I have been wanting to finally "climb the ladder". I do not have management experience other than my limited experience as a Sergeant. I have a very comfortable job, I have job security, and I have a very, very flexible schedule, I am on salary. There is potential for growth but nothing immediate, perhaps several years until I can move up to the next step in my current job scale. Should I seek experience at another company in spite of the stability I currently have?
I would like to offer a 3rd option - serve on a nonprofit board. Mid-career, I spent four years as the chairman of the board for a smallish non-profit. I did it because I really believed in their mission. However, I also gained valuable leadership and business experience that was directly applicable to my career.
Thanks for your service! You ask a great question that many people often face - Am I better off staying where I am because I am secure, or do I take a risk into the unknown hoping to find a better opportunity?
I would suggest you look at two possible options while you make your decision.
Option #1 - If you stay, and you said there was a chance for promotion in the future, but nothing in the near future, are there other positions or projects that you could volunteer to be on a team or lead a group to solve an issue or problem as a way of gaining experience and showing your current employer your leadership skills? People that select this route often find opportunities open up sooner because you have demonstrated your willingness to lead before actually getting the position or promotion. Leadership loves to have people on the team that can step up and solve a problem and show they are a team player that is willing to lead if given the chance.
Option #2 - Leave your current employer for the next opportunity. This can be an exciting but stressful leap. If you pick this option, make sure you have really researched the new opportunity to include the culture of the organization you will be joining, gain a good understanding of the new role via the interview process, and ask as many questions as you can about the organization, the position, and opportunity so you can make an informed decision.
Sometimes these decisions just comes down to a gut decision. If you are happy with your current employer, think they are a good fit for you, and can see a future with them, I might explore option #1 first before trying option #2.
Obviously, there are lots of options here, but at the end of the day it is basically, do I stay where I'm at, or do I take a leap - Good luck in your decision.
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