Should I or should I not change jobs?

Have you ever looked at your CV and checked on how long you have been able to stay in one job before moving to the next employer? What is the trend?

Job hopping is a reality. When I attended the interview for my current job, my interviewer reviewed my CV and noted that I had set a particular exit trend with my former employers and he asked me this, ‘so Ann, do expect you to leave after two years?’. I wanted to say ‘probably’, but I didn’t. True to this, I started developing some ‘exit jitters’ just when I was about to clock the two year mark. For sometime, I struggled with this feeling. I’ve since made peace with it. Ofcourse some of those exists were as a result of factors beyond my control. I personally do not believe in staying in one job for too long. One of my former acquaintances used to joke that if you stay in one job for 15years, if you are not careful, you may end up attaining ‘one year experience for 15years’. I somewhat agree with him. Complacency is very real when you get too comfortable.

So how long are you required to stay in one job before moving on to the next one? There is no black and white answer to this question. It all varies from one employee to another. There are those who will exit after 6months while others may stay longer than five years or beyond. There are several factors that will make an employee choose to stay or exist a company. However, one of the things that most recruiters believe that an employee who keeps changing jobs after short periods, say, one year, may have some issues. For instance, it could be assumed that you are just very difficult to work with or get along with others, you are not a reliable person and therefore cannot be ‘invested’ on or probably that you just do not value stability. As a result, you may not get recruited by some companies..

From the employee’s side, it could also mean that you love to seek more challenges or you are just the kind of person that likes to get the job done and move on. Sometimes, after staying with one employer for a long time and getting engrossed into this company’s culture, moving may be a problem because you do not want to make changes to what you are accustomed to. But change is as good as rest and should be embraced.

The process of recruitment is sometimes very expensive, long and tiring, and then there is the issue of orientation and on boarding. Companies may not want to do it all the time and that is why it is important that whoever is being recruited will be able to last for a reasonable amount of time. Ofcourse, the employer must also provide a conducive environment that would enable an employee to maximize his/her stay. All the same, the decision to move from one employer to another after a certain period of time, most of the time, lies with the employee.

As you prepare to make a shift, keep in mind that this could work for you or against you in future and so you must think strategically. It is not usually just about the now, but the overall impact this move may have on your career or employerbility in the long run.


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