The bottom 3 levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is: physiological needs (food, water, warmth, rest); safety needs (security, safety); and belongingness and love needs (intimate relationships, friends). These are the needs that make job security so important for so many people.
A secure job with a steady salary pays the bills. Being able to pay the bills is really important for securing somewhere to live, paying for transport to get around, buying food to eat, and maintaining intimate relationships. Unless these needs are met, it’s hard to imagine a world where one might consider leaving a secure job for something else. It’s also fear of not having these needs met that keep people from following their dreams.
The 2 higher-level needs on the hierarchy are: esteem needs (prestige and feeling of accomplishment), and self-actualization (achieving one’s full potential). It’s these needs that a steady job rarely provides for. And, it’s these needs that can drive people to feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied, even after achieving some career success.
You shouldn’t put your basic needs at risk just to try and meet your higher-level needs, but there are certainly a bunch of circumstances under which you might decide to start looking for a new challenge, or a new opportunity. Here are a few.
- There’s nothing left to learn.
- There are no opportunities to contribute on projects that you care about.
- You can’t let your unique abilities loose.
- The majority of your day is spent performing tasks that serve no greater purpose.
- Your efforts go unrecognised despite doing your best to promote yourself, your work, your project in a humble and professional way.
- Your boss speaks poorly of you to their bosses and others to cover up their own under performance.
- The culture is toxic.
- There is no chance for career development ie. more responsibility, acting up, secondment, promotion, leading important projects etc.
- The organization sees leadership as being about titles and positions, instead of values and behaviors.
- Monday mornings are the worst.
- You’re not getting paid enough to make ends meet.
- You can’t not start a business or grow your side hustle.
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