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Devil’s Advocate: Don’t Move From Job To Job

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This is a Devil's Advocate post.

It’s been over a month since the last Devil’s Advocate post and people have been asking whether the series was dead, well it’s not! This time I take on an issue that’s particularly poignant with my group of friends since many of us have left our original employer, where we all met, and gone on to greener pastures. I know in the past I’ve written about how you should date other jobs but this time I want to take it from the other side, how you should stick with the same job for the rest of your life because there are benefits to being loyal.

Loyalty is a Virtue

Let’s be honest, if you were an employer, would you rather hire someone who you know will stick around for a while or someone who jump at the next opportunity somewhere else? Naturally you prefer the loyal employee because you can depend on them sticking around and because it’s hard to make future plans if you have to depend on someone who might be easily enticed to leave with more money.

Earning Respect

As you move from job to job, you might find yourself making a promotional move, one where your new job is higher in the hierarchal chain, and in charge of a group of other employees. It’s much harder to earn people’s respect if you come in from the outside than if you move up from within and that’s something that a lot of people have difficulty grasping. Granted, you’ll get some respect along with your newly minted title and there are always political issues if you are promoted before someone else, but in general earning respect is easier if you’ve been there for a while and fighting in the trenches.

Learning the System

One of the hardest parts about taking a new job is learning how things work at the new company, do you really want to have to learn how to navigate human resources or how salaries are determined? Do you really want to deal with a new set of office politics and who hates who? Probably not and by sticking around with one company, you avoid having to relearn all those mundane issues at a new company. When I left my last company, one of the biggest pains was trying to decipher my benefits all over again and learn new terminology.

It’s Not Always About Money

If you had the skills, you probably could be an investment banker on Wall Street making six figure bonuses instead of doing whatever it is you’re doing right now… except you would be working 12-18 hour days and killing yourself. For some people, that’s what they want to be doing; for others, the quality of life aspect comes into play and they value things other than money. If you have skills that in demand, you could probably go to another company and earn more money but you sacrifice a lot of the things you’ve built up at your current company. Your network of friends and associates, your reputation, your understanding of how the company works, and your general level of comfort.

Ultimately whether or not you want to move from company to company depends a lot on the specific factors but a lot of folks seem to push forth the idea that moving to another company is almost always a winning proposition. Certainly it’s likely always a winning proposition financially, otherwise you wouldn’t even consider it, but as you get older there are other non-financial factors that may dominate the decision. I just wanted to throw a few of those out there so that they get the juices flowing and it’s not seen as just a strict money decision.

{ 8 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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8 Responses to “Devil’s Advocate: Don’t Move From Job To Job”

  1. Nice post! You do lose a certain amount of goodwill when you switch jobs (assuming you were a good, respected employee). You start at square one as far as making impressions and forming relationships at work when you switch jobs, too. Another important consideration: 401k vesting! Most companies make you wait 5 years or more until you are 100% vested in their matching contributions. This can add up quite nicely. Obviously there are good reasons to switch employers that often outweigh these–but I plan to stick with my current company (even if I switch positions within it) at least until I’m 100% vested in my 401k plan.

  2. NCN says:

    I actually plan to stay with my current employer for the next 15 to 20 years. I work for a non-profit, I love what I do, and my family is happy where we live. I feel like I’m doing something that “matters”. The compensation is roughly equal to what I could earn doing any other comparable job… so I think I’ll stick around.
    NCN

  3. plonkee says:

    I enjoy my current job and am too lazy to move. I think I’ve accepted that I’m slightly limiting myself as far as salary and progression go, but then I’m not sure that either of those things bother me too much. My only concern is that if I stay too long I’ll be unable to move – maybe at that point it’ll be time for a complete change of career.

  4. Minimum Wagec says:

    On the other hand, if you have a dead-end minimum-wage job, you don’t want to stay there “too long” lest prospective employers think you’re a dud.

    After about five years at my first post-college job, my resume became worthless for the purpose of getting job interviews.

  5. -rose says:

    If I were happy what I do in my career, does this job for me forever?

    My answer is no. Nothing stays same how hard we would like to believe.
    No matter what age or how long we work for one company, when time is up, we need to pack ourselves and move to next job. We just make sure that next job is better than this one based on whatever reasons…

  6. screwed says:

    Lovely, I switched jobs 6 months ago, basically because I was bored with my previous responsibilities and I thought I deserved a bigger paycheck.

    Well I got what I wanted (I guess)! I find my daily duties more challenging now and I got a 30% increase in my base salary and my bonus should be higher than before, I was barely into the 6 figures base + bonus with my previous employers. So I thought I hit the jackpot … NOT!

    1) I was working 8 hours before, now I do it for almost 11 hour per day.
    2) My new boss sits right besides me all day and is constantly asking everyone what are they working on.
    3) Everything is disorganized in this company.
    4) The stress is killing me, since 3 months ago I get neck and shoulder pain (I got some sort of RSI due to my working hours) after a couple hours into the day (usually I wake up fine but at around 9am I start having the pain again)
    5) I thought I’d like a more competitive environment but this is cutthroat one, a coworker literally stole my work (he modified it a lil bit) and marketed as his!!!

    And on top of that I had the not so good idea to go back to school part time so I have another $15k that I spend per year on tuition so I need the extra income.

    Man, I’m seriously considering looking for something else.

  7. rocas93 says:

    What good does it do to stay with a company for 20-30 years anymore. By the time you are ready to retire they dump your pension due to bankruptcy because they don’t want to pay into it what they should have been paying all along!
    All of a sudden you have to work another 10-20 years because your pension is, at the drop of a hat, less than half.
    REMEMBER UA!! and I’m sure there have been others.

  8. cfiz says:

    Well switching jobs is worth it if you’re not happy with your current job and want to switch to a different career/field/location, etc.

    This article is really only appropriate if you’re switching between jobs in the same field of expertise, and you like the location of the old job and new job equally.


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