Soon enough, I will be celebrating a work anniversary. For the entire lifetime of a toddler, I will have been employed by one and the same company, if in different roles. No doubt, it is a comfortable position to be in.
At such a point in time, we know the names and roles of our colleagues, are familiar with the quirks of both office scanner and coffee machine and have good understanding of our mutual areas of expertise (or the lack of it). It is a comfortable and convenient set-up. However, how good does that do us?
Make no mistake - feeling at rest in your career does not make you complacent. Being happy at work, enjoying a secure employment with snug benefits and appropriate compensation does not make you a lazy bum. Instead, it does make you relax. This is good news: As opposed to someone constantly on their toes, a relaxed employee is an employee with additional resources to draw from. It is exactly in this relaxed state of mind that we can truly focus on the task in front of us, without worrying over employment contracts, personnel cuts and office politics.
So, what's with the ants in the pants? Why do so many of us leave anyways, in search of new adventures on the employment market? The reasons are as plenty as they are diverse: There is the employee with intercultural roots looking to get back in touch with their native culture. There are job opportunities calling for us to relocate and rethink our careers. There is love, chance and the vague idea of the grass being greener on the other side of the pasture.
There is also the possibility to ignore the ants, and to slouch in the couch. Not too worrying a prospect either.