How Long Should You Stay at a Job?

People often take pride in the length of service they render for a particular position or employer. Getting a job is a challenge but staying in it for an extended period is another story. Also, settling into the same work environment and culture for years takes a lot of courage and perseverance.

In contrast, others think that staying in a job for a long time is fine, but being able to handle multiple jobs throughout their career is better. Seizing several job opportunities makes one’s resume colorful. In addition, a professional could develop many skills, immerse in various fields, and connect with a diverse network.

Choosing to stay long in a job or jump from one to another is a personal choice. No one has the right to say your preference is right or wrong. However, it is best to determine how long should you stay at a job in both scenarios.

Staying in the same job for years has its advantages and disadvantages, as changing careers regularly. The consequences of each decision could affect your decision to make a career shift and search for a new job. Either way, you must be sure of your choices to make the most out of every situation.

Average length of time people stay in a job

There is a significant distinction between the average length of time people stay in the same job or position in the private and public sectors. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the median tenure of public sector employees is 6.8 years, while 3.7 years for private sector employees. The same report highlights that the demographics of both statistics show that most older employees stay longer in the same position than younger employees.

Compared to previous years, employees’ average tenure per position is decreasing. There is no clear explanation for this phenomenon, but one possible trigger is the public’s accessibility to more jobs and income-generating funnels thanks to the Internet and modern technology.

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How long should you stay at a job?

Hiring managers have differing opinions on how long employees should stay at a job. Changing employment now and then is normal, but excessive job hopping can be suspicious. Then again, in more competitive fields like IT, job hopping is common since employees consistently try to gain new skills through short-term gigs.

Generally, the tenure that makes sense for many positions is one year to two years. This period is ideal because employees are already acquainted with their job responsibilities and have enough time to display their full competencies. Employees also start to impact the company within this time frame significantly.

Besides monthly compensation, employers also provide training and other incentives to facilitate employees’ career development. Therefore, it is reasonable for companies to expect employees to stay at least a year so they can reap some benefits from their investments. 

On the contrary, switching jobs in less than a year can be questionable because it reflects an employee’s lack of commitment. 

Hiring managers will always look out for flight risks. A person who cannot commit to a position within a year is most likely a serial job hopper, and their existence can be detrimental to the overall welfare of any company. Thus, explain in great detail to potential employers if your job history has entries with shorter tenures.

Disadvantages of moving out too late

In a way, an employee can overstay at their current company or job. It is still possible to start a new career at 50, but employees should be apprehensive about good career opportunities as they come. It is wrong for a professional to limit their exposure to a singular job opportunity forever. 

When hired for the first time, a typical employee stays at a job to gain experience and build skills. After years of honing proficiencies, employees often feel the urge to move on to the next position and grow. It is not a wrong choice to leave for professional development.

Think about the chances you will lose by not finding a better employer or job. One of the disadvantages of staying in the same position for too long is having a lower earning capacity. A Forbes article claims that employees who stay longer than two years in a company get paid 50% less than those who change their jobs.

Having attachments to your job is inevitable but never compromise your potential. Instead, try to discover what the future has in store for you. Then, when promising opportunities come, always consider moving and strike better deals with prospective employers.

Reasons to leave a job

Leaving a job takes hours of thinking and a lot of guts. It is a critical move that can destabilize your finances and lifestyle. Do not only think twice. Think hundreds and thousands of times before submitting a resignation letter. It is a privilege that can lead to dire consequences. When you make the right choice, quitting a current job can lead you to success.

If you are still undecided, here are compelling reasons to quit a job:

1. Better compensation

About 55% of US employees feel their salaries are not keeping up with the rising inflation rates. One of the strongest motivations to go to work is to earn. Start looking around and contact prospective employers if you do not feel compensated enough for your time, hard work, and sacrifices.

2. Career growth

Are your current employers giving you the same monotonous tasks that do not contribute to your professional development? If so, you should not feel guilty about wanting to move to a new position. Although employees receive compensation and benefits, they should also find new ways to extend their career paths to remain satisfied at work.

3. Job mismatch

Even if you gained valuable experience throughout your work history, there could still be instances when you desire to be with a new employer due to a job mismatch. Mismatches can occur due to differences in skills and preferences. After accumulating job experience, your chances of landing a better-fitting job are better.

4. Personal issues

Life events like moving to a new state, getting married, and having kids can affect your work. Find a new job if you feel the changes in your life already conflict with your professional duties. Things can only complicate further if you do not align these matters with each other.

