This week’s anonymous career advice is going to be applicable for many people over the next quarter, with more people returning to offices and continuing working in the hybrid environment, we will see staff of all levels question is it time to leave or complete your role at your current company.
Dear focus, I have been in a director of role for the last three years and a director of for two years before this at another company, although I feel like I have Unfinished business, I’m not sure if it’s time for me to leave and take on my next challenge. Can you help?
You are encountering something that many people will be wrangling with over the next six to nine months.
Regarding your specific question, there are a few layers to unpack.
The job market has shifted a lot over the last 18 months, there are many businesses rehiring, there are many companies growing and expanding headcount, there are others making the calculated risk to hire and mature their teams with more senior hires.
Gone are the days in many markets you stay with a company for over a decade most tenure is under four years, so you have been with this company in a senior role for a good time period.
Service and tenure can work for you and against you, one thing to ensure is ‘have you used up your social capital’ and have you become part of the furniture vs adding real value and being listened to?
Regularly this can be understood by speaking to those around you and those above you, if your influence has declined and you feel like this is hurting your career, it might just be time to explore and get back to high performance and being valued.
Many titles can be misleading, it doesn’t necessarily indicate your influence within the company or the level you operate at externally.
If you are disheartened about the same title or not being able to take a V title or a c-suite title, there might be ways to ask for the timeline when this might be available.
Is promotion an important thing to you? Are titles important to you where you are at? If yes, you need to understand the timeline and understand how you are considered internally, often this is harder to gain feedback on, however speaking to your boss, your colleagues on the same level and HR can help you understand this. Be prepared for tough questions and honest feedback loops.
Know Your Worth?
Something an old boss used to say to me and what Netflix tells their employees, take the meeting or the interview see what you are worth or what might be out there.
An important question to ask yourself is do you doubt yourself or have you lost some confidence in your current role?
If yes, it’s probably time to look at updating your cv/resume and start having conversations with recruiters and headhunters.
If you have been unhappy in this role and need some help I suggest reading the professional injuries blog post to help you break down what is happening and why.
To answer if it is unfinished business or time to leave, you will know in your own mind, you will have a feeling, unfinished business is often a reason why many people stay in their role when they don’t know what they want to do or where they want to go next.
I would really question if you having doubts, you should start proactively making a change, start with LinkedIn, CV and start having conversations, external conversations will help you make the right decision.
Sometimes better the devil you know other times it takes the right step forward to catapult your career onwards and upwards.
I recommend you to use a Risk vs benefits framework you can easily see what risks you have staying and what benefits you might have.
You can then apply the same risk vs benefit analysis for leaving.
Once you complete the analysis you will be in a better place to answer this question for yourself and for your future.
I always recommend writing a professional SWOT when you are at a crossroads. This is likely the time to put yourself first.
Consider introducing interview practice runs into your department as it will help your colleagues and help you prepare for what might be to come.
If you are looking for other advice and tips for virtual interviews read this leaders letter.
My personal experience is, if you feel like you have unfinished business and you can make the changes required, you should map this out in detail and if you have the feeling it is time to leave don’t leave it too late as you will kick yourself and you may feel like your career has gone backwards.
Best of luck with your decision, if you are asking the right question – you are on the right track.