Over the course of my career, I’ve moved on from one organization to another, for various reasons. As I was making the leap, I wondered if I was doing the right thing, making the right choice, etc. And every once in a while, that small voice of doubt crept in. Looking back, with distance in the rearview mirror (literally 2000 miles), I can confidently say that quitting was the best decision in my career. Here's why.
Unfortunately, because I was part of an organization for some time and because of the work I started off doing, others may not have seen (or knew about) everything I was capable of doing. As an example, my role in the organization was primarily focused on learning & development. Skill-based development, leadership training, the learning management system, etc. But my background and expertise are much broader than that, encompassing the entire talent management lifecycle. Moving to a new organization and new role allowed me to craft the narrative in an expanded way. By highlighting my other capabilities, I opened up doors to focus on succession planning, coaching, and assessments - in addition to learning and development.
Perhaps one of the scariest things I’ve done in my career was joining a start-up. Like just pouring the foundation for the building and working out of trailers start-up. There was no direction provided (with the exception of the supplier contracts), some processes to implement from Corporate, and a looming start of production deadline 18 months away. Beyond that, I had a blank slate or in this case a whiteboard. I leaned into what I knew and started unpacking everything else that was unknown. Through this experience, I learned the capabilities needed to build quickly, scale fast, and tailor programming to meet the needs of the audience without changing the required outcome.
One of the great advantages of a greenfield project is that you and a handful of others become closely knit, to accomplish the seemingly insurmountable in a very condensed period of time. Unlike in a larger organization, where it is easy to get lost amongst the crowd, in this environment there is literally no place to hide. I learned how to jumpstart teambuilding and build departments and working relationships super fast. Many of these amazing people are now friends and trusted colleagues. And it didn’t hurt that through the experience I had the opportunity to move to another (warmer) location, with amazing food and unique and fun culture.
If you crave security and stability as I do (most of the time), quitting (even to move to another fantastic opportunity) can be daunting. I invite you to take the journey and see what you learn, who you meet, where you go, and how you craft your own narrative.
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
Kristy is an executive coach and talent management consultant, who is known for helping individuals, teams and organizations unleash their potential, one conversation at a time. What is your Next conversation? Check out Next Conversation Coaching to see how she can help you today.