Career Advice Tuesday – “Resisting Temptation”
April 10, 2012
About a year ago I changed information security positions and left the world of internal information security to become an information security consultant. The year could have not gone any better. I really enjoy my position, the people I work with, and the company that I work for.
The consulting position has been “as advertised”. I have built skills, acquired certifications, and have increased my compensation based on the achievement of utilization targets. The travel has been manageable and in line with expectations.
That being said, I actively monitor the job boards and I have been seeing some very interesting opportunities that I believe I am qualified for. The companies that interest me, range from large banks, to progressive high tech companies, and the opportunities sound appealing.
One part of me would like to investigate these opportunities in earnest, while another part of me believes I should stay put, and continue developing my skills in my current environment.
Do you have any advice?
The best advice that I often give people is to remain in their current position, and this is the advice that I am going to share with you.
First of all, you seem to enjoy your position. Your employer has provided you with an environment that has helped you grow your skills, gain exposure to different problems, and compensated you fairly. In addition, they have delivered on the things that they had promised you – certifications, managed travel, incentive bonuses. Considering these factors, I cannot see why you would want to leave a role like this, no matter how appealing the postings are on the internet.
Secondly, you have only been in your role for a year’s time, and quite frankly that is not enough time to maximize the benefits of the opportunity. Now that you have been at your employer for a year, you are more likely to be trusted with bigger projects, more interesting clients, and better leadership opportunities. Leaving your position now, before you give yourself the opportunity to extract this potential is unfair to you and your career (and your employer).
I also think that after being at a job for only a year, (and leaving it) you provide employers with the opportunity to question your loyalty, decision making, and conviction.
Understand that it is natural to be curious, and these roles may be hard to resist. My advice is to give your current position at least another six months – and benchmark your progress and development. If you still feel the same way, and your are interested in looking outside, select one or two opportunities (not more) and pursue them in earnest. See what the outcome is, and then benchmark them against the trajectory of your current role.
That should enable you to better determine if you should remain with your employer or move to a new one. Be careful, because if you decide to move, you should expect to remain at the new employer for at least a period of 2.5 to 3 years –as you do not want to be labeled as a “job hopper”.
If you follow this advice, you can remain in the garden!
Hope this helps,