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Stay or Go?

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

I’ve never forgotten a quote by Carol Bartz, former CEO of Yahoo!, in one of Adam Bryant’s 2009 Corner Office columns in The New York Times. To paraphrase, she said:

Be sure you’re running to something and not from something.

I frequently share this advice with my clients who are fed up with their jobs and contemplating career moves. Too often they have the proverbial rose-colored-glasses or grass-is-greener perspective about new opportunities rather than evaluating them in a rational and systematic way.

So, I ask them: What do you want to be running to? How will you know you’re not running from your current job (or boss or company)? How will you know it’s the right move?

You need to be true to what matters to you. Your values. Your lifestyle. Your career aspirations.

Early in your job search process, you should list—and rate—the factors that matter to you, including intangible aspects of a job such as autonomy, collegiality and prestige. Doing so provides a framework to decide whether to stay or go. I love the systematic, scorecard approach presented in this HBR article.

If you’re thinking about a career move, a coach can help you gain clarity and confidence. Feel free to schedule a free career consultation with me.


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