What’s on your mind as you head off for work each day? How does the thought of how you will be spending the next eight or so hours make you feel? Are you excited, or do you experience a low-level dread in the pit of your stomach? Worse yet, has this feeling been a regular feature of your daily routine for months?

If so, you have a decision to make. Should you stay in an inherently unsatisfying position, or should you look for a new job? The issue is whether to stay or go in 2020.

Some things to think about if you are leaning toward staying:

  • Do you like your boss? If the answer is yes, then don’t be surprised if this is the biggest reason you want to stay.
  • Are there aspects of the job that can be improved? Like how likely is it that your role can be changed to make the situation more ideal?
  • If money is an issue, how likely are you get promoted, and is the salary increase significant?
  • Are your friends at work likely to stay for another year, or are do they have plans to move on?
  • Is the work you expect to do next year as meaningful as it was when you accepted the assignment?
  • Is your area of the organization going to achieve increased visibility, or are you more likely to become marginalized?

So, if you think through the questions about staying and find the problems are unlikely to change, then it is probably wise to think about transitioning into a new assignment. If you are willing to do the hard work of organizing yourself to transition successfully in January or February, you could be in a much better job by next Spring.

Some things to think about if you decide to transition into a new job:

  • Do you know what you want to contribute your training and experience toward? Is there a problem area in the world that you care about improving?
  • Does your new interest strike you as being a meaningful contribution? Is this the sort of difference that you want to make next year?
  • What is your ideal job? What situations motivate you to be at your best naturally? Do you like being a pioneer, or do you prefer to contribute after the original groundwork is in place?
  • How important is money now? Are there other aspects of a potential job that are more important, like your role or what duties you routinely perform from 9 to 5?
  • Do you know what you are looking for well enough so your friends and colleagues can point you in the right direction? In other words, do you have a concise elevator speech? It could start with, “I want to use my experience in XXX to contribute to solving/improving YYY.”

Try to describe five examples of accomplishments that mattered to you and demonstrate the contribution you are likely to make in your new assignment. Your favorite of those examples then becomes your answer to the question, “tell me a little about yourself”?

  • Can you identify 3-5 people who know a little more about your new field of interest than you do now that you can interview?

Don’t be afraid to start thinking about a new assignment and talking to people who are already doing what interests you now. If nothing more exciting turns up than what you are already doing, you can always stay. If you have decided that 2020 is your year to move, then contact me for a free hour to consult on how to get started.


Peter Sherer is a nationally recognized career coach who offers clarity and confidence to mid-career and senior executives in transition. His rigorous assessment tools enable his clients to identify a meaningful assignment that uses all of their skills and experience in just two short days. Learn more and get in touch with Peter today.