A client of mine has been offered a position with a company that would nearly triple his already six figure income. And on the surface, who wouldn’t want that? It’s a LOT of money. The problem is, he’d have to move to a city he doesn’t want to live in, doing work that he doesn’t truly love, for a company he has very little respect for. It forced us to evaluate a career opportunity in a slightly different way.
What would you do?
A lot of people seem to say ‘yes’ to any and every promotion, no matter what it means and without serious consideration. And when it’s accompanied by a significant raise it’s near impossible to say no. But is that really the best thing for you? What if you’re thriving right now because of your current environment? What if the greener grass you see is plastic, and while your current job may be a bit old or rote, are you willing to give up what would be necessary to give up in order to take the new opportunity? Will the change in environment really help you succeed — or will it pull you back? Will it get you where you want to go long term? Will you like who you will become in that new role and/or company?
If you were to write the script for a perfect job that defined every aspect; work environment, purpose, personal impact, impact on the world, co-workers, flexibility, pay, benefits, personal life, stress levels, challenge, respect, opportunity for growth, and so forth, how does this new position really measure up? If it only checks the box of money, is the loss of the other goals worth it? Maybe. Remember Robert Redford’s key point in the movie Indecent Proposal: Everyone has a number. For the right price, all of us supposedly would do things we promised we would never do. Remembering that every yes is a no to something else, what is the price you will pay saying yes?
It really comes down to this: why do you want this job? And will it truly serve you? Look at the bigger picture, not just in terms of are you qualified, but, will you thrive in this opportunity?
The difference between where you are and where you want to be might be achievable in 10 other ways. There might be options that are far better than this promotion, which often looks on the surface like the answer, when in fact it’s not.
Whether you’re leading yourself or someone on your team, work to uncover what is really wanted and if you/they are willing to pay the price required. That’s how you’ll bring true wisdom to decisions like a promotion or new job. Do a gut check. It generally knows our truth.