New Job, New Industry, Leaving Friends: Is It Worth It?

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Best Question of the Month

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Congratulations, JERRY!! Our WorkingWisdom™ Staff has chosen your question as “Best Question of the Month.” Simply email us your local mailing address, and we’ll send you a free gift: an autographed copy of Mr. Sklover’s book, “Sklover’s Guide to Job Security.” Each month, our Staff chooses a Winner, and each month we send out a copy of one of Mr. Sklover’s books. We hope you’ll come back soon and submit more questions, more comments, and become a member of our WorkingWisdom™ “family.”

Question: I have worked for a financial services company for 15 years , and received an offer to work at a pharmaceutical company. The compensation is the same. However at the new firm, most of my compensation will be my base salary, versus a considerable year-end bonus at my present job. The new position seems to offer growth and a new challenge, while I feel I have reached a plateau in my current position.

I am concerned about leaving the relationships, friendships and the long length of service I have with the financial services firm. How important is long term tenure versus starting fresh? I am in my mid-forties.

Jerry, Newton, PA

Answer: A great question. One of the best. Best thing about your question is that it doesn’t have one simple answer. The question you have presented is this: “How important is long term tenure versus starting fresh?” The natural follow-up question is this: “Important to WHAT?” That’s what you need to ask yourself:

If, most of all, you are seeking work that will keep you interested, excited, passionate, growing, young, alert and perhaps healthy, you should seek out new positions, opportunities and challenges that offer something different and challenging. On the other hand, if most of all, you are seeking work that will keep you comfortable, among friends, happy, perhaps a bit bored, and perhaps a bit unchallenged, stay put; don’t make a move.

It’s a matter of what you are seeking most of all. Like I wrote, “Important to WHAT?” That is, what is most important to you?

A new job in a new industry offers new things to learn, and new ways to find out what you like to do most. A new job also affords you an opportunity to develop new friendships, and new relationships. And don’t forget: moving jobs doesn’t necessarily mean giving up old friendships.

Making a transition from one job to another, and one industry to another, is both frightening, and exciting, at the same time. It’s both intimidating, and exhilarating, at the same time. You have to consider what’s important to you, and the answer of what to do will come to you.

Of course, you should look before you leap: speak with others who have made the transition you’re considering, or one like it. Speak with your spouse or partner. Most of all, “talk with yourself” about what’s important to you. Look before you leap, but don’t be afraid to take a good leap. It’s a common adage that “In the end, you’ll regret more things you didn’t try, than the things you did try.” Being in your mid-forties, if you don’t try now, or soon, chances are you never will.

Your question is a great one, and one that many people think about, but few actually consider seriously. Hope this helped focus your thoughts a bit.

Best, Al Sklover

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