Sometimes I feel like Richard Kimble in the Fugitive, one of the greatest television series of all time, when it comes to career pursuits. I am constantly running to stay ahead of layoffs, organizational changes, pissed off managers and frenemies in the workplace.
I used to be able to find refuge within companies looking for opportunities to move to a different department and learn something new, but these days change comes swiftly and sweepingly with limited chances to stay the course and ride out the storm. That usually means that sometimes I have to exit stage left. Knowing how to time a departure is a little bit science and a little bit art.
Don’t always assume that you have to exit down versus up, a mistake I made a couple of times in my career. When we feel vulnerable and are seeking a change we can sometimes settle for whatever options are immediately in front of us without looking on the horizon. This becomes especially important if the angst you feel is more political than performance based. Leverage your skills and shoot for the stars. Know who you are and what your limits might be when it comes to making a change.
Don’t make a play for a new job without looking to see what the job after that particular one might look like. If you are quitting the boss and not the job, reconsider that move. It might be worth it to stay the course and spend some time feeling out internal opportunities while charting a path of least resistance in carrying out day to day tasks. In the end, Kimble was exonerated and did not have to run anymore. So get moving and I hope you chart a path that gets you to where you need to be in your career.