career changechange jobsnew careerIs Changing Your Career Worth the Risk? | Career Coach Sherri Thomas

August 4, 2012by Sherri Thomas

Everyone has a few bad days and a certain level of frustration in their career, but when is too much too much?

The answer is when it starts consuming you.  When the voice inside your head tells you 20 times a day, “I need a new job!”

I had been working as a Marketing Manager at a Fortune 100 company for two years when the voice started consuming me. First it started telling me, then demanding, and then screaming at me at the top of its lungs, “I need a new job!”  The trouble was that I loved my job role and responsibilities.  The work was challenging, meaningful and just plain fun!  So what was the problem? My manager.  He was a putz.

Secretly in my mind I had nicknamed him Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.  I tried to block him out and just focus on doing my work but he slowly, methodically began completely sucking the life out of me.  So after two years, 24 loooong months, with the voice pounding in my head getting louder and louder, I reluctantly came to the realization that I needed to change jobs.

But changing jobs is hard.  Incredibly hard.  Every time I thought about switching careers my heart started pounding faster and my forehead started sweating. I was faced with all kinds of fear including fear of change, fear of failure, fear of self-doubt, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, etc.  I kept thinking, Should I stay in my job where it’s safe and be miserable, or change my career and potentially fail? What if I can’t get another job? What if my new manager is worse than my current manager?

After doing some deep soul searching, and downing about 5 gallons of Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream, I decided that life is way too short to work for someone who doesn’t appreciate and value me.  And so I began my job search looking for internal jobs.  Within 8 weeks I was interviewed for two job openings and during those interviews I asked questions about the manager’s management style, how they kept their teams motivated, and what were some of their teams’ successes that they were most proud of.  Yes, I actually interviewed the hiring managers.

One of the managers said that his strength was “nurturing his team members to bring out their best.” As he said those words my heart started pounding faster.  I knew I liked this guy.  He offered me the job and it turned out to be one of the best career moves I ever made.  My new manager helped me strengthen my leadership skills, learn new technical skills, and gave me a promotion with a 30% raise.

Is it worth the risk?

I would have never found my new manager if I hand't jumped ship and taken the risk for something better. Yes, there’s risk in any job change. But in today's struggling economy, isn’t there also risk if you stay in a job? Who’s to say you’ll still be employed in your same job tomorrow? Organizations are going bankrupt, companies are downsizing and executives seem to be in a continuous loop of job rotations like they’re playing musical chairs.

Bottom line: if you feel like you’re stuck in a bad job with questionable job security – then why stay? 

Ask yourself – Why does the risk of staying in a frustrating job outweigh the risk of trying for something better…?


Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of “The Bounce Back” and “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand. “ Get more tips and strategies on how you can bounce back from a layoff, re-org, bad manager or other career threatening setback in my new book, “The Bounce Back” now available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.  You can download the three FREE chapters of THE BOUNCE BACK at


Sherri Thomas