How long should you stay in a company?
What if your dream job turned out to be a nightmare? And you just can’t stay in the company for a few more months – let alone more years.
But what are the implications of leaving a job with less than a year of tenure? Are you going to be branded a job hopper and what impact would this have on your career? These are all legitimate questions you’ve probably asked yourself at some point in your career.
The first question to really consider is: should I stay or leave this company?
There are many factors that affect your decision to go or stay in one company. But it’s essential to understand why you want to leave in the first place. Are you a newbie who is feeling out of place, an old-timer anxious to get promoted, or trying to escape the unhealthy culture of your company?
Once you’ve identified the main reason for your wanting to leave your company, you can now move on to the possible consequences of changing jobs so early in your career.
Take a look at your past working experience
Is your CV littered with short stints of jobs from different industries? Or is it your first time to try and get a new job? If you have a track record of jobs with less than 12 months tenure, your potential employer will be worried. However valid your reason for leaving, it doesn’t look good to not be able to stay at least 1-2 years in one company. Turnover cost is expensive, and companies don’t want to have to spend most of their resources on an employee who’ll leave them before the year is up.
Do you have a new job lined up?
The work stigma of being more marketable when employed vs unemployed is true. Potential employers are more confident to hire someone who remains relevant in the industry and isn’t idle. They fear your skills get stagnant when you are not working. And you lose your negotiating power for compensation.
So, how long should you really stay in a company?
Employers look at your tenure in a company. This gives them a sense of your commitment as an employee.
In a study conducted on tenure rates in the Philippines, the average tenure is 4.5 years. It usually takes 1-2 years for a new hire to match the productivity of an existing employee. When potential employers look at your resume, staying at least 2 years in a company already gets you ahead of the game. If you’ve had jobs that didn’t last for a year – it’s best to leave it out of your CV because you’d have to justify your reason for leaving. And convince your potential employer that you performed well and don’t have an attitude problem.
Potential employers invest in you when they hire you. So, they would rather take a chance on someone who has a good track record in their previous companies. Because committed employees support the organization’s goals and strategy. Someone who has added value and made a difference to the team, the business, and their clients.