Tony Robbins famously wrote:
“Most people never feel secure because they are always worried that they will lose their job, lose the money they already have, lose their spouse, lose their health, and so on. The only true security in life comes from knowing that every single day you are improving yourself in some way, that you are increasing the caliber of who you are and that you are valuable to your company, your friends, and your family.”
This seems counterintuitive. If a person currently has steady employment and financial stability, why would they consider leaving it? As hard as it can be to leave stability behind and jump into the unknown, it may be necessary to your continued growth or the pursuit of your preferred future.
Read the current business and financial news for long enough and you will notice that many experts think job security is a thing of the past, anyway. If you learn to focus on building your personal stability and security–your ability to perform well no matter the circumstances–you may find that your whole life gets richer and more satisfying. And the wrong job may actually hold you back.
How do you know if you are among the millions confusing temporary security and true security? Compare your current situation to one of the five below. If the description fits, it may be time to consider a move.
1. When you think about your daily responsibilities, you see no chance of them changing in the foreseeable future.
If you do the exactly same things every day, those tasks will no longer challenge you. Without new problems and puzzles to solve, your skills will not advance. Your mind will not grow, which means it will slowly atrophy.
2. The more things change, the more the office stays the same.
The people around you, and more important, above you, haven’t changed at all in years. They still sound the same, act the same, and make the same mistakes, even when they know better. Experts and consultants are brought in, but their advice rarely generates sustained action. Promised improvements have long failed to materialize, and proposed innovations don’t make it past the idea stage. How can you expect to find momentum when everyone else around you is comfortable with inertia and mediocrity?
3. The money is your only motivator.
It’s true that many people are content to express their passion via a hobby or extracurricular activity instead of looking for fulfillment at the office. In fact, many assume that jobs and joy simply have nothing in common beyond a first letter. But consider: the average American will spend close to 2000 hours at work per year. In some other countries, that number is even higher. That’s a significant portion of your life to spend wishing you were somewhere else doing something more engaging.
4. When you look at your coworkers and bosses, you see no one with anything to teach you.
Great colleagues and mentors can push you, motivate you, and inspire you. But you have to spend time in their company for their knowledge and abilities to rub off on you. If you are the most interesting, talented, and high performing person in your circle, you’re in the wrong crowd.
5. Everyone around you seems to be jumping ship.
Does it seem like half of the office has turned over in the last year? Are you now one of the longest serving employees, despite the fact that you have only been around three years? Either they see something you don’t (like signs that the company or industry is in trouble), or they are admitting something you won’t (that your workplace is toxic).