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08/05/2013

How frequently should you change jobs?

The era when an employee used to stay with a single employer for twenty or thirty years, and then retire with a handsome retirement package is long gone. The modern employee is all about mobility, chasing new opportunities and jobs even when they already have a secure and well paying job. So, how frequently should you change jobs, and how much job hopping is too much?

1. When your pay is not enough.
Higher pay and salary is the number one reason people change jobs, let’s not even lie about it. If you feel that what you contribute to the company’s bottomline is way beyond the measly pay you get, then by all
means, look for a job that will reward you handsomely for your skills. However, even as you look for a new job, remember that seeking a higher pay is not in any way related to rising expenses and inflation, but rather, an increase in your skills and productivity.

2. Seeking new skills and career progression.
Sometimes, even when you are obviously highly talented, there is no way to climb up the corporate ladder. It could be that you have to wait for your boss to retire, or simply that there few growth opportunities within the company. It could also be that your role has grown predictive, and offers nothing new to learn with each passing day. At this point, you should be thinking hard about getting another job that will stretch you.

3. The office culture is toxic.
No matter how high the pay is, how many skills you stand to gain in your office environment, nothing will replace the human interactions in the office. If backstabbing is the order of the day, and gossip takes much of the company time, then it is time for you to consider an exit. Sure, every company has its fair share of gossip, and some of it can be healthy. However, too much gossip and backstabbing can make the environment toxic, and may even affect your productivity.

What to remember.
Changing jobs can open new possibilities, and free you from the current redundant role. However, changing jobs too much badly reflects on you as an employee, and shows that you are unreliable, and not loyal to your current employer. Before changing jobs, seek whether you could discuss with your manager how you can make your job more rewarding and fulfilling, discuss any pay issues, of course with facts to back up your claims to higher pay. Although you may not wholly change the office culture, draw the fine line between what is acceptable to you and what is not. Only then should you start the search for new opportunities, confident in the knowledge that you re better off in another company.

As a caveat, changing jobs every six months or less badly reflects on you. Two years is perhaps the optimum timeline to be changing jobs. Happy job search. !!

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