Good Reasons to Stay Where You Are

July 19, 2010 at 1:55 am Leave a comment

Now that layoffs have abated and hiring is picking up — at least in some organizations — many workers who had avoided the ax and hung on to their jobs are starting to wonder if they should be looking around. That is a natural instinct and for those who have inherited a lot of work, without an increase in pay, it may be a good time to try to find something more worthy of their talents.

Yet just because others may be looking and leaving, it’s not necessarily time to jump on that bandwagon. Many workers come to regret leaving a good job just because they thought it was “time” to go. If you’re relatively happy in your job and think there may be opportunities ahead with the organization, you may be able to negotiate a raise and may not have to go through the difficulty of a job search and the disruption that any job change will bring.

(Though before discussing the good reasons to think about staying put, I wanted to mention the bad reasons, or those factors that prevent many people from looking for something better, even when they should. These are: fear, stasis, lack of confidence that you’ll find anything better, bullying by your current organization, and generalized worries about the difficulty of conducting a job hunt. Though it’s never fun to search, it’s probably a lot less fun — and a lot more depressing — to remain stuck in a job that does not make good use of your skills and abilities, and for which you are not appropriately valued.)

But if that’s not the case and you like your job at the moment but are wondering whether to look, here are some good reasons to consider staying where you are:

*There’s plenty of opportunity. For many people, their first job in an organization is only a start — a way to get in the door and a stepping stone to future jobs in that company. If you are one of those people and you are being told that there is opportunity ahead for you — or perhaps you have already been promoted a time or two — it may be worth hanging on for another round before you look elsewhere. Even if you change jobs and get a slight increase in salary, you will likely have to spend some time learning the culture and impressing those in power before you’ll get a chance at a promotion or expanded duties. If that appears to be in the offing where you are, you might reduce the amount of time you’ll spend getting ahead if you stay put for now.

*You have an exceptionally good mentor or supervisor. Finding good bosses and those who want to invest in your career is an increasingly rare occurrence these days. If you’ve found one of those people, that may be one of the best reasons to stay where you are. Of course, there’s always a chance they may move on (sometimes when you least expect it) but you can deal with that when it comes up. If you have a trusted mentor at an organization, perhaps you can have a tentative discussion with them about whether you are likely to be promoted there in the near future, and to hint that you’re trying to decide whether to stay or leave. (If this person is your immediate supervisor, that could be a tricky conversation, for obvious reasons, so think carefully about it before doing so.)

*You’re continuing to learn. One of the best reasons to join an organization — and to stay there — is because you are developing skills and gaining knowledge, and are enjoying doing so. If you still have plenty to learn in this subject area, and the organization appears willing to continue to invest in your training and career development, then you should definitely consider sticking around for a while. It’s important to note that by deciding not to look now, you aren’t ruling out a job search a few months or a year or two down the line — if and when the position becomes less interesting. By making a decision that this is a good place to stay for now, you aren’t giving up any rights to change your mind. As organizations have little loyalty to employees these days, workers need to manage and take charge of their own careers — no one else will do that for you any more, if they ever did.

*In somewhat related issue, a Gannett jobs columnist tackles an interesting subject: What to do when you’re approached about a promotion that you may not want? Is it a career-ending move in that organization to say no? Here’s the link:

How to act when a promotion’s not what you want

*And here’s a fresh batch of job and free-lance leads to kick off this work week:

*General Dynamics in Fairfax has an opening for a director of marketing and communications:
Director, Marketing & Communications
General Dynamics – IT – Fairfax, VA
Strong and creative writing and superior editing… and external communication and teambuilding skills. 4. Demonstrated advanced writing and or editing…
From General Dynamics

*The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in D.C. is looking for a legislative advocate — this may be an interesting position for a transitioning journalist with the right background:

DC – Legislative Advocate
Natural Resources Defense Council – Washington, DC
with NRDC programs and communications staff. Other responsibilities include writing NRDC’s bi-weekly… written and oral communications skills. We offer…
From Natural Resources Defense Council

*Small Business Majority, a group representing small-business owners across the country, has an opening for an entry-level to mid-level writer/researcher; the position could be based in its D.C. office:

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/wri/1844490802.html

*An organization in Arlington has an opening for a senior strategic communications specialist:

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/wri/1844141956.html

*A research-focused clean transportation nonprofit in D.C. is seeking an experienced freelance copy editor:

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/wri/1839465328.html

*A D.C. area production company is looking for sports announcers, writers and camera crews to cover high school football in Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties:

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/wri/1834228447.html

*The British Embassy in D.C. is looking for an assistant for its communications team:

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/gov/1842828035.html

*InvestorPlace Media in Rockville has an opening for an assistant managing editor:

InvestorPlace Media is looking for an information junkie with knowledge of the stock market and electronic publishing experience who can help take our website to the next level. As assistant managing editor you must be equal parts proofreader, news hound and site programmer in the quest to provide our readers with timely and actionable investing advice. The ideal candidate will be detail-oriented with writing and editing experience, preferably for a financial publication. Knowledge of digital publishing is a must, including experience with HTML and familiarity with SEO guidelines. A nose for financial news is key, so those who invest with their own money via 401k or brokerage accounts have a leg up. Also important is the ability to objectively measure editorial success with analytics programs that gauge site traffic and email open rates to ensure we are connecting with our readers. To apply, please send your resume and links to any online writing samples to Jeff Reeves at jreeves@investormedia.com.

*And to wrap up today’s leads, here are two interesting free-lance opportunities. The first is for a free-lance business reporter/writer to contribute to ABCNews.com:

ABCNews.com is looking for a freelance business reporter/writer to write and produce stories for the Money section.  Applicants should have a strong background reporting and writing business stories on topics ranging from consumer interest to Wall Street. Please send resumes to Eileen Murphy at Eileen.A.Murphy@abc.com

*And the other free-lance opportunity is for writers for Design Bureau magazine:

Design Bureau magazine is looking for freelance writers to craft interesting, well-written articles on design. DB aims to feature design from diverse disciplines, whether it’s print design, packaging, architecture, interiors, fashion, typography or beyond. Writers will be given a two-week window of time for each assignment. Assignments vary in length between 300 words and 1,000 words. Pay is .16 cents per word.

Experience required: Minimum of one year magazine writing experience and knowledgeable background in some facet of design.

Design Bureau delivers an honest and inspirational global dialogue on design from diverse disciplines and points of view. It gathers people like you—creative professionals, style arbiters and industry leaders—and connects you with a like-minded community of design enthusiasts across the world with one common idea: discovering great design and the people who make it happen.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please e-mail your resume and two writing samples to: Kristin Lamprecht, kristin@wearedesignbureau.com

Happy hunting!

Jodi

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