Should you change job every two years?
There is an argument that you should change job every two years. However, you need to consider who you listen to when taking on board that argument.
The elephant in the room is the recruiter having that argument. We make our money from placing people in jobs. Therefore the more regularly people change jobs then the more money we can make. However, just because it’s in our interest to advise this, it doesn’t mean it is necessarily bad advice.
You have many business leaders, successful people and alike who will also give this advice despite the fact that there may be no direct benefit to them in you doing so.
The Pro’s of changing job
Changing job can have a number of benefits. It is important to distinguish what the real pro’s are though.
More money on the surface is an obvious benefit. However, be careful as there is often a trade off for this. The expectation on you may be higher. Hours may be less favorable. Stress levels could be tested. The employer themselves may be difficult to work for. When seeing the dollar signs in one hand, look for what’s missing from the other.
Other benefits can include training, development and progression. However, they are only categorically beneficial if they form part of something you want to work towards. Accruing training courses for no benefit or opportunities to progress into a role you can only do if you relocate to Indonesia could have drawbacks.
Finally other Pro’s could be that your reasons for leaving your current position are taken away by a new role. This is a sensible reason for identifying a good new job opportunity.
The Con’s of changing job
My earlier point above about being careful is crucial here. Leaving a job for greener pastures may turn sour if irrationally thought out. There are a lot of 50 year old’s who have regrets about jobs they shouldn’t have left in hindsight earlier in their career. Try not to fall into that trap.
Changing job should be about improving your work and personal experience, not for reasons that turn out to be more losing a tenner and winning a fiver.
Why Two Years?
Why not 5 years or 1 year? The number is 2 years, but why?
It is a balance of settling into a job and having the time to master it before being in a position where your limited on what else you can learn. The two year concept isn’t an exact science but a sensible medium.
If you spend 9 months in a job it looks too job hopper like and could put a good employer off. However, if you spend 4 years in a job some employers may think you’ve forgotten some skills that could be relevant to them as you’ve been out of “that niche” for too long.
The idea is to keep your skills and career progressing forward. But progression alone needs to be toward a goal; an end objective. Simply changing jobs because you’re bored can just end up in you being a mercenary always craving something more but never actually finding it.
If you want to go the change job every two year approach, then you need to work toward a goal. This will give you a structure of what job and company to go for next. If you want to become a chief executive one day and you’re a junior manager now then you have to accept that you’ve got to take a few steps in the right direction to get there.
Can your current job within two years progress you to a mid level manager? Unless it is a definite yes then you need to look for another job that has that definite progression. However, if that job stops you using relevant skills you need to get to the next step afterwards or hinders you in other ways then it may not be the right step. Perhaps another company may offer a better quality mid level management role better suited to you reaching your future goals.
The key though is to have a goal in the first place and make your decisions based on achieving it.