What is more important in today’s job market – extending tenure with a company vs. switching jobs and companies to grow and expand your skills?
You would think this answer is simple, but too many of us get bad advice from our parents or even college professors. As a millennial, I know that the job market does not work and operate the same that it did for the previous generations. One thing to note, opportunity doesn’t find you, you have to find it. So, if that means taking your career to the next level with a new company – DO IT.
How long should you stay in your current position?
To start, if you ever find yourself unhappy in a current role do yourself and the company a favor and leave. We spend too much of our lives working to earn a living and the last thing we need in our lives is job drama. Many of us fall victim to our current situations when in reality we have the power to change it.
Remember this – Follow the money. Employees who stay at their jobs over 2 years make 50% less than the skill building job jumpers.
You should stick with your current role for at least 18 months before moving to the next. However, you should stay if you are still growing and learning in your current role. Anything under one (1) year leads to the assumption you did not pass your 30, 60 or 90-day review and were terminated. Now, let’s say you had a job for 8 months and it just was not matching up, that’s understandable. If you have 5 jobs in a row that did not match up, it looks like you have a problem as an employee. HR and Recruitment will think you have unreasonable job expectations.
If your job scope or title does not change within the first two (2) years – it is safe to say the company does not see potential in you OR the company has no opportunity to give. Which by default equals – time to move on. If you stay with a company for too long without growth you can potentially hurt yourself with opportunities with other companies. You need to show upward mobility with title, scope and span of control. Staying static in your career shows future employers that you lack the drive to constantly develop new skills and do not strive to grow. This may not always be the case, but Hiring Managers tend to assume the negative. Again, if you are consistently moving up into bigger roles than other factors drive how long you should stay. These factors include whether you need to gain multi company and multi industry experience- which is very likely.
The “Stay Woke” checklist
Here is a checklist of signs you should look out for when questioning “Is it time to leave?” This will help you, as I like to say, “Stay Woke” and be aware of what is going on in your work environment. You can hang this on your fridge or keep it at your bedside because you need to watch your own back.
- You’re bored and unhappy most of the workday.
- Your boss needs an exorcism.
- Your skills are not being fully utilized.
- The work you do feels meaningless or negative.
- The alignment of your chakras is way off.
- You know you are meant for bigger and better.
- Your personal mission and company purpose no longer match.
- You see physical changes to your body caused by stress – insomnia, teeth clenching and weight gain.
- No raise after the first 12 months.
- No promotion or clearly established goals to reach a promotion.
The Job Market Reality
The job market is brutal and the last thing we want is to be perceived as “unambitious” or fall to the waste side while others advance. In my undergrad, I learned to get involved and have my hands in many projects. Taking this methodology into my career, I have found a lot of job security and desirability with constantly getting involved with projects no matter the size. It is the outcome and tangible skills that matter in the end.
I would suggest always continuing to educate yourself to allow for more opportunities and to never stop the mind from learning. Get a new certification, volunteer, attend webinars or conferences that you have interest in within your field. This will get you out of the house and away from Netflix to help boost your skills and juice up your resume.
When searching for new opportunities you should not follow the crowd and rely on old ways. You need to find the hidden job market whether it is through your network of connections, word of mouth, recruitment agencies etc. To win the job race, try to avoid the crowd.
In all that we do, we need to create our own sense of urgency and always be sure to set ourselves apart in the job market.