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Traditionally, people believe staying in the same role, within the same company, shows loyalty and integrity. Generally, a lot of people stay in the same job for at least three years. Today, however, more and more people jump from job to job spending as little as six months in a role.
Does this show the desire to progress, work hard and gain experience or does it put employers off because of their inability to stay put for a lengthier period?
Let’s have a look at how both approaches can affect someone wanting to move into a new role.
Staying for a while
So, how long is too long? It’s hard to know and is subjective, but put simply, staying in a role for too long can make potentials hirers hesitant to employ you. They may assume that you lack drive or an ambition to do more. Especially if you make no progression within a role and just sat comfortably doing the same thing for the last five years. However, not staying long enough might lead employers to think you’re a job hopper!
Staying in a role for a lengthy period of time isn’t necessarily a bad thing though – a lot of employers value a workforce that is dedicated. You may well find that you found a company that invested in developing your skills and prefers to promote within the business. Having the drive to move up as far as you can in a company, before moving on is not something future employers should turn their noses up at, irrespective of how long it may have taken before you decided to move on.
Think of it as more of a balancing act – some length of tenure is great and the ability to show progression within the role will be beneficial but don’t stick with a job because it’s familiar and comfortable.
Moving from job to job is seen as a way to quickly move up the career ladder, which isn’t necessarily bad but there are pros and cons! Also, out of the frying pan and into the fire – the grass isn’t always greener – can take a couple of job hops before you find one that is right for you.
Moving around means you meet a lot of different people, you’ll gain experience from different working environments and you’ll be exposed to various types of businesses, meaning you will be able to grown skills in ways you couldn’t if you stuck with one employer. Moving around will also create opportunities you may not have access to if you’re waiting for a promotion and, of course, new jobs generally lead to a pay increase.
On the not so bright side, employers will be conscious of hiring costs and if you seem like someone that isn’t looking to stick around for long, that means you’ll cost too much money to hire. Although you’ll meet a lot of new people, leaving a job 6 months to a year in will compromise making potentially reliable contacts that you can call on for reference. You also need to consider if leaving means you’ll miss out on further development of your skills in a particular industry.
Some people are extremely career driven and strive to get as far up the ladder as possible, earning as much money as possible. However, there is the famous phrase the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and you need to take this into account when looking to move jobs. You might be moving for more money and promotion, but the company might not suit you.
Essentially, job satisfaction is the ultimate goal and some people find that earlier than others. If you’re settled in a role that you enjoy and a company that provides everything you’re looking for, it can be a while before you decide to take the next step up.
Either way, you need to ensure that your CV is up to date and explains why you stayed or left a role and you need to be able to articulate these reasons, in an interview!
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