How to decide between taking a new job & “growing where you’re planted”

Chris Dalton

Chris is the founder of Empowered Achievers, a development junkie, and an unwavering believer that work doesn’t need to be painful. She come from the corporate advertising world, so she know a thing or two about the pressure of a 9 to 5 (or 6, or 7). She started Empowered Achievers in order to help women to develop their perfectly designed career “puzzle piece” to fit into a fulfilling life. When she’s not working, you can find her enjoying the trails in the Rocky Mountains.

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If you’ve ever been a gardener (or at least gotten in on the Millennial houseplant trend), you know a thing or two about putting down roots. It’s easy enough to re-pot something, but it takes a while to get the roots re-established.

It’s always easier to grow where you’re planted. Same can be said in your career.

Millennials get a bad rap for hopping around a lot. I know I’ve definitely had to explain to my family before why leaving a role was the right thing to do. Especially considering that most of us have parents who have been in their same companies for several decades, it can be hard to explain. That said, a lot about the industry has changed too.

When your career fulfillment comes into question, it can be appealing to jump ship and take the next best thing. Hell, I’ve certainly done it before. All that said, though, it’s always easier to grow where you’re planted. This latest article in career fulfillment series is about just that.

Growing at the role we are in is beneficial in a number of ways. 

We already know the business, it shows longevity and loyalty in any future job searches, and most importantly, the company already believes in us! Speaking from personal experience, it’s a whole lot easier to take on new responsibilities from a group of people who already trust you.

I started out my career in advertising, and after my big break, I was hired as the Mobile Media Planner at an amazing advertising agency on a huge tech client that you’ve probably heard of. It was a great client. I was able to run innovative campaigns, and it sounded really good to brag about to those around me. I had some lingering questions about my career fulfillment and whether advertising was really the right fit for me, but I could normally go out to a nice dinner and quiet my inner doubts. Eventually, though, I started training our another team on how to run our campaigns. From that point on, everything changed. I fell in love with training and became totally obsessed. I loved getting in front of a classroom and being able to see the “a-ha moment” in the eyes of attendees. It was amazing.

I knew I needed more of the training and culture work I had started doing within the company, and so I asked. Lucky for me, I had amazing managers who were more focused on my career satisfaction and staying in the company than the fact that I wanted to change teams. I began helping out the Learning and Development team within the agency while they worked to get me officially on some of that team’s payroll. Then eventually, the company was able to put me on that team full time. Within a year, I looked up and everything about my role within the company had changed and all because I asked. The company already had established their trust in me, so it was way easier for them to buy-in to my team change. They knew I could handle it. That is how you grow where you’re planted.

There are certain things to keep in mind if you think this might be the right path for you:

1. First of all, you need to get clear on what you want. You can start by getting some career clarity. Start thinking of what you want as a whole, not just in your career. What is it that I get the most joy from? You can distill a lot from that.

2. If you feel like the role you’re in isn’t aligned with the work you want to be doing, consider if there could be a way to get that need filled in your current company. Could you take on other projects and join another team to fulfill those needs?

3. If the answer above is yes, then ASK! Ask your manager if you can take on the new project. Ask the manager of the team you want to join whether you can help out.

4. If there isn’t a way to align your job at the current company, then you should consider finding a new job.

I work with women all the time to help hone in on transferrable skills so they can shift their focus. Remember, sometimes it’s hard not to think in black and white when it comes to our careers. While it may be appealing to think that stay or go are our only options, sometimes there can be ways to make it work. Try to make it work first, because it’s always easier to grow where you’re planted.

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