Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

 2 Jan 2020

Whether to take the plunge and leave a firm, especially one you have become comfortable with over the course of a few years is sometimes a difficult decision to make and often becomes more so at the point of resignation when your existing employer muddies the water and comes up with a counter- offer. 


Wish list 

Before starting your search, it is a good idea to produce a wish list. Put everything on it from work aspirations to practical issues eg more management responsibility, more complex work, more access to clients, a promotion, a better salary, more flexible working, reduced commute etc. Be brutally honest with yourself and put everything down that is important to you, you don’t have to share this list with anyone. The mere act of writing everything down and putting it in order of importance can be a useful exercise. Leaving aside the ‘comfort factor’ and the ties you will inevitably feel to colleagues, are your reasons for looking sufficient to warrant a move?


If so, is your wish list achievable at your current firm? There is no point at all in going through the process of interviewing only to be offered what you were looking for at your own firm when you resign. 


Nothing to lose 

Take the plunge and ask if the things you want are possible where you are – assuming you generally enjoy working there! 


Don’t ask in a confrontational way and be tactical, ask for the most important. “ I’ll be leaving if you don’t give me xyz…” is probably not a good starting point for negotiations, but you have nothing to lose by asking whether your boss thinks you are ready for more technically challenging work or by making the case for a more flexible way of working, for example. 


What do I do now? 

If the answer is ‘no’, don’t immediately pick up the phone to your recruiter, but consider the response.


If your boss has said ‘no’ and it is in relation to the type of work, have they been constructive e.g. “we think you are working well but would benefit from an extra 6 months of this sort of experience first…”  In other words, does their response have merit and show they are taking your career seriously? If so, it may well be worth seeing how things progress over the next couple of months. You will soon be able to see if they are taking the steps they suggested. If nothing has happened, you can revert to plan A and start interviewing elsewhere.


If your own company then makes a counter- offer when you resign, knowing that they have failed to make good on their earlier promises is likely to make your decision easier. 


And finally, … 

Remember, getting other offers doesn’t mean you have to accept if you’re not sure you have found the right one for you. Saying ‘yes’ to a new role will always involve a leap of faith but do keep going until you have found one that ticks the most important boxes.



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