In this episode I’m going to push you a little to make your next engineering move. Because, even though it might not feel like it, you’re ready now.
I’m guessing that – whatever your job is right now – you have some idea of what your next job will be.
Pretty much as soon as you settle into a job, you start coming up with ideas for your next step. Then, when the time is right, you take that next step. You make the move to capture that next opportunity.
And in a nutshell that’s how you keep moving forward in your engineering career.
But the problem is it’s not easy to recognize when the time is right. And because moving to a new job is scary, what happens is all these excuses magically appear as valid reasons for holding back. For waiting until it feels comfortable. Until you’re sure you can do it.
In fact I know many of you are right now holding back from your next opportunity. Maybe it’s a promotion, a new job experience, a special project, a broadening assignment, whatever. Some of you are holding back from your next opportunity.
So here’s the deal: You’re ready now. Make the move. It’ll never feel comfortable and you’ll never be totally sure you can do it. So don’t wait for that.
Make a move now.
Excuses that Hold You Back from Your Next Engineering Move
I know…I know the feeling of hesitation, of fear. The scarcity mindset creeps in. I know all the excuses.
You’re probably telling yourself: I need to meet more of the job requirements first. I want to be able to do as good a job as the previous person did.
Or maybe you’re thinking: There’s so much more I can learn here before I move on. Besides it’ll be hard to fill my position. I don’t want to leave my team in the lurch.
Then there’s the ol’ standby: As soon as fill-in-the-blank, I’ll be ready.
As soon as I take this training, I’ll be ready. As soon as we wrap up this project, I’ll be ready. As soon as my kids get older… As soon as this product is launched… As soon as we finish our office moves… I’ll be ready.
Or maybe you’re just waiting for someone to ask you to apply.
There’re so many good excuses!
The truth is if this is an opportunity for you to grow and to be where you want to make an impact, then you’re ready. You don’t need to know everything about the job before you take it. Just the opposite: you need room to grow into it.
You’re not expected to do a job just like your predecessor did. In fact, you should be authentic you and apply your own skills and talents. Put your own spin on it.
You don’t have to “finish out” your current job before you move on from it. And it’s not your responsibility to make sure the position you leave gets filled.
Don’t wait for all those “as soon as” events to happen. You’ll miss your optimal window. And you’ll regret putting this delay into your career.
And you might wait forever for someone to ask you to apply for the job. Especially if they don’t even know you’re interested.
Make a bold move and go for it. Showcase your skills and talents to the hiring manager and let them decide. You have nothing to lose.
I actually (unfortunately) could give you multiple examples of when I held myself back from opportunities.
In one case in particular I was wrapping up a program I had managed for 3 or 4 years. I felt that I had to be the one to close it out. But this wasn’t true. And it caused me to miss opportunity windows. By the time I thought I was “ready,” those windows had closed.
I neglected to look ahead and let people know what I was interested in. But I was naïve. And I was too attached to the work I was doing at the time.
Looking back, I should have focused more on new opportunities and less on finishing out the program I was working on.
Why You Should Move to Your Next Engineering Job Now
Why should you make a move now? I’ll give you 6 solid reasons:
- To build your confidence.
Because remember you don’t build confidence and then make a move. Making a move builds confidence. (You’ve heard me say this before.)
- To send a message that you’re up to the challenge and willing to stretch into new roles.
- To keep your career momentum. Maybe even speed up your career progress.
- To challenge yourself and increase your risk tolerance.
- To meet new people. Learn new skills. And get more exposure.
- To keep you from falling short of your career vision.
…And this is just a starter list.
Turn your excuses around and give yourself the chance at a new career milestone. Stop holding back and make a move. It won’t be as difficult as you’re thinking it’ll be. Make a move now. And you won’t regret it.
Next time on Her Engineering Career Podcast I’ll have some insights for you on interviewing for that new job. I hope you’ll join me for Episode 58.