Have you ever felt guilty about leaving a job? Have you ever allowed this guilt to hold you back from moving on, whether to another company or simply another position within the same company?
Perhaps you’ll appreciate this advice given to me by an HR manager at a company I was working for at the time:
“Picture a bucket of water. Imagine putting your hand into the bucket of water. Now pull it out. See how quickly the water fills in the space where your hand was? That’s how long you’ll be missed.”
But, he was right. In the instance that prompted the above conversation, I took the new position. Amazingly enough, my former department did not implode. They did not fall apart. Life continued. In fact, my departure created an opening, an opportunity, for someone else to step up and grow. It was good for everyone.
So many times we hold ourselves back from new opportunities out of some misplaced sense of responsibility. Sure, we might be missed – for a while. However, moving on when the time is right provides us with new challenges, new insights, and new avenues of personal growth. And, just as important, it creates opportunities for growth in others as they step in to fill the role we are leaving.
Next time you find yourself hesitating to jump because you are worried about those you’ll be leaving behind, picture that bucket of water. Make the jump.