Should You Stay or Should You Go?

I recently hit a major milestone in my career, 10 years at the same advertising agency. It's made me reflect on where I am in my career and why I'm still here. A tenure like mine is rare in the advertising industry. Over the years, other opportunities have come my way, but I've chosen to stay for reasons that I hope will inspire others as we finish 2014 and set goals for the year ahead.

Almost everyone has felt the pull and allure of a new job. If you're lucky, you've felt it numerous times. Considering new opportunities can open your eyes, but it can also make you realize just how happy you are in your current job. Maybe it helps you identify opportunities and realize you have an adventure ahead of you in your current role.

Often people feel the need to leave a job simply because leaving seems like the best overall career choice, not necessarily the best personal one. Departing could often bring more money, a bigger title or enticing perks. And they may all be good reasons for leaving. But what if you're content where you're working now? Should you let a shiny new object distract you? Or perhaps you're afraid of the perception that staying may convey.

Whatever your path, make sure you are excited to get out of bed each day and feel empowered to make a difference. If you don't, then consider the following as you evaluate new opportunities:

The Grass Isn't Always Greener, It's Just Different
We've all heard this before, because it's true. Don't expect rainbows and unicorns. Every job and company has its strengths and weaknesses. Make sure your next role affords you a path to stretch yourself.

More Money Doesn't Equal Happiness
If you're leaving, make sure it's not just for the dollar signs. Believe me, looking forward to going to work each day is priceless. Why leave a job where you're happy to go to the unknown that could lead to dissatisfaction? Too many of us are already overworked, exhausted and stressed out in unhappy jobs. In her book Thrive, Arianna Huffington outlines a number of scientific studies that confirm the profound negative effects that overwork, burnout and sleep deprivation have on practically every part of our mental and physical health and performance.

Adventures Can Happen Anywhere
You control your destiny and can change your course, even after years at the same company. Some people don't reach their full potential until they are at a company for a long time. Jenna Lyons became executive creative director and the driving force behind J.Crew's most recent success after putting in more than 20 years with the company. Considering a new role, exploring a different department or working with a new team has the potential to be just as exciting and informative in your current company as at a new one. Seek out these opportunities rather than waiting for them to come to you.

If You Stay, Are You Less Adventurous or Driven?
If you stay in a job for a long time, does it say something negative about you? Not if you're a productive and satisfied employee who is constantly challenging yourself with new experiences. It tells the world you've found your place.

Make A Change For Yourself, Not Others
Your happiness and personal growth can only be determined by you. If you choose to stay or leave, do it for yourself versus pressure from others. All that matters is that you feel challenged, valued and have the ability to truly make a difference.