Mid Career Conundrums: Should I Stay or Should I Go

May 23, 2022


I had a chat with a former employee recently.
After working together for a few years and each going on to new opportunities, we became fast friends.
She called me because an executive recruiter reached out to her about a new role and she needed my advice.
Like many of my clients and students, she’s at a stage in her career where her work as a senior executive pays very well, is easy for her and, offers her great flexibility with her time and with where she works.
And having been there for many years, having delivered stellar results and with her employer and her bosses treating her really well, she felt guilty even speaking with the recruiter about this new opportunity.
She didn’t know what to do.
She felt worried about making the wrong decision.
She felt guilty for even considering something new. 
She couldn’t decide if she should even pursue an interview for this new opportunity.
Have you been in this situation?
It goes something like this:
  • Maybe you like your current job even though it no longer offers you any challenges
  • You love the perks and the feeling of security
  • Something in you wonders if you’d be happier with something new, that would bring variety and new challenges
  • You fear the grass might not be greener somewhere else
Hence, the conundrum that many people, like my friend find themselves in, mid-careera.


What to do?
My friend wanted my opinion on this and I had one but more importantly, I wanted to help her come to her own conclusions about this by asking her some questions.
I would suggest the same for you if you’re finding yourself in a similar spot right now in your career:
1- What’s keeping you where you are?
2- If you had to re-choose your current job, would you? If so, for what reasons? And, do you like those reasons? 
3- What are your priorities in your life right now, and, how does your career fit into those?
And finally, I asked her:
> Do you want to approach this with curiosity and find out more about this potential opportunity? 

She could simply gather more information from which to explore all available options and possibilities here. 
Her answer was a resounding yes!
For many of us, our natural tendency is to stay where we are. Where we feel safe. Where we know what to expect. It feeds into our primal human need for certainty. 
And sometimes, that’s exactly what we want and need and we’re very clear on our reasons why.
Yet sometimes, it keeps us from the full expression of who we can be and what we could be doing in the world, with our work.
One of the best ways to get our answers is to explore possibilities from a place of curiosity.
To remain open, to gather insights, find out more information and examine all the reasons why this could be a good opportunity, and all the reasons for staying where we are.
When you’re faced with career decisions, you can purposely choose the feeling that you want to make the decision from.
And, you can decide ahead of time that no matter what happens in the future, that you made the best decision.
You get to choose all of it. From a place of support for yourself, telling yourself “I’ve got you”. No matter what.
Then, there’s no conundrum, there are no bad decisions.
You’ve got this!