How Long Should You Stay In Your Job?

How Long Should You Stay In Your Job?

Whilst frequently moving jobs doesn’t have the stigma that it once had, if there is still a scope of progression, time in a job still matters. It’s a case of reframing the perceptions of longevity.

According to research by LV= the average time in a job (before the pandemic) was under five years. The TeamJobs team highlight if time in a job matters anymore?

The idea of four or five years in a job can feel like an eternity, what does a recruiter these days see as ‘normal?’ Jaime Rana, Senior Recruitment Consultant explains, “I find it unusual to come across people who share three-month stints. For me, two to three years shows progress and I am not alarmed if I see gaps, particularly with what we have all gone through. Even when I ask if someone has been in a job for a short time, very rarely do I get a negative reaction.”

According to a 2021 survey from TotalJobs (based on 50,000 people) nine in 10 workers are looking or thinking about a new job. The days of staying at the same company and working for several years in a specific role before progressing is now from a bygone age.

Do a recruiter and potential employer have doubts if your CV has a lot more of shorter tenure than longer roles? Hannah Sills, TeamJobs Managing Director accepts that job-hopping does raise questions but another factor comes into play. “A lot is generation-led. Very rarely do you see someone’s first job as the one with years at the same company. However, for people in their 30s to 50s, the roles with five or over ten years at one company become dictated by security and stability.”

There is no magic number to how long you stay in a job. A lot comes down to what you want out of your career, life circumstances and how you push yourself. Rob Bruce, Senior Recruitment Consultant says, “Recruiters will not question gaps that relate to furlough, COVID and external circumstances, we all understand that. If there is longevity in your CV and it could look sporadic in the past year, that is fine. Sometimes a person could work for a company but change roles within the company, to me that is development. An engineer could start as a machinist, then move to become an estimator then progress to a production manager. To me, that shows an ambitious person with drive.”

Tenure in a job today is dependent on several factors such as benefits, learning opportunities, work-life balance, flexibility, recognition and doing meaningful work. 

Being in a job that isn’t working for you can take its toll. Think about where you see yourself going, and how leaving a job might impact or shape your future efforts.