The best time to make a career move

Have you ever struggled timing a career move?  I have.  Those that desire to become leaders others want to follow take responsiblity to model their transition in ways that benefit not only themselves, but those they choose to serve.

What are the best times for leaders to transition?

1) When their segment of the mission is complete

One of the best times to transition is when you successfully complete the work set out for you to accomplish. To thrive, organizations require change. Even change in leaders. While it may make us and our followers uncomfortable for a season it is healthy and normal.

When we know a thing, we discover it is not as scary as what we thought.
Photo by Christopher Rusev on Unsplash

“When we know a thing, we discover it is not as scary as what we thought.”

Unfortunately, most change seems thrust upon us; unexpectedly creating fear and drama in the workplace.

Most of the time, it doesn’t have to be like that if we are having a continuous conversation about the issues that are top-of-mind for our people.

2) When there is unique opportunity

There may be a new project or challenge that would benefit from your specific abilities and giftings.  

As leaders, we should think about where we can best serve the people and organization. Consider that it may be easier to find a replacement for your current role than it would be to find the right person for the new opportunity.

It is okay to take on a new challenge. In fact, it is your responsibility to apply your gifting to the problem you were designed to solve.

3) When we feel called

Even good things should end. It is what opens opportunity for us to do the even greater things.

While we appreciate our accomplishments, value our relationships, and respect the organization we still need to dream. When we begin dreaming about what we can do with what we’ve learned,  new opportunities present themselves. When dream meets opportunity, it is time to move!

4) When our current work or environment no longer aligns with our values

When we begin feeling uncomfortable because of what we are being asked to do, it may be time to leave. Working in an organization or for a supervisor who contradicts what we value will not end well.

Staying too long in an unhealthy environment where we are coerced into propagating ideas and values we don’t believe interferes with our ability to lead authentically and will likely damage our reputation. Few people can lead others well for long in that environment.  Best to move on.


  • Where are your next best career possiblities?
  • How do your values align with what your leaders are asking you to do?
  • What move could enhance your career and help the organization advance?

Shepherding: The art of becoming the leader others want to follow