How Often Should You Be Changing Jobs?

Have you been in the same position for too long?

How Often is Too Often?

People used to spend their entire careers at the same company, but it’s very rare to see someone take a position and stick it out until retirement today. Because the job market is constantly changing and your skillset is adapting, it is completely acceptable to bounce around now. The crucial question is, how often should you change jobs? The most acceptable answer is around every three or four years.  

Why Should You Change Jobs?

Studies have shown that workers who stay with a company for longer than two years are getting paid 50% less.  Seems like a very dramatic difference, right? This means that companies – even the company that you are working for – aren’t promoting employees, giving raises, or increasing benefits.  After two years working for a company is when you should begin to seek advancement within the company itself. If  internal advancement isn’t happening, start looking for a new position.

According to the same study mentioned above, job hoppers have shown to have a higher learning curve, be better performers, and tend to be more loyal–this is because they have a shorter amount of time to make a good impression.  Besides earning more money, there are plenty of other benefits gained from changing jobs every 3-4 years.  With constant change in positions and environment, your skills set with continue to expand and evolve, compared to staying at the same position.  As human beings tend to do, we tend to get complacent in our jobs if we stick around for too long.  You get into a routine that becomes predictable and you grow stagnant.  You stop learning new skills, which can make it much harder to get a job down the road if you’d need to.  

Is it Time to Change?

You’re closing in on your 3-4 year mark, and you’re trying to decide if it’s time for you to find another job.  These top indicators will tell you when you need to start searching.

  • You’re really good at your job.  If you never make a mistake, if you aren’t properly challenged, then it’s time to move on.  To prevent becoming stagnant, you need to find career opportunities that inspire critical thinking and problem solving.
  • You’re really bad at your job.  This one should be obvious, but is always worth mentioning.  Sometimes your skills just don’t match up with what the job requires.  If you’re not invested in the work or don’t have the necessary experience, you should look for a new job.  
  • You’ve just completed a successful project.  After the busy season comes more time to network and apply for new positions.  You’ll also have recent and successful achievements to show off during an interview.  
  • Your goals don’t match the company’s.  In an ideal situation, your career goals – such as advancement –  with match up with the company you are working for.  If this is not the case, it’s time to find a new position.
  • Your skills aren’t appreciated/utilized.  If your boss doesn’t acknowledge your work, if coworkers are getting promotions, if your position feels obsolete–all of these are reasons to start looking for a new job.
Michelle Hawley

Michelle Hawley Michelle Hawley is a writer, blogger and Point Park University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. She focuses mainly on career and marketing topics, as well as funny quips about cats. She enjoys writing fictional stories in her free time.

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