The one question to ask yourself when considering a new job

Last week I was asked to give advice to a family member. They have been having a tough time at work recently and a new job opportunity presented itself at seemingly just the right time.

They had been performing fantastically well in their current role (highest possible performance rating and a good bonus) but also felt they were stagnating.

They were ready for more responsibility, had demonstrated their capability many times over, but they weren't going to get a chance to step up any time soon.

The new role was in the same company but in a completely different team. They were confident they could fulfil the role and had heard the team worked well as a tight cohesive unit.

But it was mostly unknown.

It might be better but it also might be just as bad (or worse) then their current situation. If it was worse then they would have left a position where they were comfortably one of the top performers and have to ensure all the stress of learning the ropes of a new job.

So they asked me for advice.

Before I go furether I want you to think what advice you would give.

What would you tell them to help them make a decision?

What would you do in their situation?

I gave them a few pieces of advice that day but apparently one question I asked stood out above the rest.

Days later that person told me that this one question is what helped them make a decision.

Are you running toward something you want or just away from something you don't want?

It's a pretty simple question but it resonated deeply.

When considering a new job or a career change you need to figure out which motivating force is driving you.

Are you moving toward something you actually want? Are you moving toward a job or career that brings a positive gain to your life? Are you looking for the next step that propels you further along your career journey?

Or are you just running away from something you're not enjoying? Are you just so fed up with your current situation that you decided to move on? Did you have a bad day at work, did some angry job search, and stumbled into some interviews?

The difference in intent here is huge.

Moving toward something is about positive change. It is a conscious decision to move in a direction that is good for you.

Moving away from something is negative change. By focusing on what you are running away from you are not paying attention to where you are going. You're essentially moving in a random direction, taking any job that pops up, and probably ending up in a worse position than you started from.

Always think about which direction you are moving.

It is much better to be moving toward something with positive intent rather than running away from something with negative intent.

Guess what that family member did?

They didn't even apply for the job. They realised that it wasn't a positive step toward anything special for themselves but merely a sideways career move just to get away from a bad (but not too bad) situation.

Over to you now.

Where are you in your career?

Are you running toward something you want or just away from something you don't want?

Have you ever taken a new job you weren't sure of just get away from a crappy job? Did it work out?

Send me an email or hit me up on twitter with your stories.

Zac Sky