Time’s Up! When is it Long Enough at Your Job?

After a certain amount of time, staying at your current job starts working against you, not for you. Job-hopping isn’t a good idea, but there’s a difference between that and strategically moving your career along.

Gone are the days of employees staying at the same company in the same position for decades. The culture of the times have changed, and it can now negatively impact you to stay with a company too long.  On the flip side, changing jobs every 6-12 months can also impact your career opportunities.

The Why!

If you find yourself at the same job, doing the “same ‘ol same ‘ol” for an extended period, you’re in danger. Some companies feel you have not seen enough different ways of approaching work if you stay with the same company too long. Because of the extensive use of technology, changes happen frequently and fast in the business world. If you are keeping up-to-date with technology and best practices and growing, then longevity won’t be a negative. It is imperative to stay abreast of new technologies, best practices and management philosophies. You don’t want to find yourself outdated and irrelevant.

In some cases, you may be doing the same type of work repeatedly year after year. Instead of you having 10 years of experience, you basically have 1-3 years of experience repeated over the years.

So…When?

When to leave your company depends on a few things. Here are some things to be on the lookout for.

After you’ve been at the same job for a while, you can lose your “new” factor. Though you may be performing optimally, the new faces may get more attention and promotions from your managers.

If you find yourself still at XYZ company, in the same job, passed over for a promotion again.

If you aren’t given opportunities to work on challenging projects that stretch you professionally.

If the technology is dated and you are not keeping up with current trends.

On the other hand, leaving a job too soon may show you to be a flight risk. You need your higher-ups to feel they can count on you to stick with a job for a while. It’s necessary to stay at a job long enough to do your work well, build a good reputation, and build your skills.

What’s the Problem?!?

Becoming irrelevant or out of date at a job is most dangerous. There are always new ways of doing things and new technologies to consider. If you’re not keeping up with those, then you’ll quickly fall behind.

This also impacts how others view you. If you stay at a job for more than five years without a promotion, then your boss may come under the false belief that you are content with your current job.

A common reason for staying with a company is the money. The chance for a raise or a bonus can be an incentive. However, when compared with the ability to negotiate your salary and a chance at a different company for continued promotions, this fails to be a good reason to stay.

Finally, staying at a company too long can kill your career advancement. If you want to continue advancing in your career, or your company is not investing in new technologies and keeping up with current trends, then you need to move on. Don’t lose sight of your goals. If your goals change, that’s fine. But if you still feel that drive to keep moving forward, then you’ll need to start looking.

Knowing when to leave your current job takes strategy and careful planning and thought. You don’t want to leave too soon, but you don’t want to leave too late, either. Speaking with a career advisor at Jacobson Staffing can help you with evaluating your options!