10 October 2012

How Long is Too Long to Stay in Your Job?

 Recently at Clarkewood we have been thinking…..

How long is too long to stay at one company?
Working in IT recruitment, it's common to pick up on trends emerging in the job market. With the average person spending 4.4 years in a job, we always see people who have worked in their current position for much longer than the average.
Furthering your career every 4 years, especially in a fast-paced sector such as IT, is vital to maintain personal development. The more jobs you invest time in, the more opportunities you will have to expand your skills.
Are you getting opportunities, access to the resources you need and recognition in your job role?
Why stay?
There are plenty of reasons why people stay in their current position, whether they receive job satisfaction or not. I’m sure we can all relate to at least one of these reasons with regard to our own career:
• ‘I’m sure my job will get better one day’
• ‘The current job market is full of doom and gloom, I’d be unemployed for months’
• ‘I’m comfortable in my position now so I don’t need a change’
• ‘Quitting a job might look bad on my CV’
In reality these aren’t good reasons for staying in a job for years. Sitting and waiting for a job to get better or being too ‘settled’ in a job role can result in a seemly unambitious person who is set in their company’s ways; thus leaving you virtually unemployable.
Why not?
Taking the leap to change career is a big, big decision and there are plenty of questions to ask yourself.
• Am I used to my fullest potential?
• Is my voice heard, can I raise queries and know they will be taken on board?
• How many times have I been promised opportunities and how many times has it actually happened?
If the answer to these questions are ‘No’ or ‘Not really’ then perhaps a career change should be considered.
There is also the issue of misplaced loyalty. Daily we speak to candidates who are facing redundancy from a company they have been with for sometimes in excess of 15 years.
With the Information Technology sector being the fasted developing and growing in the job marketplace, there really is no excuse to stay in a job for years.
To answer our initial question, at Clarkewood we agree that around 4 years is a good amount of time to stay with your job. Any longer than that and you stand at risk of being unemployable and any shorter you could be seen as an unreliable, ‘job hopper’.
Changing a job every 4 years means you will expose yourself to new technology, different skills and opportunities plus making new connections along the way.
This is, of course, unless you work for a productive, progressive company where you feel though you are being used to your full potential and you are getting the benefits that a loyal employee deserves.
How long have you been at your job?

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