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Setting the Record Straight on Switching Jobs

Never make a lateral move

Your focus should be on finding interesting work and not worry about lateral moves.

The old model was that you were Assistant VP, the VP, then Senior VP. But in companies today, there's often nowhere to go in your current job or another one.

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Setting the Record Straight on Switching Jobs

Setting the Record Straight on Switching Jobs

https://hbr.org/2015/07/setting-the-record-straight-on-switching-jobs

hbr.org

6

Key Ideas

Common career advice is changing

In the last few years, experts describe the current labor market as "candidate-driven," meaning that job seekers hold more power than employers. This means that you shouldn't rely on "age-old" guidance.

Standard advice used to be to stay in a job for at least two years and not to leave until you have your next one lined up. While that was true in the job market 20 years ago, it is not necessarily true in the constantly changing market.

Telling your boss you’re looking for another position

  • It used to be that when you left a job, you were seen as a traitor. Now companies make efforts to ensure people leave on good terms. They have programs that keep the door open in case employees want to return.
  • Not only is there less risk in letting your manager know you're looking, but there may also be upsides. Your boss may want to figure out how to keep you.
  • If staying with the company isn't realistic, you may find ways to continue to work with the company. But the conversation may be uncomfortable and be far worse if you suspect your manager won't be understanding.

Staying at a job for at least a year or two

  • This conventional wisdom is not always realistic. You may need to relocate because of your spouse's job, for example.
  • Staying for only a short term no longer hurt a resume. 32% of employers expect job-jumping. Millennials are especially prone to brief stays at jobs. 70% quit their jobs within two years.
  • Gaps in job history are no longer seen as problematic either, but you have to show that your time off wasn't a waste of time.
  • However, you should avoid jumping around if you can because of the emotional drain of finding a new place, new friends, and reproving yourself.

Wait for a counteroffer before quitting

Don’t quit your job before allowing your current employer to make a counteroffer. If you're a valuable employee, smart companies will attempt to convince you to stay, especially in industries where there's talent scarcity or specialized roles.

But most counteroffers are bad for all parties. Generally, 80% of those accepting counteroffers leave within a year and half of those who accept them restart their job searches within three months.You should make a decision based on the unique situation you are in and analyse both alternatives.

Never make a lateral move

Your focus should be on finding interesting work and not worry about lateral moves.

The old model was that you were Assistant VP, the VP, then Senior VP. But in companies today, there's often nowhere to go in your current job or another one.

Always seek to improve your skillset

Ideally, it would be best if you never were looking for your next job, because you enjoy what you do. When you are fully immersed in what you do and can function at your best, searching for your next one is unnecessary.

Even if you've found a role that you love, you should continue to learn and grow to keep up with the changing world. Continuously look for projects that give you more skills and do things outside of your comfort zone, so you add to your skillset.

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