After months of putting out positive “new-job” vibes into the universe to attract my dream job, two weeks ago I got just that: a new job. It was perfect for me: as the small company’s office manager and first admin, I would have a great deal of autonomy as an employee, the ability to serve as kind of the central “human” hub for the small office, the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. And I would be surrounded by people my age with similar backgrounds.
When I gave my two weeks’, there was no doubt in my mind I was going. But when my current employer countered, the one I have been with for 2.5 years and the one who has taught me the most about taking responsibility for my professional life, I had a conundrum. Stay with a company that’s been good to me, particularly through a trying time, or move on to what seemed to be the perfect job for me?
For millennials, the answer is a no-brainer. Take the dream job! But life isn’t quite that easy. I agonized for a week. I went back and forth – accepting my current boss’ offer, rejecting it and going back to the recruiter with a “yes” for the new job, going back to my current boss and ultimately working something out so that I am staying in my current position, with the agreement that I will stay here at least a year. My pay is significantly higher. So yes, I sold-out.
Having gone back and forth so many times, it was embarrassing telling people the full story, particularly when they (rightly) mentioned – “But I thought you wanted a change?” Yes, I do. But the threat of leaving was enough to open the lines of communication with my current employer so as to alter what I feel like I’m able to accomplish here.
So when is it right to make a job change, particularly when it’s your dream job you’re thinking about? It’s not a cut-and-dry answer.
For me, I need stability. I want to get my health and finances in order, and while my employment situation hasn’t always been ideal in terms of the industry and situation, I have an employer who is kind to me, compensates me in line with my contribution to the company and gives me opportunities to learn as well as work independently. There are still changes I can make to continue to move forward in life, before I hit that dream-job crossroad.
Instead of following our hearts, I think it can be better to follow what will bring us freedom, financial or otherwise. In following the latter, we might find it takes us in the direction of our hearts naturally.
- Are millennials cut out for this job market? (CNN.com)
- Penelope Trunk on “The New American Dream” (Forbes online)