Should I Leave a Comfortable Job for a Job With Growth?

should i leave a comfortable job for a job with growth
Image: Tenor

When it comes to your career, how comfortable are you with being comfortable? You might be wondering why I’m even asking that question. I mean, isn’t it easy to remain comfortable? To stay unbothered in your own lane, navigating work on your own tried and tested terms with nothing to rock the boat. Who would want to give that up?

Perhaps the more important question is why. Losing your comfortable work routine is no fun on the onset, but if done to expose yourself to more challenging tasks, you could potentially gain something far more valuable in the long term—growth. As Irish mixed martial artist and professional boxer Conor McGregor once said: “The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more you will become comfortable.”

So, if faced with the choice, would you leave a comfortable job to pursue a job with growth? Is it worth the risk? Today, we examine this tough career question.


Should I leave a comfortable job? Why are people asking this question?

reddit should i leave a comfortable job or pursue for a job with growth
Source: Reddit

On the surface level, this Redditor appears to have it all. A comfortable job with great colleagues, great bosses, and a great work-life balance. What more could you want? Evidently, growth.

According to Randstad Singapore’s 2024 Employer Brand Research, 1 in 3 in Singapore quit their jobs due to a lack of career progression. If you’re someone who likes to be challenged and learn new things at work or someone who has goals to hit a certain professional tier or salary in X number of years, a happy but stagnant job just won’t do for you.

A related but slightly different situation is one in which you’re in a comfortable, “lepak” job and see this as a good thing at face value, but are worried that your employability and transferable skill set may suffer when you look for your next role (especially if this is your first job). This next Redditor even used the term “I’m worried […] I can’t survive outside”—these kinds of jobs can feel like a bubble detached from the larger working world.

reddit should i leave a slack job
Source: Reddit


Should I leave a comfortable job? Summary of pros and cons

When deciding whether or not to leave a comfortable job for a more challenging one, here are the pros and cons to consider.

Leaving a comfortable job for a job with growth
Pros Cons
  • Personal and professional growth: A more challenging job can push you to enhance your skills and knowledge, fostering personal and professional development.
  • Career advancement: Switching to a job with greater responsibilities, can lead to better career opportunities and promotions.
  • Higher salary: If your new job requires higher level skills or gives you more opportunities for promotion, you’re increasing your earning potential in the long run.
  • Increased job satisfaction: Tackling new challenges can lead to a greater sense of accomplishment and fulfilment, making your work life more engaging and satisfying​.
  • Potentially poorer work-life balance: A more challenging job can come with higher stress levels, longer hours, and greater pressure to perform. Your mental and physical well-being​ might suffer as a result.
  • Uncertainty: While “no risk, no gain” has some truth to it, that doesn’t mean that risk will definitely lead to gains. You can’t guarantee that leaving your stable and comfortable job will lead to a job you prefer in terms of compensation or job satisfaction.
  • Risk of failure: Challenging yourself to new and bigger tasks always comes with the risk that you don’t meet expectations. This can affect your confidence and career trajectory​​.

When deciding whether to leave a job for a higher level one, you should ask yourself what’s most important to you. What do you prioritise?


Prioritising growth

The Redditor above seems to be concerned that their skills might “rot” or become redundant—“I’m worried I get too relaxed here until I can’t survive outside”. If growth or your salary are your priorities, ask your boss for some time to talk about your career progression in the company. Knowledge and information are the first steps to making an informed decision. Perhaps you might find out what you can do to work towards a promotion, and you get to keep your desirable work environment and pay, plus have a growth goal to work towards.

In a worst case scenario, let’s say you know you’re stagnant at your current role with no way to advance—neither vertically nor laterally. In this case, if you want to progress in your career, you could consider switching jobs. It is taking a risk, but these are the kinds of risks you need to take in order to see any movement.

ALSO READHow Do I Negotiate My Salary When Switching Careers?


Prioritising work-life balance

If a low-stress job and a good work-life balance is the most important to you, you may also want to hold off on switching jobs too flippantly. Evaluate what you don’t like about your current role and see if it can be remedied.

For example, perhaps you’re bored with the repetitive nature of your work but are otherwise happy with the salary and work environment. In this case, you could try talking to your manager about trying something new from a different department on the side.

In my previous job, one colleague I knew of grew tired of her role as a writer and tried her hand at operations work. She eventually transitioned to operations and security work.


Considering external factors—job market, societal expectations

Another consideration is the current job market, as this Redditor pointed out. Are companies currently hiring or maintaining headcount? Are we entering a recession? If so, now might not be the best time to leave even if your pros outweigh the cons. You should try to secure a new job before tendering your existing one so that you don’t risk being left stranded for months without income.

It’s also natural to feel pressured by the societal expectations that people should get promotions and progress in their careers over time. But must you want to progress in your career? Do you actually want to, or do you just feel like you should want to? If it’s the latter, and if that’s the only reason they’re thinking of leaving a job, hold up. the potential benefit of growth and development elsewhere may not outweigh the unknowns of work stress, environment, and other positive factors their current job offers. 

One could always ask to take on new or more challenging tasks in their current job, or even take SkillsFuture courses outside if there are specific skills they want to pick up. I wouldn’t exchange the known positives of a current job, such as a good work-life balance, for a whole range of new unknowns without first trying to see if I can make my current situation work better for me.


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vanessa-nah-profile-pictureAbout the author

Vanessa Nah is a personal finance content writer who pens articles on the ins and outs of personal loans, the T&Cs of credit cards, and the ups and downs of alternative investments. She’s a researcher at heart and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to breaking down complex finance concepts and making them easy to understand for the everyday Singaporean. When Vanessa’s not debunking finance myths, you’ll find her attending dance classes, fingerpicking a guitar, or (most impawtently) fulfilling her life mission to make her one-eyed cat the most spoiled and loved kitty in the world.