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I'm a mid level web developer working at a big company. I've been here about 3 years. I have a very close group of friends and a wonderful manager. I feel like I'm good at my job and appreciated. However, for the past year I haven't felt challenged. I would say I get one project that challenges me every 3-4 months and everything else is cruise control. There is no option to be promoted or move up for developers here. However, there's nothing "bad" happening, and no bad feelings towards my employer or job. I wasn't even looking for a job, I was mostly just trying to create interesting projects for myself (with some success).

However, a new opportunity came my way that would be a huge challenge and on paper an amazing opportunity. A lot more responsibility (with a steep learning curve), almost double the salary, a much better commute, and the company is doing work I really care about. Everything should be great, right?

However, when I think about leaving I just feel completely devastated. I can barely even bring myself to talk about leaving because it's so upsetting. I'm really happy here but I don't think my career can move forward without changing companies. What should I do?

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    VTC, this is a decision you need to make on your own, it is a bad idea to seek advice from complete strangers for such a personal issue. Feb 10, 2017 at 20:20
  • It sounds like you already know what you want to do, but just need someone to help you realize it. But that's better for a personal talk with someone you can relate to.
    – Brandin
    Feb 10, 2017 at 20:24
  • People are bad dealing with loss, so so are you. Make a list of facts and decide based on that.
    – user8036
    Feb 10, 2017 at 20:27
  • xkcd.com/1768
    – mcknz
    Feb 10, 2017 at 21:59
  • I "mostly" choose growth over comfort.. but it also causes a lot of stress. But I always feel grateful for having left my comfort zone.
    – user56508
    Feb 12, 2017 at 21:31

1 Answer 1

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You know, someone a lot wiser than me once told me "If you can't look after number 1, how can you look after someone else?".

Whilst that anecdote wasn't specifically work-related, it did make me realise something. In this world - you have to look out for yourself first and foremost. You may be comfortable, you may be happy, and you're in your comfort-zone. If you stay there, that's where you're going to be for the rest of your life.

Human beings progress, and get better, by extending themselves just beyond their sphere of comfort. The company may be great, and you may well be happy there. But that is not your problem. If you do not wish to grow, then by all means, stay with your current employer until such a time as you retire, they go bust, or they have no need of you anymore.

Alternatively, if you want to grow, leave. Any person you work with, who are worth their weight, will understand why you are moving on. You don't owe this company. It's not your child, and they are not your parent.

If you want to grow, go. If you're happy not being challenged - by all means, stay. But this won't help you further down the line.

Good luck!

Edit, there's another thing I once heard that relates to your question

When I joined my current job some years back, someone said to me "Bob (not his real name) has been here for 14 years. Unfortunately, they were the same 14 years".

The key thing to note from that is that "Bob" didn't progress and better himself, he was just comfortable - and was never challenged. But according to HR, he was a brilliant employee. To an outsider, one could not understand why "Bob" didn't realise what the rest of the world was doing....

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