Paul Sallomi, U.S. and global technology sector leader at Deloitte LLP
Courtesy of Deloitte LLP
By Paul Sallomi
September 30, 2015

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: How do you know it’s the right time to switch jobs? is written by Paul Sallomi, U.S. and global technology sector leader at Deloitte LLP.

I have been working in technology, media and telecommunications for nearly 25 years. One of the reasons I was attracted to the field in the first place was the opportunity to work with clients who are disrupting business models and are comfortable with the change it brings. I have been guided by a similar perspective when it comes to my own career. Technology has had a profound effect on just about every profession out there, making it essential that anyone in the workplace today embrace lifelong learning and reinvention.

The tools we have at our fingertips to support personal growth are very powerful. We can access the collective knowledge of mankind on the Internet. We can create meaningful networks and connections to communities through social media. Technology has fundamentally transformed our ability to collaborate, learn and innovate in exciting ways with seemingly limitless possibilities.

Personally, I find being surrounded by so many resources to be a good thing. It helps me to continuously think about where I want to be next — and how I’m going to get there. As soon as things start getting a little too easy or too comfortable, I get restless. Looking for opportunities to learn new skills or embrace new ideas is what inspires me, and I try to instill a similar enthusiasm in my colleagues.

See also: 3 signs your job is in serious danger

When it comes to changing jobs, I have two points of reference: myself and the people I work with.

Complacency is the enemy of success
Everything becomes routine if you do it for too long. When you stop being passionate about what you do, it can be thoroughly enervating. I try not to get to that point, which is why I am always thinking about how I want to expand my professional experience. For example, I started out in a traditional tax advisory role, but I had a desire to know more about the full range of business issues tech companies were grappling with. So when an opportunity came along to serve clients more broadly in an advisory capacity, I jumped.

One thing I have discovered, however: Opportunity and timing are rarely aligned. You may be ready to go, but unable to find an appropriate opportunity. At other times, an opportunity may present itself, but you may feel unprepared. That’s when the rubber meets the road, and you need to weigh the risks. If the opportunity is transformational, even if you aren’t completely ready, you may want to make that leap.

When your team is ready, you should be ready — to move on
When I was just starting out in my career, the people who mentored me deeply influenced my views on what it means to teach and advise others. I had some outstanding mentors who pushed me to stretch and broaden myself — sometimes beyond what I thought I was capable of.

Now, many years later, I think of mentoring as one of the most important aspects of my job, regardless of the position. I consider it part of my responsibility as a leader to create opportunities for my team. It’s my goal that they be able to succeed me and take over what I do. I am also a firm believer in getting out of the way. Once the team is in a position to run the show on their own, I should be thinking about passing the torch.

In reality, I am usually thinking about my next move before that time comes along. The people I work with are eager learners and hungry for opportunities, and I don’t want to hold them back.

Keep the learning alive
I can honestly say that the jobs I have enjoyed the most are the ones where I have learned the most. Whether it is becoming more knowledgeable about a client industry, acquiring a new skill, or getting up to speed on a particular technology application, constant learning is what keeps my professional life interesting and prepares me for its next chapter.

 

Real all responses to the Leadership Insider question: How do you know it’s the right time to switch jobs?

This is how long it should take to gain new opportunities at work by Adam Ochstein, founder and CEO of StratEx.

Here’s how to tell if your job is at risk by Chris Perry, chief digital officer at Weber Shandwick.

What a failed negotiation could mean for your career by Shadan Deleveaux, co-founder of Technology For Families in Need.

Why a low paycheck isn’t enough to leave a job by Mike Guerchon, chief people officer at Okta.

This is how long you should wait before quitting a job by Edward Fleischman, chairman and CEO of The Execu|Search Group.

3 signs it’s time to switch jobs by Karen Appleton, SVP of industry at Box.

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