I was talking with a good friend of mine yesterday, who just made a change from a job she really hated - to one she really loves.
That transition took some time - and we worked through many of the issues. But our conversation got me thinking. One of the biggest issues she was dealing with is a very common one - at every career level, up to C-level.
That issue can seem so obvious that it's easy to overlook.Change is scary.
Even if one is an a position where one feels frustrated, undervalued, overworked, and unappreciated - all the case with my friend - the familiar is, well, familiar.
That's perfectly normal, of course.
But it's also deadly. Because that familiarity - and the concomitant rationalization of a bad situation - can derail your executive career progression - and it can take some time to get your career back on track afterwards.
Because the longer one stays in a job one hates - or even just a job that is unsatisfying - the harder it is build the energy for a job search. One can forget that work can be satisfying - much of the time, anyway - and being undervalued impacts even the healthiest people.
Of course, I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't feel nervous about getting starting on a proactive, strategic job search.
Everyone feels nervous about looking for a new job. And - especially at an executive level - the risks from a misstep are very real, and must be carefully considered before changing positions.
But the risks of remaining in an unsatisfying position are equally real.
Beyond the personal - and often financial - cost, if you can't demonstrate real accomplishments on your resume, then a hiring authority isn't going to see that as the fault of the company - but that you're not a top performer.
A year or two in a job that doesn't let you shine? That can be dealt with. But three years? Five?
That becomes a difficult story to tell.