An Open Advice About Career Decisions*

It’s May 1, and it’s not just the first day of the fair month of May, but it’s also Labor Day.  And because it is so, I’ve decided to post this career – related essay.  *It’s an essay that was forwarded to my sister back in the days when forwarding emails was still “in.”  (Unfortunately, the name of the author was not included in the copy.)  For some reasons, I decided to keep it, feeling that one day it might be relevant to me.  For a time, it was. And now, I find myself reading it all over again.

For those of you who are currently weighing your options concerning your careers, I hope this essay help you in making the right decision.  This piece is part 1 of 2 of my “Labor Day Special.”  I will post the second one soon.

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Several of my staff has approached me lately about their career decisions.  I really appreciate my staff opening up to me.  It is quite reassuring to know that they’re still having second thoughts about leaving.  Here’s part of an email I sent to a “confused” staff.

I have worked for more than 5 companies already so I guess you might be correct in saying I have had considerable experience about leaving and moving on.  I will not stop you nor tell you to stay.  In any career decision, leaving or staying I believe, based from my personal experiences and as an HR personnel, should only be done for the right reasons.

For one, you shouldn’t leave because you don’t like several people in the company nor should you stay because of the friends you have made there.  At the end of the day, it is your life.  Your friends or “enemies” should not make or break you career.  If you let them be the deciding factor, then maybe you should think twice.  You are the craftsman your fate and the captain of your ship.  Captain Hook shouldn’t be one of your worries!

Do not leave nor stay because of the “brand” of your company.  If that was the case, I would have rushed off and sign my “JO” in “C”!  Ask yourself whether you want to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a bigger pond.  Know your priorities.  Only you can answer that.

Do not leave the company because you’re so damn frustrated about the way things are being ran, or stay because you have this “Messianic Complex” that you can change things overnight.  Be realistic about the things.  Learn to accept that there is no perfect company.  Be accepting that change is a slow and painful process at times and be thankful that you realize and act on things that can be changed and improved.  Definitely, do not leave or stay just because your parents want you to.  I know I am advocating obedience to parents but again, we are talking about YOUR career.  But learn to value their wisdom and discern well.

Money isn’t everything.  The package being offered now might be better but look at the long-term prospects.  Do not leave or stay just solely on the compensation package.  Look for growth prospects and review their career plans for you.  Your immediate gains today might actually be a loss a few years from now if you do the Math.

Boredom is another challenge all professionals are faced with during lull periods in their career.  Do not stay either because you want things as they are.  Change is inevitable in any organization.  Talk to your boss.  Ask for more responsibilities or other tasks if you’re bored.  Enroll in a special course.  If you’re satisfied with the status quo and is just waiting for retirement hoping things will stay the same, you’re in for a big disappointment – either you will be forced to change or you will be forced to leave.  Be ready before that time comes.  Boredom or complacency us perennial battle most professionals have to deal with.  Arm yourself with creativity everyday!

Tonight I suggest you rest well.  Sit still and listen to what He is saying.  Pray.  I have always made my career decisions through His guidance. He was and still is my Career Adviser/Talent Manager.  Your work, our work, is a vocation.  He knows us more than we know ourselves so trust Him for whatever plans He has for you.  You can never go wrong.

And remember: Use your head to get to the top.  But use your heart to stay.

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