Look for a new job or stay put?

Hi Brooke,

I’m trying to decide if I should stay in my job or leave. My current job pays ok, and is safe (as in the company does not usually let people go).

But I don’t use the skills I want to use (finance), and when I see people who have been here for a while, I don’t want to end up like them (not developing skills, doing the same work for almost 20-30 years, not used to pushing themselves). I don’t mean the last statement in a condescending way but I genuinely think that it’s a career killer to be here long term.

But, if I look for a new job, I have to put myself out there again (I just started this job about 3.5 years ago), and I’m afraid that I may be let go (I worked in the financial sector during the market crash of 2008-2010 and got let go twice since the banks were downsizing).

I feel confident that I can add value in any organization but I have a lingering sense of insecurity due to my being let go twice and I tend to play it cautious and not really being aggressive about over achieving in the job (growing up, I always excelled, not just got along as I have seemed to for the past 8-10 years).

Also, I thought about your advice on the podcast about not leaving a job or relationship until I can be happy where I am. And I do think that if I wanted to, I could settle down where I am and be comfortable for much longer, though not happy.

If I left, it would be to use my skills, make more money and get closer to reaching my ideal job. If I stayed back, it would be to be safe, have a good work life balance, and be able to take all the vacation I’m entitled to (which does not happen in my line of work usually).

My current model
C: Career
T: I’m stuck in my job
F: dejected, resigned
A: Stay in same job, do an average job every day, don’t push myself
R: stuck in job

My new model:
C: career
T: I can find a job that will challenge me, use my skills and pay better
A: look for a new job
R: ? (Not sure I’ll get the job I’m looking for)

But I also struggle with this one, since it’s what I revert to:
C: career
T: If I step out of the safe zone, I may need to work harder and may be let go again (it’s happened twice to me already)
F: fear, indecision
A: Don’t look for a job
R: stuck in current role

Also, we are looking at upgrading our home, so I’m worried about losing my job with a higher mortgage piling on.

Can you advise how to think about this? I know that if I can believe that I can find a new job where I will be successful and get paid well, I can take the massive action necessary. But I’m not sure I can make the leap of faith yet.