Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly



  • There are a lot of opinions on this subject. What do people think, what have you found? Should you lean towards sticking with one employer and staying for a long time and working your way up? (Linear job progression.) Or should you lean towards looking for external opportunities and moving to other companies (Lateral job progression?)



  • @scottalanmiller said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    There are a lot of opinions on this subject. What do people think, what have you found? Should you lean towards sticking with one employer and staying for a long time and working your way up? (Linear job progression.) Or should you lean towards looking for external opportunities and moving to other companies (Lateral job progression?)

    I think both have their place. If you are somewhere where you can stay for a while and move up that's awesome. Just don't get complacent so if you ever have to leave you can.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    There are a lot of opinions on this subject. What do people think, what have you found? Should you lean towards sticking with one employer and staying for a long time and working your way up? (Linear job progression.) Or should you lean towards looking for external opportunities and moving to other companies (Lateral job progression?)

    I think in most cases you move up faster by seeking new employment. With that said, any new employer could be a step down socially or a step up in responsibility which doesn't parallel your income increase. Necessary risk IMO.



  • What is considered long term?



  • @wirestyle22 said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    I think in most cases you move up faster by seeking new employment. With that said, any new employer could be a step down socially or a step up in responsibility which doesn't parallel your income increase. Necessary risk IMO.

    Although even having more "steps" on your resume can be beneficial. Just because a job is a step down doesn't mean that it looks that way to the next employer.



  • @tiagom said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    What is considered long term?

    Who knows. People in the long term camp I think tend to mean like five to ten years at least.



  • A lot of it boils down to happiness.... If you are happy where you are at, keep your resume dusted off and current... The moment you realize that you have not been happy at your job... then start blasting your resumes out.



  • @dafyre said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    A lot of it boils down to happiness.... If you are happy where you are at, keep your resume dusted off and current... The moment you realize that you have not been happy at your job... then start blasting your resumes out.

    That's a tough one. What if you are happy, but you stagnate? I was like that at CitiGroup. Plenty happy, but was afraid of getting stale. Moved on anyway because long term career investment needed to outweigh short term job happiness.

    Enjoying where you are can be risky because what happens if the company fails, things change or whatever but you are left without the skills to move to another great job?



  • I see advantages and disadvantages for both. For me 3-4 years at one company has been the formula. It shows stability and every time I moved on I got a considerable pay increase. When promoting within, you'll rarely get the same type of pay increases.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    @dafyre said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    A lot of it boils down to happiness.... If you are happy where you are at, keep your resume dusted off and current... The moment you realize that you have not been happy at your job... then start blasting your resumes out.

    That's a tough one. What if you are happy, but you stagnate? I was like that at CitiGroup. Plenty happy, but was afraid of getting stale. Moved on anyway because long term career investment needed to outweigh short term job happiness.

    Enjoying where you are can be risky because what happens if the company fails, things change or whatever but you are left without the skills to move to another great job?

    This is a good point.



  • My career in a nutshell:
    GeekSquad (6 months)
    Helpdesk (3 years)
    Desktop and Network Support (4 years)
    System Admin (3 years)
    Network Admin II (3.5 years)



  • @IRJ said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    I see advantages and disadvantages for both. For me 3-4 years at one company has been the formula. It shows stability and every time I moved on I got a considerable pay increase. When promoting within, you'll rarely get the same type of pay increases.

    Completely agree.

    Moving on to new environments are always exciting.



  • I think both have their place. The key philosophy being the moment that your job becomes easy, it's time to start looking. Some companies have pretty cool job rotation programs that keep you fresh, so linear progression seems like it might make sense. Additionally, if my overall goal was more of a management role at a company that I liked, I would put in some years for that.

    On the other hand - I was at my last job for 6 years. A job I liked. I moved on a whim because I had this nagging feeling that I hit a ceiling. When I started my next job, it confirmed that feeling x 1000. Year 1 of new job was professionally more beneficial than 4 at my last job.

    Regarding happiness, a job isn't like a wife. Happiness and loyalty only get you so far. It's one of the most important things, but not the only important thing.



  • @TAHIN said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    Regarding happiness, a job isn't like a wife. Happiness and loyalty only get you so far. It's one of the most important things, but not the only important thing.

    LOL, good way to look at it.



  • It's a mix of course. I've hit the ceiling more than twice in the last twenty plus years...I have also hit the 'stigma' criteria at least twice now as well. Both were not enjoyable in any fashion. The longest I was employed was eight years and the shortest was,.. well.. we won't go there.

    As they say - when you see the writing on the wall,.. you had best start to collect boxes and put your ducks in a row.

    I'm currently sitting at the 12-18 month block (closer to the 18 month) with NTG - and I'm not planning on any changes in the next 72 months....



  • @gjacobse said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    I'm currently sitting at the 12-18 month block (closer to the 18 month) with NTG - and I'm not planning on any changes in the next 72 months....

    NTG's a very different environment. Unlike traditional companies, NTG hires for the long haul and has internal development and such. It even provides lab capacity 🙂 What applies most places really doesn't apply there.



  • I know of people who change jobs regularly (every 2 years or less), not always moving up. This can be good to get a variety of experience in many environments and a lot of exposure to various technologies.

    I tend to stay a while at places. I hate looking for jobs and only do it when I start to not like the current one for what ever reasons (it has to be several reasons or one HUGE reason). I have been fortunate enough to find places that I have really liked/learn a heap at.
    Also, there's not much out where I am, so it's either here or go out on my own and try to scratch out a living by starting my own business.



