentives that drive you and whilst promotion internally and externally will more often than not offer this, try not to let it be the only decider.

You might be looking for that next challenge, having decided you can do all you can do.  When I was offered the role here at Armstrong Watson, it was truly one of the hardest decisions I made, why;  I was really happy working for the CIPP, I knew my job and it had lots of variety etc. so what was missing?  For me, whilst I was not going to be able to afford a pay cut but happy, with equal or more, I was in a very fortunate position as I could take a good and honest look at where my future career should be.  I discussed my thoughts with two very good friends and in the end it came down to:

  • I needed a new challenge that was going to give me butterflies i.e. “can I do it”
  • Armstrong Watson is a well known, reputable accountancy firm throughout the North West, Leeds, Yorkshire, West and South Cumbria and expanding;
  • I had been the CIPP tutor for a number of the Armstrong Watson staff;
  • I would be home most nights as far less travelling than the CIPP role.

What will drive you to change jobs?  Whatever it is make sure you do it for the right reason; “don’t jump out of the frying pan into the fire”

Watch for the next blog when I will look at the opportunities and challenges that you might face in your new job.

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