How long should you stay at a job?

How long should you stay at a job?

Should I change jobs? Have I been here long enough? If you are asking yourself these questions, don’t fret. This is what the experts have to say about how long you should be staying at a job.

Woman thinking
A young woman thinking/ iStock

The number of years one stays with a company or in a certain position count.

Although job-hopping is not good, could staying within the same company also be harmful to your career?

Sacha Ristic, the Lead Talent Acquisition at VentureWeb, says “companies have various preferences on this and different views of what 'good tenure' looks like and signifies.

She says the decision should be dependent on the nature of your job and environment.

READ: Job interview: do’s and don’ts

Diane Karch-Osowski, Ask The Resume Lady Vlogger, says regardless of how good the company is, one should stay for three to five years, especially if you are wanting to build your financial career.

She says each year on average you might get about a three per cent increase in your salary, however, if you move to another company you will get about 10% or more. So, in order to ensure your salary grows, it’s important to change jobs.

But, Paul Karsten, the Operations Manager at Quest Staffing and Solution, says if you are comfortable with your salary and the culture in the company is good for you, there is no need to move unless you want to. 

“It has to do with age. The younger people like to job-hop, however, people in their 30s and 40s want to settle so they might want jobs that are more long-standing,” he says.  

Paul says he has been with his company for ten years and changed positions within the company, so his salary has been growing and he is satisfied. He says what is important is to grow within your role and company to reach your goal. 

Another expert, Jackie Launder, the Managing Director of Mindcor Executive Search, says that "although there is no real maximum period however what we as Mindcor have observed is that people in roles for longer than ten years are deemed institutionalised and out of touch with what is happening in other environments and the market.”

Not only is the person deemed institutionalised, but she says “this also indicates a lack of drive, someone who plays it safe, someone who is not continuously learning and improving.”

“For the individual, the disadvantage is one could be left behind and people stop listening because they are seen as part of the furniture in the organisation and although wise and with enormous knowledge, they don’t have diversity in thinking and therefore can only speak or contribute from one perspective,” says Jackie. 

However, Jackie adds that "the advantage of staying in a role longer is developing deep institutional knowledge within an environment and being seen as a potential expert globally as tacit knowledge, in this constantly changing and chaotic world, enables organisations to respond to the change quickly as this will be anticipated by those 'who have been around the block'.”

She adds that it is still very industry and company dependent, though.

She, like Paul, says it is important to grow within the organisation. "If someone has played uniquely different roles within the same organisation each role is seen as an independent career where knowledge is gained and value is added which is seen as different," says Jackie.

READ: Expert advice: Use your holiday to work on your career change

Image courtesy of iStock/ Deagreez

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