Some people are in a job they love and feel the right amount of challenged by so they can’t fathom leaving. If you’re one of these lucky people, by all means, carry on for as long as you feel this way! But if you’re feeling ready for a change, whether it’s because you feel stagnant in your current role, you flat out hate your jobs or simply that it’s time for a sea change, how long should you wait? The truth is, there’s no one correct answer.
Is It Your First Job?
Typically, two years is considered a minimum length of time to stay in a job and have it look good on your resume, particularly when it’s your first experience in the workforce. If you’re still loving your work by the time two years creeps around, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t stay there as long as this remains true.
How Long Did You Stay In Past Jobs?
If it’s not your first job, what kind of history do you have behind you? Do you have multiple stays of less than two years? The more often short term job stays appear on your resume the worse it can look to potential employers. Why? Because hiring managers are usually hoping whoever they hire will stay for a few years.
Obviously, this doesn’t include short-term work like contracts or internships. But If this rings a bell for your long-term employment, you may want to consider sticking to your current job for a little longer to start repairing your resume appearance.
What If You Hate Your Job?
Well firstly you should assess whether your hate is justified and directed in the right direction. Counsellor at Sydney Career Counselling, Tina Monk, says you need to ask yourself a few questions before you seriously consider changing jobs.
“Do you dread going to work in the morning? Truly dislike the type of work you’re doing? Are you unable to shake the feeling that you just don’t fit in at this role? Are you are just going through the motions in your job? Has the work become so routine you could do it in your sleep?“
“If you’re honest with yourself when answering these questions, you’ll be able to better recognize if you’re in a slump or need to make a career change.“
You’ll still want to factor in your work history, one or two short term stays versus a lot of them have very different effects on your resume. Having said that, if you ever feel unsafe in your job then you must look after yourself first.
Is There Such Thing As Too Long?
There’s no exact year amount to answer this, but it basically comes under the maybe pile. While staying in one job for a while shows a good commitment and work ethic, yes it’s true that sometimes it may bring up a question of whether you can adapt to a new workplace. However, this point is a very long way off for most of us, definitely upwards of eight years. And it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, especially if you can show all the ways you’ve changed and grown in that time.