5. Workplace abuse or discrimination

Never ignore workplace abuse or discrimination at any level. If the abuse or discrimination issue involving you is no longer resolvable or the circumstances surrounding it make you uncomfortable, please consider leaving. Never stay at a job that can harm your mental health and put you at risk in any way.

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Reasons to stay in a job

If there are reasons why you should leave a job, there are also counter-arguments why you should consider staying. Leaving a job early can be a waste of opportunity when favorable circumstances surround your employment. If you have not finalized your thoughts, these factors could help you decide to continue with your current job:

1. Positive company culture

Does your workplace feel like a second home? It might be one of the most obvious signs that your work environment has an ideal company culture. There are a lot of jobs out there, but not many positions will feel easy and natural for you.

2. Seniority benefits

One of the advantages of staying long in a company is unlocking seniority benefits. Before moving, take a second look at your current company’s retirement packages and other benefits. If you transfer jobs too often, it may be difficult to accumulate the years to mature the said benefits in another company.

3. Job security

Job regularization protects you from unlawful termination. If you cannot attain this level of job security in another position, it might be better not to move and stay in your current employment. For example, staying in a regular 9-5 job could be more practical than accepting an inconsistent on-call position.

4. Chances for professional development

A potential employer may offer lucrative compensation and a comfortable job setup but could not promise a progressive career development plan. Besides assessing immediate benefits like salary and workplace, applicants should also consider the long-term benefits. It is challenging to stay satisfied in a position without any opportunities of climbing the corporate ladder.

5. Professional network

Moving to another position or industry could also mean losing access to the network you built in a previous job. You could still reach out to some of your professional colleagues, but they may no longer be as responsive. After all, they will have to prioritize people who belong to the same circles as them.

Things to consider when changing jobs

Moving to the next employer is bold, and you should be proud of yourself. However, before setting your mind to it, there are a few things to check. After all, it is crucial to exercise caution to avoid regrets and irreversible damage.

Take some time and review these factors before fully committing to new employment:

1. Salary expectations

One of the biggest disappointments of moving employees is when the next employer cannot afford their salary expectations. Since they have already moved out of their previous employment, they feel pressured to accept a lower compensation rate than they wanted and deserved. Always make it a point to clarify these matters.

2. Job search competition

A job hunt is constantly competitive, even if you undergo a career change at 35 or younger. No matter your job history, other candidates could possess skills and achievements that might rival yours. Before moving, try to scope the job marketplace and thoroughly assess your current competencies.

3. Qualifications of wage and salary workers

Before pining for your dream job, look at the skillsets and experience of the employers holding that position. Then, ask yourself whether you are competent enough to be their colleague. If not, do not leave for the next job and gather more experience to increase your chances of landing a better job.

4. Preferences of hiring managers

It is also essential to impress every hiring manager that you meet. After all, they are the individuals who will handpick the professional who will acquire an open position. Study the top trends on how to present yourself and answer interview questions. It helps if you start thinking like a hiring manager, too.

5. Work-related challenges

It is normal to transfer to a similar job but meet new and unexpected challenges. Therefore, avoid mindlessly accepting job opportunities because you might be shocked by the things that await you. Also, expect the worse so that you can mentally prepare yourself for work stress and pressure.

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How online courses will help in the next step

Skill Success is an online e-learning platform ideal for employees of all ages. We have courses for you, whether you plan to stay in a job, move to another position, or retire. 

During the Internet age, the most practical way to learn new skills and information is through online courses. You can take your career to a new level with a few clicks. Here are some of our recommendations:

1. Learn how to write a resume

Resume writing is one of the essential skills to develop when exploring more job opportunities. You need to master how to present yourself on paper to increase your chances of success during the hiring process.

2. Do better during the job interview process

Are you aware that only one in five applicants move on to the interview phase? If you received a callback, practice your interview skills. Besides written communication, you also need to polish your oral communication.

3. Improve your job prospects

Job searching is not limited to a Google search for available jobs in your area. Instead, it is an intricate process that involves critical thinking and keen observation. A strategic job search could change your career for the better.

4. Develop hard skills

It is also wise to equip yourself with high-level technical skills. Find out what skills the employers in your target field look for in a potential hire. Skill Success has over 3,000 courses to choose from.

5. Develop soft skills

Soft skills are making waves in the US job marketplace and the world. In addition to technical skill courses, find programs that will enhance your qualities as a well-rounded employer.

You always have the choice

Ultimately, deciding to stay or leave a current employer will depend on personal preferences but never sell yourself short. If you are experiencing poor treatment in a job, then it may be better to go on a job search and seek a new company. If not, stay as long as you keep finding opportunities to learn and grow.

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