A good friend is considering applying for a new job. He’s been in his current one for about four years and it got me thinking about how long is too long in a job?
Megan Alexander of Robert Half International said “…staying put demonstrates your ability to keep a job in a recession but doesn’t always develop your professional capabilities.” This makes sense but does not really address my question. Recruitment consultants all have their own views – some believe you should spend a minimum of two years in a role, while others prefer to see tenure of at least three years. Personally, I lean towards two years but that is probably because I get itchy feet after about 12 months.
I think the more important questions to ask yourself are “are you adding value?” and “are you still developing new skills?” If you can answer yes to these questions then I would say you have no obvious reason to find a new job. Unless, that is, your dream job has just been advertised – then I’d tell you to dust off your CV and apply quick-smart.
And that leads me to one final thought. Always keep your CV up to date even when you’re not job hunting. Having a polished CV takes time and effort and is not a five minute typing exercise. Don’t forget to proof read, proof read, and proof read. And when you think you’ve finished, proof read it again. There is nothing worse than having spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in CV’s or application letters.