Spring typically marks rebirth and renewal. New Year’s resolutions are either in full swing or are long abandoned, and bonuses from the previous year have been paid out. It’s a time where many of us are feeling re-energized, and we’re feeling our oats. Sometimes, this can cause us to re-evaluate our jobs.
If we’ve built a good reputation for ourselves, or we happen to work at a hot company gaining a lot of attention, we become the target of many recruiters looking to steal talent away for the “next great thing”. These calls can come with promises of bigger titles, more money, and a faster career trajectory. It’s hard not to have our egos fed a little with this much attention. Career aspirations and progression is a normal, healthy thing. However, before you fall prey to believing the “grass is greener” at a new opportunity, stop and consider the following.
HOW GREEN IS YOUR CURRENT GRASS?
We are human. It’s crazy for us not to consider what the grass looks like on the other side of the fence. Maybe our current lawn is fine, but if we pick our heads up to explore a new lawn, we might start noticing crabgrass or bare spots on our turf that we hadn’t seen before. The question is, what is causing you to pick up that phone call in the first place? Has the perception of your current situation changed because you aren’t feeling the love from your current company, indicating perhaps it is time to contemplate a change? Or maybe everything is going well, and your needs are being met, but the promise of something new and different is giving you pause.
Are you considering a change? Take a moment to consider the following to determine if the grass is truly greener somewhere else.
Every lawn has some imperfections - Even the most celebrated golf courses have problem areas. The important factor is to recognize if the grounds crew actively tends to it. In other words, no company is perfect. However, if your organization and leadership actively acknowledge the challenge areas and move quickly to address them, the company is likely quite healthy.
Every lawn needs to be maintained - Keeping a green lawn takes a whole lot of effort. A company needs to be financially and organizationally healthy, but we play a role in this process as well. We each need to take accountability to stay intellectually curious, to make an impact, and to be an additive cultural citizen. Sometimes, it’s easier to walk away and take on the next best thing (e.g. “Hey, they are offering me a bigger role! I don’t have to do the work at my current company to get there!”). Be wary, however. Do the work and ask the questions to understand why you currently are where you are at work, and make the necessary tweaks to ensure you are on the trajectory you want to be on. In some cases, you and your current company may be misaligned, and looking elsewhere might be completely warranted. In other cases, however, when a new role looks like a quick win somewhere else, proceed with caution. Often times, when something seems a too good to be true, it probably is.
Every lawn is as green as you make it - We are all in control of our own destiny. If you have worked hard to maintain your current lawn in your organization and just don’t feel like you are reaping the benefits, perhaps it is time to go. However, take a good hard look at what’s involved in changing yards. Don’t be swayed by the perception of greener grass; understand what’s involved in the maintenance, what your role will be in keeping it green, etc. You just might find your current situation can be made even better with a few changes in approach.
No company expects you to stay there for your entire career, but the good ones will work hard to aid you in creating a great experience that will keep you growing, learning and thriving for a sustained period of time. Before you decide to hop the fence onto what appears to be a more lush, green lawn, take the time to really understand if it is truly better... or if your lawn, even with a few random dandelions, is pretty terrific.