  • I was always a mover. I did something like forty jobs in the first three years of my career. Most were contract, so meant to be short and it wasn't like I was quitting or that I was being let go. It was a contract and things ended when the contract was over. But it meant tons of experience in all kinds of areas very quickly. I also took a lot of evening and weekend work to gain experience more quickly.



  • I don't like the idea of contracts. Far too much uncertainty about finding another contract to move to at the end of the current contract. Also, it involves looking for jobs/contracts... yuck



  • @nadnerB said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    I don't like the idea of contracts. Far too much uncertainty about finding another contract to move to at the end of the current contract. Also, it involves looking for jobs/contracts... yuck

    It's better than without contracts. With a contract, they can't just fire you anytime. So it's actually far easier to find the next job because of the huge reduction in uncertainty.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    It's better than without contracts. With a contract, they can't just fire you anytime. So it's actually far easier to find the next job because of the huge reduction in uncertainty.

    That's not something that happens here. None of this "fired because you were too happy in the break room" business.



  • @nadnerB said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    @scottalanmiller said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    It's better than without contracts. With a contract, they can't just fire you anytime. So it's actually far easier to find the next job because of the huge reduction in uncertainty.

    That's not something that happens here. None of this "fired because you were too happy in the break room" business.

    I was once fired, from a UNION job for... get this... "following the rules and encouraging others to follow them."

    Yup. Same job that the union made it so that they could pay UNDER minimum wage.



  • @IRJ said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    My career in a nutshell:
    GeekSquad (6 months)
    Helpdesk (3 years)
    Desktop and Network Support (4 years)
    System Admin (3 years)
    Network Admin II (3.5 years)

    Mine:
    Analyst Programmer (16 months)
    Analyst Programmer (4 months)
    Analyst Programmer (15 months)
    Analyst Programmer (15 months)
    IT Manager (16 months)
    IT Manager (3 years)
    IT Manager (13 years)

    It's probably time for me to move on, but when you find somewhere you like and you work with people you like, it's harder to leave.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    NTG's a very different environment. Unlike traditional companies, NTG hires for the long haul and has internal development and such. It even provides lab capacity 🙂 What applies most places really doesn't apply there.

    Oh. Is that a US mentality? Companies in the UK still generally hire for the long haul and have internal development, especially large companies (maybe not so much in SMB where career progression is limited). I'd say the majority of my friends that work in IT have worked at the same place for years (20+ years in many cases).



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    @scottalanmiller said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    NTG's a very different environment. Unlike traditional companies, NTG hires for the long haul and has internal development and such. It even provides lab capacity 🙂 What applies most places really doesn't apply there.

    Oh. Is that a US mentality? Companies in the UK still generally hire for the long haul and have internal development, especially large companies (maybe not so much in SMB where career progression is limited). I'd say the majority of my friends that work in IT have worked at the same place for years (20+ years in many cases).

    We have a lot of internal development here. A good amount of money set aside each year for classes and training. It's really nice. We also have a decent lab setup for testing.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    @scottalanmiller said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    NTG's a very different environment. Unlike traditional companies, NTG hires for the long haul and has internal development and such. It even provides lab capacity 🙂 What applies most places really doesn't apply there.

    Oh. Is that a US mentality? Companies in the UK still generally hire for the long haul and have internal development, especially large companies (maybe not so much in SMB where career progression is limited). I'd say the majority of my friends that work in IT have worked at the same place for years (20+ years in many cases).

    I cannot speak to everything, but the large company I worked at in the past had minor linear growth but mostly people were sitting there stagnating for 20+ years. I know people that started at the same time as me that are still there doing the same work.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    @scottalanmiller said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    NTG's a very different environment. Unlike traditional companies, NTG hires for the long haul and has internal development and such. It even provides lab capacity 🙂 What applies most places really doesn't apply there.

    Oh. Is that a US mentality? Companies in the UK still generally hire for the long haul and have internal development, especially large companies (maybe not so much in SMB where career progression is limited). I'd say the majority of my friends that work in IT have worked at the same place for years (20+ years in many cases).

    Almost all companies claim to do this, what they actually do is a little different.



  • In the SMB world, there are often no positions "above you" to move to besides owner/operator.
    In which case I tend to push for more budgetary flexibility so my "growth" comes in the form of experimenting with new technologies and attending seminars.

    In a larger corporate environment, unless you're hoping to move towards managing more personnel, your growth often consists of department swapping. Moving from Help Desk/Asset Management, to Software/Network Engineer, or Net Sec. I suppose it all depends on your end game, "staying on" is a great way to specialize, but specialization can lead to a dead end. (as S.A.M. pointed out)



  • @chrisnbrooks said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    In the SMB world, there are often no positions "above you" to move to besides owner/operator.

    Even in many pretty large companies. In the Fortune 500, you are probably safe. But much below that and you start getting lots of companies where there is no smooth path forward.



  • @chrisnbrooks said in Merits of Staying Long Term with a Job or Moving More Rapidly:

    In which case I tend to push for more budgetary flexibility so my "growth" comes in the form of experimenting with new technologies and attending seminars.

    This is a major reason why I believe that SMBs should almost universally move to outsourcing their IT. MSPs who are large, have internal training and maintain and internal ladder for growth bridge the gap between enterprise growth options and the SMB market.


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