How Long You Should Stay At Your Job?

Not sure how long you should stay at your job, even if you don't like it, because it might impact your future employment options? 

As recruiters, we believe that the single biggest obstacle for an unemployed candidate in regaining employment is having a history of job hopping or leaving a company before they have been at a company for a year.

Average Length of Time at a Job

How long do you need to stay at a job? The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer is currently 4.6 years. Yes!! more than five years its not recommended.

A History of Job Hopping

If you work at several jobs for only a year you are creating a job hopping work history and your resume isn't going to be consider during the hiring process.

Stop making changes without considering this questions: 

  • Are you leaving for the right reasons (better job, more money, more flexibility)?
  • Are you prepared to assure employers that you aren't a high risk hire?
  • Is changing jobs now going to help or hinder your career?
  • Is there anything you can do to improve the situation at your current job if the timing isn't right?
  • Is this the right time to move on for both personal and professional reasons?
  • Will changing jobs now impact your chances of securing a new job later on?

Staying Too Long at a Job

In my country staying too long at one job its like a tradition! Latin people are very loyal employees, but staying too long at a job can also hinder your employment prospects, and soon you need to learn this before a good opportunity leaves your door.

First you need to know that staying too long can give the impression that you aren't interested in growing your career and can lead employers to think that you may not have the flexibility for success in a new role.

 But, when its the right time? 

I believe that if you’re not waking up most mornings with a feeling of excitement towards your job,or if you’re not doing what you love, you will never tap your true potential.

It will just continue to be ‘a job,’ and eventually each day will seem more of a grind.


If your company is sinking. There’s no need to go down with this ship. Sorry, you don't need to be loyal. 

If you really dislike the people you work with and/or your boss.You can try to work out the problems you’re having with colleagues or your manager—but know that sometimes they’re not fixable.

You’re consistently stressed, negative, and/or unhappy at work. If you get anxious or unhappy just thinking about work, that’s a good sign that it’s time to move on.

Your work-related stress is affecting your physical health. The work, people, or culture is unhealthy, and it has a negative impact on you physically and mentally, or if the stress is present both inside and outside of work; it’s consuming. Your family and friends are affected by this, too it’s time to get out.

You no longer have good work-life balance. When you find that you’re spending less time with your family because of work, or you cannot commit the necessary time to your job, you should consider looking elsewhere.

Your job duties have changed/increased, but the pay hasn't.  YOU SHOULD GO NOW!!! especially if the company is performing well, but it’s not reflected in your salary or other rewards.

You’re bored and stagnating at your job. If you’re not growing or learning anything new, it might be time to leave, 

You are experiencing verbal abuse, sexual harassment, or are aware of any type of other illegal behavior.  

If you decide that leaving your job is the right decision, have options ready. It’s always better to at least have offers on the table before you leave, hiring managers prefer to hire someone who is employed.

Lastly, remember the golden rule of never burning bridges, In today’s world, the business community is well connected and people talk with each other, seeking recommendations before hiring people. Make a point to always be professional and do your part; take the high road in every situation.

Views: 593

Comment by Keith Halperin on June 6, 2014 at 7:32pm

Thanks, Ericka. 4.6 years? That seems long for the Bay Area where I am.

Q: How Long You Should Stay At Your Job?

A: Unleash your "Inner CXO":

As long as it takes to get as much money, benies, experience, training, contacts, etc. as you can possibly get out of them and before it all comes crashing down around your ears.

Happy Friday,


Comment by Ericka Diaz on June 6, 2014 at 8:14pm

Keith, is common in Central America (where I leave) the employees remaining years in the same job, my article is directed largely to Latinos who are very attached to their vacancies.

Overall my article based on a study that indicates that every 4 or 5 years in the life of every human being major changes happen, for example, you get married, you have children, a promotion at work etc.. It is important that people stays alert to these changes and thus also improving in your fencing career.


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