How do I know when to leave a good job?
June 1, 2012 7:49 PM Subscribe
I'm a software developer in my early 30s, working in the defense industry. I'm pretty happy with my job, but wondering if I should move on. I would be looking to move to the San Francisco area. My question is, how do I know when to leave a pretty good job?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I know people do this all the time, but I'm pretty risk averse (too much), so I'm having a hard time calibrating my thinking. Also, because the majority of my career has been during this awful economy, I feel squirmy and guilty when I think about leaving a job I've been so grateful to have at all.
Reasons I'm thinking about leaving include:
- I moved to a city where I still know no one. Although I like it here in a lot of ways, I've discovered I don't really enjoy seasons (especially the winter one), and it's not very diverse. I miss my family, who now all live in N. Calif. My parents are getting older, etc, etc.
- I'm afraid I'll get pigeonholed into my industry if I stay much longer.
- I've gotten great experience working on a fascinating piece of software. After many years though, I'd like to try something new. I'd like more breadth, but there's no doubt I have to find it somewhere else.
- It might be nice to work with more people my own age. I'm the youngest (by a lot) in my department and always have been. I'm also the only woman on my team. I know there aren't a lot of women in software, but anyone more than just me would be an improvement.
- There are some bubbling issues in our team that are uncomfortable, and management is aware and not making any of the necessary decisions to stop it. There's definitely a lack of leadership that's making me a bit cynical. I still enjoy going to work, but for the past year there's been an undercurrent of "I need to get out of here before this thing blows!" which dampens my enthusiasm. If I leave before does blow, I can keep my good relationships with the involved parties.
- This is probably silly, but I really would like to be able to throw away (maybe burn?) my slacks and wear jeans to work.
Reasons I'm hesitating:
- I like most of my co-workers. We've been working together for a long time and and we're a lot like family (including being a bit dysfunctional, I guess).
- In spite of the problems within our team, our managers are basically good people and stand up for us.
- We generally have good working hours. We do a 9/80 schedule and crunchtime is not too frequent. We had a bad year once where we were putting in a scary amount of hours for a long time, and it was hard on me. I don't mind if I know there's an end in sight and it won't be constant, but I have this idea that this might be the relentless norm in software and I worry... Trading in a 9/80 for what might end up being a 9/90+ feels like giving up massive amounts of PTO.
- The company produces a product that I am fond of--I like that, even though I'm just support staff to the real engineers.
- Even by awkward geek standards, I don't socialize very well, so I worry about how well I would fit in at a more normal company.
- The pension??
Sorry for the "Anonymous Question" novel. I'd be so grateful for any insight from people who have already been down this road... throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org