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How long should one stay at their first job

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‘Personality is reduced and deformed with depleted thoughts and stagnant mind.’

Hussein of Jordan is right when he says that stagnation can deplete and distort someone’s personality. For continual progression and development, an individual has to keep moving, or else they become stagnated. Switching a job is imperative for growth and promotion.  Every individual at one point asks this question as to how long he should stay at his first job, before looking out for a new opportunity. When it comes to career decisions, one just cannot take decisions in haste, for any miscalculated decision can put a full stop or at least a comma to one’s career. To avoid any likely damage to one’s career, a person has to be very careful while taking career-related decisions.

With maturity and experience, a person becomes wise and knowledgeable, and therefore the quality of his decisions improves remarkably. But during the formative stage, only a few people can take intelligent decisions that will add four moons to their career.

In this blog post, I shall discuss for how long one should stay in their first job or for that matter in one job before making a switch. Different management experts have different views on this, and they have provided validation to prove their point. I would say no thumb rule can be applied in every situation when it comes to deciding upon the duration in a company. Some people quit their first job as soon as they get an opportunity, while others remain committed towards their organizations for a good amount of time.

There is no harm in leaving if you get a great opportunity, but leaving your first job within a few months of joining, can have an adverse impact on your resume. If you leave your first job for some extra money, you would not be considered a reliable resource in the long run and the organizations wherever you go for an interview will not take you seriously. If you get an outstanding opportunity or you can justify your decision, then it would be fine to leave, but do not make decisions in haste as you might regret that later in life.

Staying in a job for too long may also go against you. If you do not look for opportunities and stay at one place, then also you cannot do well in your career. It is okay if you are making constant progress in your current job and your first job is offering you everything that you have always wished for. But then also, you should keep looking for career growth opportunities. If you stick to one job for too long, you may be considered lethargic and passive. The world is changing at a fast pace and those who can move ahead with time are considered to be worthy and efficient. In such times, if you display a laid back attitude, then you become obsolete for the corporate world.

It is crucial to spend some amount of time in one job, so as to understand what a job role is all about. Leaving jobs in every six months is not a good option, as you cannot become a master unless you practice something for a considerable amount of time. Similarly, do not spend more than five years at one place in the same position, as this will slowly bring down your energy levels. I believe the moment you realize that you are going into comfort zone then you should plan to change your job because one can achieve great things outside their comfort zone only.

Before deciding upon leaving a job, do some extensive market research and try to assess your value in the employee market. If you find that you are underpaid, then look for better opportunities. If you are fine with your current employer and the job responsibilities, then also you may look for opportunities. Also, if you don’t feel like leaving your present organization, you may look for new opportunities through internal job posting as this will give you a chance to enhance your skills and help to build a robust resume.

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