Tuesday, 12 October 2010

How can you tell when it is time to move on?

One of my happiest days in my recent life was the day that I was accepted for my current job position in London. Staying to work in this city was a goal I had for years. I didn’t want to go back to my home town and work there, use my parent’s connections and influence and practically live with them. I wanted something more. I wanted to be able to make it on my own, find a job that would pay for my bills and rent and create a career based on my abilities alone. Fortunately for me, the timing was good and I managed to leave Greece a few years before the major economic crisis.

That job I found was a graduate role that would allow me to gain some experience in the field. The company is small and the environment very friendly. Three years later and I am still in the same position. I managed to change my role into something a little bit more productive and I also got some pay rises through these years. However, the company is so small that there is no room to properly evolve. If I stay here I will remain in the same position that doesn’t have to offer me anything else and I still will be underpaid. That is why I am thinking of changing jobs and the reason I started my Saturday courses to learn to program in Java.

I know I am doing the right thing and I know all the reasons why I want to change jobs. However, I have to day that I like it where I am at the moment. I’m used to working with these people and I wake up content in the morning having to come to the office. I fear the change and the unknown. I am reluctant to get out there and maybe end up in a role with colleagues I will not like or a stressful role in a big company.

On top of that, I am not sure if I want to relocate. Some IT companies I know have moved outside of London for financial reasons. Some other really nice companies are located outside the UK or even Europe. I think that I am at the age that I should be willing to try working in a foreign country. I wouldn’t like to lose the opportunity. It would be amazing going for work in Japan, the States or Australia. Then, I think of my life here, my friends and most of all ‘JJ’. I don’t know how I could bear to lose him, to tell him that I found my dream job role in the other side of the World and that I’m leaving…

OK, I know that I’m talking completely theoretically and I wasn’t proposed for example a role in Google that would demand me to relocate to the Silicon Valley (yet), but how can you decide between your career and your personal life? When you grow old, what would you regret sacrificing more? You can never tell which job or which relationship is the best for you in the long term…

Anyway, in the meantime I’ll keep on trying to finish that (bloody) course. I only have another class this Saturday and probably two or three weeks of heavy studying to go before I take the exams. I’ll also keep on applying for interesting positions and hope for the best. Fortunately, I still have my safety net of my current job.


  1. "I don’t know how I could bear to lose him..." You start by telling him you have ambitions beyond your current career path that may involve moving away from London. Tell him it's all hypothetical, but the possibility exists. Let him start dealing with it now.

  2. Why would you have to leave him behind? Is there an option that keeps him in the picture? I've been all about career most of my adult life; it is rather overrated. If you have love there is no job in the world that can replace it.

  3. @Cubby That's a nice advice. I already did that yesterday. I mentioned a position I found in Texas. Of course I'm not going to apply for that one, but I wanted the possibility mentioned.

    @Westopher. Unfortunately most IT companies are being relocated outside London. They can't afford to be located in the capital. I am trying to find something in the area, but it's not very likely. I do hope so though. Yes, there must be an option that keeps him in the picture.

  4. But is he willing to move with you? Have you asked? I would (well not to Texas mind, but if Google comes good in California, I'm with you);)


  5. @MadeInscotland That's a tough question. Would I move with him in a similar situation? It depends on where and how...