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Should I switch jobs or stay in a stable position?

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male company worker in my 20s. This is my second year at work after graduating university. I don’t know whether to stay at my job, which doesn’t suit me at all, or move to another workplace.

I wanted to get a sales job, as I majored in liberal arts and also like talking with people. In reality, however, I was assigned to product development, which is not my type of work at all. I’ve hated making handicrafts since childhood, and I don’t understand why some people enjoy designing things. All my senior colleagues at my workplace studied engineering at university. My situation has been so tough that I was even hospitalized for a week.

I’ve asked to be transferred to a different place a few times in meetings with my boss. In response, I was just told that my employer was planning to train me as a technical expert. It seems I’ll have no chance to transfer for the time being.

I’m also considering changing jobs. However, I’m currently well-paid at this large company. I’m also grateful to my senior colleagues, who have generously instructed me. So I’m concerned I will return this kindness with ingratitude if I leave now. These thoughts discourage me from taking a step forward. I also hesitate to leave this company before I’ve worked here for three years.

I’ve already decided what job I want to do next. But I don’t know whether I should move to another company no matter how people around me are against the idea, or remain here out of gratitude for being an employee of a large company. Help me.

E, Hyogo Prefecture

Dear Mr. E:

Which will you choose, stability and comfort, or a feeling of fulfillment? It’s a hard decision for anybody, although a case like yours is extreme and probably very rare.

I think you’ll have a bright future regardless of which path you choose, because you can be objective examining the advantages and disadvantages of your two action plans.

If you can’t choose by yourself, you can leave the decision to someone else. For example, you tell your boss that you’ll leave the company unless you’re transferred. That means you let your employer decide for you. This type of negotiation is quite common in the West.

If you do this here in Japan, however, you’ll likely be told to leave. Even if you remained at the company then, your relationships with other workers might go sour. You’ll end up getting nothing.

In that case, the only thing to do is ask yourself. Before falling asleep, for example, imagine two scenarios: living a stable life by remaining at the company, or a fulfilled life by moving to another workplace. When you do this, you should consult your intuition, not your brain. If you realize something, you should go to that direction without hesitation. Relying on your gut may be sometimes the wise solution, rather than thinking too much.

Masahiro Yamada, professor

(from Sept. 14, 2017, issue)Speech

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