Our older daughter, Kaitlin, met us in New York City during the holidays, and we welcomed the new year in the Big Apple. We rented an Airbnb in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

We were far enough away from the Times Square traffic, but close enough to either jump on the subway or request an Uber to get there.

The Rock Star

At some point during our family vacation, I sat with Kaitlin to discuss how her work as an event manager was coming along.

She noted that her events were going well and that her clients were happy with her performance. However, she was leery of receiving the Rock Star designation.

She said, “It seems to me that when you are considered a Rock Star, it’s probably time for you to find a different job.”

I thought about what she said, and it made clear sense to me.

It reminds me of the following saying, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are probably in the wrong room.”

Knowing When to Move On

I am reminded of a situation when I worked as an IT Staff Analyst for an investment company. I was hired with a rock bottom salary of $32,000 annually. My peers were easily earning more than $70,000, and some of them had a salary that exceeded $100K.

Yes … it is true that most of them had 15+ years of experience, and the company made sure they paid wages commensurate with industry experience.

During my first performance appraisal, my manager mentioned I had exceeded expectations.

He said, “You are doing Rock Star level work here! I’m so glad you are in our department!”

He went on to say he was going to be transferred to a different area within the IT department, and he asked if I was willing to come along with him.

I was elated, thinking it would mean more challenging work that commanded a much bigger salary.

After a few months in the new position, my assumption about more challenging work was correct.

However, my compensation stayed the same. No increase!

I stuck it out with this company for 3 years before I decided it was time to do something else. In fact, I took a big chance here and launched my own IT business.

This work experience I had earned throughout the years increased my chances as an entrepreneur. However, now I was in a position where I was paid well for my skills and hard work, and I was happier with my career.

The Lesson Here

As Kaitlyn stated, receiving the Rock Star label is not always a compliment.

Some situations may mean it is time to move on to a more rewarding or challenging position.

In one example, top producers or high achievers are assigned more work than others. This happens because they are reliable, and they will do whatever possible to meet or exceed expectations.

In another example, complacency may occur. A mentor recently shared some valuable advice.

He said, “Be careful when you are in a position or situation where you are too comfortable. When this happens, it is usually a sign you are complacent. It might be time to do something else.”

In these situations, it is important to seek advice from people who are willing to be honest, even when the truth may be hard to hear.