Career Strategy 7: Up, Over, Out, or Stay

After I’ve been in a role a few years, I become less and less challenged by the same tasks. Eventually, I have to ask myself some questions to decide what to do.

  • Do I just love my job so much that I don’t need or want to make changes? (Stay)
  • Are there opportunities to expand my role? (Up)
  • Is there another role within my company that would give me the experiences I’m looking for? (Over)
  • Do I need to look outside of the company for the things I’m looking for? (Out)


This can be a hard conversation with yourself. You may just love your job. Although you don’t want to paint yourself into a corner in your career, there are so many benefits to working in a job that you like. On the other hand, I have known many people who stay in jobs that they hate because it seems too difficult or stressful to look for a change.

Don’t be like that. If you hate your job, get out of it.


Look for opportunities to move up within your company. You should explain to your manager what your goals are and leverage them to get in front of others within your company. If your manager isn’t willing to help you reach your goals, this is a good sign that over or out may be a great move for you.

Contrary to Dilbert, your manager shouldn’t have horns and should help you develop your career.

Also talk to your manager to see what you need to be working on, if you aren’t ready to make the jump to the next level. Be clear that you want feedback to get to the next level, and you should get it.


After talking to your manager, you’ll know if Up isn’t an option. At that point, start looking around in your company for jobs at your same level that would be interesting to you. Target roles that develop the skills your manager just called out as lacking.

Talk to people within your company who are doing those jobs to understand what is required to be successful. Build your relationships throughout your career, so that you aren’t starting from scratch every time. It should be a continuous process that strengthens your skills over time, setting yourself up for the Up move.


If staying sounds horrible, Up and Over aren’t options, it is probably time for you to get out. Don’t leave your company until you have another job lined up, but start following the Job Search strategies.

A great job will bring so much satisfaction to your life. Make sure you are doing it right.

5 thoughts on “Career Strategy 7: Up, Over, Out, or Stay

  1. Thanks for writing, Brandon. One thought on Up, over, out, or stay, is to remember that “up” and “over” are enabled by doing great work in your current role, so even if you don’t enjoy your current job as much as you’d hope, doing solid work is a requirement for moving up or over.


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