Life’s all about timing, isn’t it? The number of times my friends have expressed regret over leaving the ship they thought was sinking, only to find that the men standing on board received out-of-turn promotions & huge bonuses, is not funny! At the same time, an equal number of them have poured out their sorrow (over a round of drinks at a bar) on the opportunities they did not capitalize on at the right time! So, the moot point is…when do you move on? I spent time on this topic recently, and here’s a compendium of my findings.

executive career pathYou have started whining to others. Why continue in a place just because years have passed by? If it is not giving you the outcome you desired, why stay put? The world is big enough to absorb you and your desires!

Weekends drive your weekdays. The time when the prospect of an outing with a friend or family is the primary driver for you to finish an important task! If the environment does not appeal to you based on its inherent strengths, why continue? 

It is taking a toll on your health. Here is a situation wherein you love your work, you love your firm, you love your co-workers et al. However, without your realizing it, the place is taking so much of a toll on your health that the effort is simply not worth the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Move on…find a place wherein your personal life is respected as much as your professional life is.

You find yourself justifying your position. This is an interesting observation…a blind spot which you are unaware of. If you keep justifying your position to all & sundry, and most importantly to yourself, it is time for deep introspection, and, consequently, action!

You are no longer learning. The world rewards those who are on a steep learning curve. The moment you hit a flat one, you need to take proactive steps to ensure you are not obsolescent. Change of industry perhaps…or at the very least, a change of firm.

Your days are predictable. We all love routines, without realizing that it is excitement which keeps us going. An experiment in Japan demonstrated how a tuna in a tank cohabited by sharks is tastier than a tuna in a tank without one! Ostensibly, the former, being on alert all the time, had higher blood circulation. Put a shark in your tank, as they say!

So, what do you do?

Firstly, listen to your gut. Your gut does not lie, and knows what is good for you. If you feel it strongly enough, take calculated (not blind but not delayed either) action. While most folks warn us not to take decision in a hurry, I have also seen that many of us misinterpret this to take no decision – a safe bet but which gets us nowhere! Just remember that you miss 100% of the shots that you do not take…so, take a decision.

You are more capable than you think. All of us are guilty of underutilizing our potential. No matter what our past record, we can always decide to change it for the better in a jiffy, and with strong action backed by conviction, engineer a turning point in our lives!

You are being constantly headhunted – a sure sign that you are cut out of bigger roles. So, take the plunge!

Just a word of parting advice. Always conduct research on aspects which are not quantified – culture, work environment, personal time-off et al. It is not just the money.


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