I just landed the job of my dreams. The problem is, I feel nervous about leaving my current workplace. I have a lot of good friends in the office, and my boss has gone above and beyond in order to make me feel useful, appreciated, and happy here. I know that’s rare. But the job I want, and the growth I want, aren’t currently available at this company. Do I take the new job, knowing I might wind up in a situation where I’m not as happy but in a role I like better? I’m terrified I’ll be giving up a great situation.
-Should I Stay or Should I Go
I think if you reread your question, you’ll see the answer pretty clearly: you call this new gig your “dream job” and you mention that there’s no room for growth where you are currently. Together, that means you should probably take it, even if you knew (somehow) that it wouldn’t be quite as good of a culture fit.
What you’re feeling is a normal fear of change and sense of loss. You clearly don’t hate the job you’re in, but you’re hoping to find something even better. You can’t expect that transition–from a comfortable place that you like into something unknown, and more importantly, something that has higher stakes for you–to be anything but emotionally fraught.
Think about it this way: would you be happy if, ten years from now, you hadn’t changed positions, or salaries, or anything else about your current work life? Do you think all the team members and the boss that you love will still be there in their current roles 10 years out? If they weren’t, would that change your opinion of the situation?
What I’m getting at is that you’re right, you could be moving into a less pleasant work environment at your new company, but you might eventually see a shift at your current job that removes some of the current upsides. You can’t know how things like that will shake out.
If having a career that continues to challenge you and offer you new opportunities is important, the risk of occasional personality clashes is inevitable. But even if all you want is a good-enough job, you probably run that risk.
If your personal growth matters to you–and I think it does–move on to the new company. Just make sure to visit the old one occasionally for post-work beers.