How Often Should You Change Jobs?

How Often Should You Change Jobs?

Job history and job duration are key variables that influence employers’ decisions when vetting talented prospects. Switching jobs too often can lead hiring teams to consider you as a “high risk,” while rooting within a company too long may come off as limiting.

However, there are many factors to consider when answering the question of how often should you change jobs?

In this article we examine factors that influence the decision on “how often should you change jobs.” We will focus on questions we recommended you ask yourself before making a job change, while assessing answers through the perspective of employers and recruiters.

What is your reason for leaving?

There are standard questions most hiring teams and staffing agencies ask while vetting candidates, your reason for leaving your last job is one of these questions. Like most generic recruiting questions, there are acceptable generic responses. However, most hiring teams and good recruiters know when an answer is not genuine.

Acceptable answers for reasons for leaving one’s job are challenging oneself, career/professional progression, belief, or purpose in the work, or to learn something new.

Some people might be leaving their job because of toxic work environments or culture, better opportunities, financial stability, work/life flexibility, and even discrimination.

When answering your reason for leaving, our best advice is to be as professionally honest as possible. Employers and recruiters understand why people leave their jobs. Being honest is the best way to earn points during the interview process. But you do not want to walk away leaving employers or recruiters with a bad taste in their mouth, so to speak.

This question leads us directly to the next:

Can you improve your current work environments?

Sometimes mending an issue is more progressive for one’s professional career and for the future careers of others. Of course, we do not recommend anyone to stay in a work environment that makes them feel unsafe, unrepresented, and/or unheard. However, like most issues, things can be solved through effective discourse that address the perspective of others and allows room for remedy and growth.

We recommend that you openly discuss the issues impacting your current employment with your management and seek a mutual resolve. If management is unable or unwilling to work with you, then seeking a new opportunity might be the most progressive solution.

What is your overall employment goal?

Everyone has a different goal when it comes to employment; some people want adventure or to work on something exciting, some people want stability, and some people want a sense of purpose or belonging. Understanding your overall employment goal is key to answering the question of how often should you change jobs.

For example, if you are looking for job stability, jumping from job to job will not fit the M.O. If stability is your goal, you might be better off staying at a large corporation for five-plus (5+) years, depending on if your projected career path with said company is in line with your other goals.

If you are unsure about your goals, what you want out of employment, or the future. You might be more successful at focusing on learning a variety of different skills, working in different environments, and on different projects. If this is you, you should at least try to maintain two (2) years of employment at each job before considering a change.

Conclusion

How often should you change jobs? It is absolutely okay to change jobs every few years, or even make a complete career change in today’s day and age. Different companies offer various opportunities at various stages of an employee’s life. Your priorities and interests can change over time, it is normal. What we recommend is to ask yourself what your reason is for leaving, can the issue be resolved, and what is your overall goal? While making sure your answers are honest and valid, and that you can verbally express those reasons in a productive manner.

 

 

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