I wanted to share a pivotal moment from my early career that shaped my approach to decision-making and led me down a terrific career path. As we’ve all been hearing discussions about job hopping and career shifts lately, I thought my experience might resonate with some of you.
About two decades ago, I had a fantastic job at Washington University. The role was fulfilling, the team was amazing, and I was learning a ton. Not to mention the tantalizing perks of free education for myself or my potential future kids. At that time, though, thoughts of family and such were far from my mind. What did matter were the incredible work-life balance and the satisfaction of collaborating with a top-notch admin team.
On the side, I was teaching myself the ropes of developing Lotus Notes applications. It started to as an effort to streamline processes but soon turned into a golden ticket. A recruiter came knocking with an offer from US Bank(actually it was Mercantile, then Firstar, then US Bank – all of which occurred during my tenure there). As would happen more than once in my career, I was faced with a choice – I had just been offered the opportunity to move into a full-time development role at Wash U., and suddenly, I was at a crossroads.
Wash U – Pros:
- Established track record
- Promotion to a development role
- Comfortable, low-stress environment
- Potential long-term benefits
US Bank – Pros:
- Doubled salary overnight
- Opportunity to work on multiple applications
- Adventure into the unknown
Creating a pros/cons spreadsheet helped me visualize the situation. It was a tug-of-war between the familiar and the allure of a challenging new avenue. I was in a relationship, building a home, and the extra income could be a game-changer. But more than just the money, diving headfirst into application development excited and terrified me in equal measure.
In the end, I took the leap.
Do I have regrets? Not really. I miss the Wash U camaraderie and the relaxed vibe, but the doors that opened after that decision made it worthwhile.
What’s the takeaway? While it’s great to hear opinions and advice about job changes, remember, you’re steering your own ship. The moment you decide to move on, your role can be advertised, interviews scheduled – life goes on. It’s natural to feel loyalty, especially when you love your workplace, but in the grand scheme, it’s a professional commitment.
I hope my story offers some insight or at least a good read. Each of us is on a unique career journey, and while advice is valuable, the captain’s seat is yours to command.
Cheers to embracing change and making leaps!
#CareerMoves #DecisionMaking #CareerJourney
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