How Often Should You Be Changing Jobs?

16th October 2013

We came across an interesting article from The Age recently, which looked at how often employees should be thinking about changing jobs. Below, we have summarised accordingly.

Knowing when it’s the right time to change jobs can be a difficult decision for any employee to make. Some people stay at companies for their entire working lives and some hop between jobs on a regular basis – but which is the right decision for your career?

Advice from one of the leading Australian executive coaches says that staying put might be a better option for those looking toward senior roles. In February of 2013, almost 12 million of Australians were in employment and almost a tenth of those had changed jobs in the past year. Just less than 9.5 million people had been in the same role for twelve plus months.

Job-hopping should be reserved for those in their 20s, for people experiencing the transition from studying to employment. For those aspiring to reach the heights of their career, the advice is to ‘dig in’ and ‘knuckle down.’ A general rule of thumb used by senior hiring managers seems to be that they would prefer to employ people who have ‘stayed places for three to five years’ for the upper-level roles. A long job history on a CV would conjure up a list of questions for the hiring team to consider.

Ambitious personalities beyond the job-hopping stage of their 20s stand a better chance if they show some commitment to an individual role. Serial switchers can risk being labelled as thinking the training and learning is all about them.

Some advice from a leading employment agency advises candidates to strongly consider their positions before leaving and make sure that they are:

a.) Leaving for the right reasons.
b.) Prepared to convince prospective employers of their non-serial-switcher status.
c.) Doing everything they can to improve their current role.
d.) Carefully considering whether this is the right time both personally and professionally.
e.) Not damaging future potential by changing jobs now.

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