Should you stay in your job or should you go?

Should you stay in your job or should you go?

The burning question that lingers after being in a job for a significant amount of time is whether it’s worth staying where you are, or are you better off moving on to another role in a new company? As curious human beings we are increasingly met by richer channels that promise greater experiences and are constantly searching for more ways to contribute and grow.

Let’s explore three pros and cons which don’t relate to money (as the dollar figure can fall into either).

Reason #1: A fast-tracked promotion

The moment you get itchy feet and start looking over the fence for what else is out there, is usually the same time your company wants you to step up and flourish. Have you ever noticed that when one person resigns, there’s usually two, three, or in my experience seven or eight following suit within the same month as the first person? This could be for a multitude of reasons as each individual is motivated by different things, however a large extent has to do with simply wanting something more or something different.

As we know, a resignation is planned in advance and commonly sealed with a new pre-arranged role elsewhere to move on to. A role usually “better” than your current one in some shape or form. When I first started in the design industry, I’d been working full-time for about four years, two of those in the same company. When I started questioning my future in that company, I put myself out there, scored a few interviews and received some solid job offers. Usually, you’d stick it to your current company and say “I’m looking to move into ‘X’ type of role and I’ve received some job offers which would be a springboard to that“. There begins your negotiation for a promotion. That’s what I did and my boss said two things:

1. You’re incredibly valuable, this place wouldn’t be the same without you and we want you to stay.
2. You tell me what you want including what you feel your salary should be.

There it was. I had to stay. They accommodated for all my requests, I felt needed, and I was promoted into a role which allowed me to grow and develop. All within a few weeks from pondering to the official promotion.

Reason #2: The people

Enjoying the company of your colleagues makes a huge influence on your energy and happiness in the work place. Being surrounded by like-minded people who grow to become good friends makes spending 40-50 hours a week at work enjoyable. If you didn’t enjoy being with the people you worked with, you wouldn’t have lasted as long as you have.

It’s not always easy finding a place that fits within your personality, values, and sense of humour. It’s most likely one of the reasons they hired you in the first place. I once received a job offer and the Creative Director said “We were going to offer the job to someone with more experience than you, but we felt his character didn’t fit in with our agency culture. He was very shy, up-tight, timid and conversations were forced. We’re hiring you because you’re passionate, hungry and down to earth”.

If you stay at your company because of the people, remember that you’re further strengthening existing relationships with them. You’re also demonstrating loyalty and the ability to commit long-term.

Reason #3: It’s still rewarding

Deep down you know if you’ve exhausted all that you can do in that company.

Are you still learning? Are you developing new skills? Do you have strong mentors that are guiding you? Are you able to mentor others? Are you contributing in a way where you can see tangible results?

These are the questions that will determine whether you are being fulfilled. If it’s still rewarding for you, that should be more than enough of a reason for you to stay because there’s still plenty for you to contribute to and plenty for you to learn.

Reason #1: The need to be challenged

Let’s face it. We usually move on to another job because we’re bored. We hunger for variety, newness, and seek change. In other words, we want to be challenged. It’s a good time to move on if a new and exciting role on offer allows you to expand your abilities and learn something new. It’s also an opportunity for you to test yourself and what you’ve learnt in your career to date elsewhere.

If what you’re doing has become so monotonous that waking up in the morning with the thought of going to work injects a bitter taste of disinterest as opposed to exhilaration, then your heart and mind is telling you to explore. See what’s out there by first contacting your networks and enjoy this time. It may even lead you to a geographical change or a complete career change altogether!

Reason #2: To meet new people

When I worked at Ogilvy & Mather for a year, I met 350+ professionals. Shortly after O&M, I worked at Wingrove Design for three years and met 12 professionals. No matter where you go, you’ll always increase your network, but that’s just it, you need to “go” in order to do that. I’ve met fellow designers that have been with the same company for 10 years or more. To be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and it takes a certain level of dedication and loyalty to commit for that period of time.

In my experience so far, I’ve just never found myself in that situation. My observation however, after moving on every 2-4 years, is that it has created a rapid growth in my professional network that I would not have achieved if I stayed in one spot for a decade and I’m glad I did. I was exposed to a diverse range of creative thinkers and doers, all with unique strategies and approaches. Collectively, I feel that I’ve been able to accelerate broad learning from what these different people have to offer. It’s important to share ideas and solutions. If the thought of moving on to a new job to meet new people in order to do this prompts inspiration, then go for it. Don’t fight it. You never know what path it may lead to.

Reason #3: A fresh environment

Catching the same train or bus to work, sitting on the same seat and walking the same route can quickly feed the work week dullness. Mixing it up can help, but sometimes you just need a change of scenery altogether and and be inspired by new surroundings. This may not be reason that tops the charts, but it’s one not to be taken lightly.

I mean how can you resist a new company on the top floor of a 40 storey building, thirty minutes door to door (instead of one hour at your current company), the building includes a gym and it’s in the centre of the CBD with 20 cafes within a 1km radius. Often a new company that offers more convenience and an environment that serves a healthy balance of inspiration, creativity, choice and relaxation is all you need to move on.


Whichever you choose, you have do what’s right for you. In moments like these, it’s best to ask yourself, “what decision will I regret the most” and therein lies your answer.

For information on being a designer, read Ram’s internationally industry acclaimed book here:

More reading:

9 things job hunting & dating have in common
15 rules to resigning with grace
What motivates you to succeed in your career?
Cultural fit: How to match your skills and personality to a job


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Award-winning Australian recruitment agency, Firebrand Talent, ignites the careers of digital, marketing, creative, communications, advertising, & media talent. If you are looking for your next career move, check out the jobs we currently have on in Sydney & Melbourne.


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