We live in a world, and an industry, that is built upon change. Everything around us is in a constant state of flux, moving forward—and in some cases, backward or sideways—at a pace that forces all of us to stay on our toes all the time. This is not by any means something that’s new or something that’s ever going to come to an end. Having been around awhile myself, I can tell you that the only difference is that the pace seems to speed up or slow down depending on what’s going on in your life, where you are in your career, what’s going on in the business, and how you face those changes as a person and as a professional.
Recently I was looking over our People on the Move column, and it made me think about all the wonderful and exciting opportunities that are happening all around us in loss prevention. People moving up or moving on is almost always good news for those individuals, and we applaud their efforts and the prospects that come with new partners, new responsibilities, and new beginnings. Getting promoted or taking a different job can bring with it both personal and professional challenges, making us better at what we do and better contributors to the business and the profession.
But growth and change isn’t simply built on shifting our geography. We should also be applauding those who have seen the value in staying with one company for a long time. They recognize the merits of stability and consistency in their companies and their careers. They find their potential by building on a solid foundation and in the appeal of sparking internal change to create a winning program and a successful career. I think of my good friend Bob MacLea, who spent forty-one years with TJX Companies and made countless contributions to the company and the loss prevention community.
But I can also point to one of our own here at LP Magazine in Amy Carpenter, who is on the move after seventeen years working behind the scenes with the LPM team. By bringing their own brand of excellence to what they do, professionals like Amy bring immeasurable value to their organizations. Thank you, Amy. You have both our gratitude and our congratulations as you move forward on your personal journey.
Heads or Tails?
The benefits of a new role in a new organization are often easy to see and admire. It’s the shiny new penny (or quarter for the millennials out there) that’s fresh and attractive, full of promise and opportunity. We see the prospects of something new with the chance to learn, grow, and make a difference in creative and exciting ways. By learning, we remain relevant. By developing our skill sets, we build career security. By spreading our wings, we expand our possibilities.
On the other side of that same shiny coin are the prospects of staying with the same company and taking our careers to new and different levels—while staying put. Stability and familiarity aren’t necessarily a bad thing, and if we understand the need to continue our growth and development along the way, there are many potential ways to develop our skills and build career security right in our own back yard.
But making these decisions should never be as simple as flipping a coin. Changing companies will mean different cultures, colleagues, and strategies, along with other hurdles that can bring unexpected challenges. The decision to move should never be made on impulse or emotion and deserves careful consideration.
By the same respect and for many of the same reasons, we shouldn’t decide to stay with a company based on impulse or emotion or the anxiety that comes with facing change. Opening new doors and new opportunities can enhance—and extend—our careers. Career security also comes with making ourselves as marketable as possible, gaining new perspectives and exposure to different company cultures. Change can be scary, but there are times when change can be necessary and highly beneficial.
Over the years many friends and colleagues have asked me for advice on making tough career decisions. Obviously, some choices are easier than others based on needs, opportunities, responsibilities, finances, job elimination, and many other factors that can come into play. My best counsel is that whatever decision that you make, those decisions should be based on rational thought, careful consideration, and informed decisions. Make the right choice for yourself, your family, and your organization, and you’ll end up with a truly moving experience.