Should you stay in your comfort zone, or explore the wilderness of the outside world? Just about anyone who is deciding on a career change went through this, especially if your current employment status is stable. What good reasons could there be to stay? What reasons could you have for leaving?

As most of you know, I’ve already went through with this dilemma and made a decision of my own. From my point of view, I’ve deduced reasons why or why not you should stay, particularly in the Academic/Public sector.

To those who don’t know where I’m coming from, my previous career was in Academic/Public sector. It was my first job experience and I basically grew up with the organization. Let us say it was my “comfort zone” for a long time. I won’t mention the organization and I’ll try to make this as generic as possible.

So now, why should you:

Stay

Pros:

  • Work and stress level is quite low compared to the Private sector.
  • You can have long breaks and leisure time even during your work hours.
  • Filing for leaves are hassle-free.
  • Lots of remunerations and bonuses that usually do not require extra effort.
  • Work environment is family-oriented and visitor-friendly.
  • Cost of living is as low as it can be.
  • Adequate if not good working environment.
  • Scholastic discounts and benefits.
  • Depending on your position, salary may not be an issue.
  • Ability to enjoy benefits only Government employees can avail.
  • You have a great opportunity to be recognized as most systems are manual and processes are not established (only if you are willing to take it).

Cons:

  • Low productivity because of lack of work demands.
  • Tendency to be a slacker.
  • Tendency to take attendance and tardiness for granted.
  • You may not appreciate the true value of hard work since bonuses are given sometimes even without much reason.
  • Salary may not go as high as with Private sector.
  • Processes are often not established which leads to red-tape and even corruption.
  • Opportunity for self-improvement and promotion is limited.
  • Most systems are made manually leading to delays in benefits that you should enjoy.
  • Reality-check: some people don’t do what is expected of them unless they are criticized or stimulated. Simply put, some people don’t do their jobs.
  • You limit yourself to what you can achieve.

Leave

Cons:

  • You’re leaving your comfort zone: it’s nerve-racking.
  • Processing papers is tedious, time-consuming, tiring, and even costly.
  • Adapting to change is always something that isn’t always easy to do.
  • The chances of failure are present.
  • Separation anxiety from peers and environment.
  • Salary may not always be better.
  • Your new career may not always be better.
  • Your work environment including your new peers, supervisors, and career path may not always be better.
  • You may not be noticed because of the number of employees in your new organization.
  • You may not be able to make changes as you like (you’re just a dust in the wind).
  • You may not have as much bonus (or you have to work hard for it).
  • There is generally greater expectation and higher work and stress levels.
  • You don’t have the benefits Government employees enjoy.
  • You can’t take your family and friends to work.
  • You can’t even use the Internet and instant messengers (in some cases).
  • There’s so much to consider that it’s easier for things to just stay the same.

Given all these, why should you leave?

Pros:

  • You wouldn’t know you had the best if you don’t have anything else to compare it with.
  • You have the opportunity to change for the better.
  • You’ll definitely be more productive which may lead you to discover new things about yourself.
  • There’s an entire ocean of opportunity just waiting for you outside.
  • In the Private sector, good deeds are usually rewarded.
  • Your company outing and team-buildings are free.
  • It’s true that your new company may work you to death but you’ll definitely know the joys of hard-earned money.
  • Yes it’s scary, nerve-racking, frightening, chilling, terrifying, and the stuff to scare the heck out of you, but in the end the experience is definitely worth it.

If you’re wondering what decision I made: I decided to explore the wonders of the outside world. I believe that we should not stay in our comfort zone. I believe that we should grow, never be contented, and always seek to be better than we were. Any regrets? Not a single bit, in fact I’m so glad I made the decision, and the decision was mine. It sometimes even makes me wonder why I only made this decision now after staying so long in my comfort zone.

I’m not trying to convince anyone to stay or leave his or her current job. I’m just trying to share my experience in dealing with the situation. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made, and I had to do it alone. Hopefully others that may go through this situation don’t have to face it by themselves. I had to know all the facts, go through all the process, often without knowing beforehand and that really scared me but because of that experience I am proud of myself because I didn’t know that I can do the things that I did. It would’ve been much easier if I had some knowledge of what to expect, and so I am sharing this now hoping that it can be of help even in the littlest of ways.

But then again, “I can only show you the door; it is you who has to pass through it.”

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