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

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 [3] 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.