Should I stay or should I go? How do I know if it’s the right time to switch jobs?
Ted says: I’ve been in the same job now for about five years. I like the company OK, but I’m not sure where I stand; I don’t think I’m appreciated. After a few months of searching, I finally received an offer for a new position. It wasn’t anything special, but it was a little more money and a good chance to make a change. I went to my boss, expecting to give him notice and arrange a transition plan. To my surprise, he strongly encouraged me to stay. He asked if I could hold the new company off for a couple of days while he put an offer together. I said I would, but when the new company started pressuring me for a decision, I got nervous. Although this was basically a no-lose situation, I was afraid I might screw it up by not handling it correctly. I can’t believe how much anxiety it caused. How do we deal with life decisions like this?
The expert says: Father Richard Rohr is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation and is a respected spiritual director. In his book, Everything Belongs, he addresses the spiritual dilemma that comes from our need to control. He says: “Our culture teaches us we have to compare, dominate, control, and insure. In brief, we have to be in charge. That need to be in charge moves us deeper and deeper into a world of anxiety.” So how do we avoid this anxiety? Fr. Rohr goes on to say that the first thing we need to do is to realize that, “Life is not about me; it’s about God, and God is about love.” So, it’s not about what I want, it’s about how God asks me to serve.
Ted responds: I kept playing out all the scenarios in my head trying to sort out the “right” answer. Finally, I couldn’t take the stress anymore and concluded that I didn’t know – it’s not up to me! The one thing I did decide was to let go and let God put the pieces of the puzzle together for me. It turned out to be an easy decision to stay when my company came back with a surprisingly good offer. I realized that maybe this is where God wants me to be, and that instead of worrying about being in control, I just need to focus on how I’m called to serve the people around me, and let God take care of the rest. – Tim Ryan