Career Crossroads: Comfort vs Growth Opportunity

Hi Unc,


I’m kind of at a crossroads in life right now. I’m 28 and have been with my current employer for the past five years.  It is a great company and I really enjoy my job. Recently, one of our clients has offered me an opportunity with them which would place me in a management position for the first time.  There is also a significant increase in pay along with some really great benefits.

I am struggling because I am very comfortable where I am. My boss is a great guy, I’m performing at a high level, my commute is perfect and the hours are good.  If I go with the client, I know that my workload is going to increase significantly and my commute will be longer. Most importantly, I’m not sure that I’m ready to be a manager. Should I quit a job that I’m happy with just so that I can make more money and have a title?

My fiancé thinks that I should take the new opportunity.  When I ask my parents, they tell me to follow my heart.  My friends are split on which direction I should take. I would appreciate any input that you might provide.

Hamstrung in New Hampshire

Hi Hamstrung,


The good news is that you are young, enjoy your job, are performing well, and are engaged to be married.  Pretty sweet setup.  Comfortable is good.  That said, being comfortable now does not guarantee future comfort.

Do you and your fiancé plan to have a family, travel, or relocate?  Those are factors you must consider when determining your present “comfort” level.  Financial pressures are the top reason why newlyweds struggle in the first year of marriage. Would this new opportunity provide you with greater financial freedom?  For more on financial freedom, please check out the Resource page on this site under the Financial Literacy section and the Library page’s Personal Finance section.

I honestly don’t have enough information to provide complete input.  Know this, don’t make a fear-based decision.  The client would not have recruited you if they did not see that you have the necessary ability.  You will be stretched to learn new skills, but that’s how you grow.

Whatever you decide, ensure that you communicate with your current employer.  If you decide to leave, do so on good terms.  Given that you are leaving for a client rather than a competitor, my guess is that they will be highly supportive.  As a high performer, they would most likely jump at the chance to rehire you in the future if your new job does not go well. 

I leave you with this question:  What will you lose if you take a risk on yourself to see if this new opportunity is a good fit?  You can always go back to your old job, right?

Wishing you the best of luck on a very exciting future,


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