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Last Issue's Dilemma:
Should I stay or should I go?
I've been at my current company for eight years, and during that time, I've done a variety of jobs within marketing. Times are tough internally and externally, so I'm struggling with the question, "Do I move on?" What advice can you offer on making the move?
-- Name Withheld, Senior Marketing Manager
Maybe you should do both
There was a time when, if you were dissatisfied with your job, you'd just start sending out the resumés, and you'd get some interviews within weeks, maybe a month. But those days are gone, at least for now.
Most people who have jobs are holding onto them. And when someone does quit, the company leaves the position vacant. So, opportunities are limited. But does that mean you have to stay where you are, despite your uncertainties?
Our readers vary in their opinions. They suggest you:
- Figure out why you want to leave.
- Find ways to enjoy what you do.
- Begin a cautious search.
Figure out why you want to leave
After you've been at a job for a certain length of time, you may start getting itchy feet, especially if, as you say, "Times are tough." But does this justify jumping ship?
A tradeshow director weighs in on this question.
"Your tenure shouldn't be the basis for this type of decision. Instead, conduct a self-evaluation. Are you still challenged by your responsibilities? Do you enjoy your work and your workplace? Are you complacent? Have you stopped growing, not necessarily in job title but also in what your work brings to the bottom line?
"The job market is tough. I wouldn't recommend leaving a job unless you have another one lined up."
Find ways to enjoy what you do
An old song says, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." Or, in your case, if landing a new job right now may be difficult, perhaps you should make a conscious effort to love where you are -- for the time being.
A tradeshow consultant puts it this way:
"You've been at your job a pretty long time, so maybe the real problem is you're bored or feeling underappreciated. Focus on the things you like about your position -- the managerial aspects, the travel, the people you work with, etc. Psych yourself up by concentrating on the positives.
"When the job market loosens up, you can start looking elsewhere. Or who knows? Maybe you'll decide you're actually happy where you already are!"
Begin a cautious search
Although the employment landscape may seem bleak, jobs are still available out there, and there's no reason you can't start search your now. But be sure not to tip your hand at work.
Karen Coy, marketing associate at Dice, explains how you should proceed.
"If you're happy with your present position and employer, stay there. If not, hang onto your job, but start searching for a new position. Companies are starting to hire again, so jobs are out there. Put an anonymous or passive resumé on a couple career Web sites, and see what happens. It doesn't hurt to keep your options open to a new opportunity."
Anonymous reader, you're not the first person to think about going to "greener pastures." But don't jump headlong into a decision to leave your current job. Instead, ask yourself why you honestly want to move on, and make the most of where you are now. If after trying these options, you still want to start a job search, do so quietly and cautiously. You don't want to risk the job you already have.