How Long Should You Stay At A Job

The world of work can be a confusing and challenging place, with high competition and a ton of different factors to consider when trying to find new opportunities for progression and growth.

It’s also true that the job market has changed a lot over the years, and while once it was very common for someone to work at a company for decades right out of school or college, it’s a very different experience for people today, with loyalty and progression being far less well rewarded than they once were.

This has led to a hyper-competitive market where people change jobs far more frequently, but how long should you try to stay at a job, especially if you don’t want to affect your career prospects?

This is something that not everyone knows about, and many people don’t realize that how long you work for a company and manage to hold a position actually says a lot about you, your professionalism, and future career prospects.

In this guide we’re going to look at these issues and help unpick some of the myths and gossip surrounding this issue, to give you a better understanding of what to expect and how to make sure your decision improves your career prospects instead of damaging them.

How Long Should You Stay In Your Job?

The first and most important thing to consider if you’re getting itchy feet at work, is how long you’ve been at the job and how leaving would affect your reputation and future career prospects.

While it’s much more common and easier to change jobs today than ever before, many people, particularly recruiters, will look unfavorably on a candidate who regularly leaves their job within 12 months of starting, and several instances of this can have a serious impact on your chances of securing future employment.

Even in a highly competitive and mobile workforce and marketplace, you should try to work at a job for at least 12 months before considering moving on to avoid these potential issues, although there are exceptions to this, if for example you’ve been treated unfairly or poorly at your place of employment, or if you have received a much better offer of employment that is far more beneficial to you and your career.

Why Should You Try To Stay In A Job?

Staying in your current job for up to 12 months minimum can help avoid potential reputation issues, but there are other benefits to this as well.

Quite often it can take up to 12 months for an employee to get fully up to speed and comfortable at a place of work, as well as to get confident with the particular job being done.

Waiting up to 12 months can give yourself a full picture of your role and whether or not it works for you.

It’s also good to stay in a job to show that you are a reliable candidate and to help build relationships and networks which may be able to open doors to better opportunities down the line.

There are reasons that may make these less compelling, but these are serious considerations you should ponder before committing to changing jobs so quickly.

What Are The Benefits To Changing Jobs?

There are many benefits to changing jobs, chief among them being that you will be starting fresh somewhere new, giving you the chance to build new relationships, learn new skills and find new opportunities.

If you are committed to the idea of changing jobs, it can be truly life changing and liberating, especially if you are being mistreated, disrespected or undervalued by your current employer.

Taking your skill somewhere that it’s appreciated and respected will have a hugely positive impact on you and your life, improving your prosperity as well as your future career prospects also.

Changing jobs can also be a way to progress your career if you feel stuck or stagnated, or allow you to try a role in a totally different career that you’re passionate about but were never able to break into.

Reasons Why You May Change Jobs

There are many reasons why a person may wish to change jobs, and not all of them are negative.

There may be health related reasons, personal issues or professional issues that can all lead to a person changing jobs, as well as simple fatigue or burnout in particularly high stress environments.

Often these reasons are the main causes of people wanting to change jobs, but seeking better opportunities is also a big reason, especially in a very competitive and results driven jobs market.

Looking For New Opportunities

When seeking new opportunities, there are many places you can look, from seeking a promotion in your field to a fresh start in a totally different industry.

If you’re someone who gets bored easily, it can be tempting to change roles regularly, and while this may lead to some improvements in your life, being able to find and stick with a job is the preferable option for developing a successful career.

Final Thoughts

Overall, how long you stay in a job is a very personal choice, and there are many valid reasons why a person should move jobs.

With that being said, regularly changing jobs will lead to potential reputation future job hunting issues, so try to ensure you have a good reason for moving on if you do need to leave in the first 12 months of your employment.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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