When you’re unhappy in your executive job, it’s tempting to jump ship altogether. You fantasize about leaving behind the frustration and dissatisfaction of your current executive role and starting a new job in a company where you’ll get more respect, earn more money and better utilize your skills. You feel trapped – a new company is your only escape route.
But is this true? Do you really need to leave to find the fulfillment and financial rewards you seek? Not necessarily. Many unhappy executives make an emotional decision to leave their companies without fully exploring their options.
Before you leave your current company, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is my executive leadership team aware of my short and long-term career goals?
It’s easy to assume that your leadership team knows your specific executive career aspirations. But if you haven’t explicitly shared your career goals with them, they can’t support you in achieving them. Before you conclude that your executive leadership team is holding you back, engage them to strategically communicate your vision and ask for their help.
2. Have I fully explored opportunities for advancement within my current organization?
You may have reached the end of the road in your current department, but there may be higher-level executive career opportunities in related functional groups. If you’re ready for a new challenge and eager to take your executive career to the next level, you’ll have an easier time selling yourself to leaders who already know you. This is particularly true if you’re interested in trying something new.
3. Is it impossible to re-negotiate the terms of my current executive role to include what I’m missing (more challenging responsibilities, increased compensation, greater work/life balance)?
You’re unhappy and frustrated in your current executive role because you’re not getting what you need – challenging work, enough money, etc. Most executives assume they need to go elsewhere to meet their needs, but if you communicate this to your manager, there may be an opportunity for negotiation. Particularly if you’re a strong asset to the team, your executive leadership team may be willing to make some changes to prevent you from leaving.
Sometimes the best option truly is to leave your current job and pursue an external executive career opportunity. But before you do so, be sure to do your due diligence. If you’re generally satisfied with your company, walking away without fully exploring your options would be a missed opportunity. And, hey, if you’re leaving anyway, what have you got to lose?
Unsure how to fully explore your executive career options internally? Let me help! Ask your questions in the comments section and I’ll reply.