You Only Get to Quit Your Job at Google Once. Is Now the Time?

April 9, 2019

Use this framework to weigh your options and take chance out of the equation

By the time an average engineer at a company like Google or Facebook says yes to a new job opportunity, they will have said no to — or rather, ignored — thousands of LinkedIn invitations from companies eager to hire them. That is, if they haven’t gotten so overwhelmed by all the messages from recruiters that they deleted their LinkedIn profile.

There are countless benefits that make it easy to stay the course once you’ve landed that ‘dream job.’

But if the idea of leaving behind your comfortable role at a well-respected, money-making, top tech company is beginning to sound appealing, what do you do?

You could start by reading some of the many articles and forum posts from ex-Googlers explaining why they quit. You could chat with former colleagues who left for startup life about their experience. Or you could look at how long employees stay at top tech companies on average.

But the trouble is, that’s them… this is you. While they may be helpful reference points, each of these approaches is centered around other people’s experiences, and who’s to say those are actually going to align with yours at this particular moment?

It just leaves too much to chance, and you’ve only got one opportunity to quit this gig.

When to Quit: A Decision-Making Framework

Making a major career move that involves leaving behind work-life balance, high pay and all the free food you want can be as much an emotional decision as it is a strategic decision. That’s not a bad thing.

How you feel about your job is important; whether it enables you to fulfill your financial or personal goals and commitments is important too.

The decision isn’t always obvious, but the framework below will help you work through key factors in your life that can lead you to clear ‘yes or no’ answer on whether now is the time to make the leap.

Tenure

1-5 years: How steep is your learning curve? If you’re still being challenged, how valuable are the mentoring and learning opportunities you get from working with some of the world’s top technical talent?

5-10 years: Are you challenged by and interested in the work that you’re doing in your current role? Are you motivated to do what it takes to move up to the next level within your company? How does your job impact your goals for the future, personal and professional?

10+ years: What obligations do you have in your life that would be impacted by your decision to quit? Do you have mortgage or other payments that would be difficult to afford on a lower salary? Will you have to sacrifice social or family commitments?

Risk-Taking

How much risk are you comfortable taking on? Consider your personality; are you more driven by the potential of a bigger upside, or by the likelihood of avoiding a negative outcome? On a practical level, are you in a position to take on risks, financial or otherwise?

Passion

What impact does your work make? Are you currently working on something you’re truly passionate about? If not, how important is it to be emotionally or intellectually stimulated by the project you’re working on?

Cultural Fit

How valuable is your relationship with your manager? How would you describe your relationship with your current team and with your colleagues in general? Is it important to you to feel a strong cultural fit with your company?

Ambitions

Where do you want be in the next five or ten years? How does your current job contribute to these goals? In what ways would you anticipate a change in employment might impact your goals, positively or negatively?

Instinct

What is your gut telling you about your current job? Are you more frustrated or rewarded? Do you really want to leave, or is this a “grass is always greener” situation? In the past week, how many times did you think about quitting?

Once you’ve given some thought to these factors, ask yourself again, is now the time? If you find yourself wondering what your next move should be, you have plenty of options to consider. The first step is to get clear on what’s important to you in a job, and what type of opportunities will enable you to achieve your goals.

Ready to take that first step? Our AI talent agent is ready to start chatting about what matters most to you.  

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