Loyalty Versus Opportunity

I think I’ve accidentally created a mini series on my blog: Random thoughts from a young professional. I’ve shared a few posts about the questions I’ve been thinking about since starting my career in November. From dressing professionally to the concept of telecommuting, lots of ideas have crossed my mind lately. Today’s post is no exception.

opportunityAs young professionals, all of us should be looking to better ourselves and for ways to advance our careers. Actually, all professionals should be doing that, regardless of the field they are in. That began my thinking about loyalty versus opportunity: You have a certain responsibility to your company but you also should be on the lookout for opportunities that will challenge you and help to advance your career. So what do you do if a great opportunity presents itself but you’re happy with your current position?

First off, let me state for the record that this post is no way reflective of how I feel about my current position. I am very happy at my job and am not looking to leave anytime soon. This post is just about an issue I’ve seen many individuals from entry-level to senior management face.

Unless you absolutely hate your job, you feel a certain sense of loyalty to your company, team andloyalty managers. This is especially true for young professionals who are just starting out. I would imagine it to be very hard to leave your first job, the place that gave your career its start. That being said, it is your career, not your manager’s or your team’s. You have to do what’s best for you and know how to handle the situation appropriately. You give advanced notice, you do not burn any bridges and you remain as transparent as possible. It more than likely won’t be easy, but will absolutely be worth it.

Knowing yourself and what’s best for you can be hard at times. If you like your job, if you feel challenged and can financially support yourself, then why would you ever leave? Only you will be able to answer those questions. In my opinion, these are some other questions to consider:

1. Can I continue to grow within this position? If so, how?

2. Do I look forward to going to work most days? Am I passionate about what I’m doing?

3. Is the work at my current position challenging and helping to better my skills?

I’m no expert but these are just some thoughts I had on the whole ‘should I stay or should I go’ concept. Reach out to your mentors, get their opinions and ask how they’d approach the situation. At the end of the day, the choice is only yours. However, sometimes the push out of your comfort zone is exactly what you need.

How did you approach this situation when changing jobs? Share your thoughts!

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