How long should I stay with my job in the finance industry?
The job market is much different now than it was a decade ago. A shining resume may open the door for you, but it also takes a strong online presence as well as appropriate personality traits to land a job in the competitive finance industry. Staying too long in the same job may deprive you of finding happiness and meaning in your career, but, on the other hand, you should possess all the skills and abilities to enter the job race and making to the top of the corporate ladder.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with staying at the same position for a number of years, if you are happy. The problem starts when you are unhappy and don’t seek for a promotion or a change of environment. In general, staying at a job less than 18 months suggests that something went wrong. Two to five years is ideal because it shows that you are putting an effort in building your career and you are contributing to the company. However, if you are not getting promoted by six years or more, it starts to look worrying because employers may think you are unambitious, or even worse, incapable of getting advanced.
The three factors you should consider before deciding to switch a job or not are:
- Acquiring new knowledge
One of the main reasons employees choose job hopping is because they run out of things to learn in their present position. Learning new stuff and acquiring new knowledge is the best thing to do in a competitive industry like the finance industry, but changing employers every year may not be the answer to your problem. Take a class, attend a seminar, go to college, participate in a challenging project, do anything it takes before deciding to job hop every second year.
- Career advancement
Sticking around at one job for too long may inhibit your career advancement unless you are the type of employee who likes to work at the exact job for your entire career. In fact, the longer you stay, the weaker your chances for promotion because your employer believes you don’t actually want to get promoted and you prefer to stay put. On the other hand, if you aspire to get promoted within your company, then you should consider doing this within two years of joining. If you are four years in the same company, then you should probably consider other options as staying with the same employer for too long may suffocate your potential.
- Money issues
Another reason people change jobs is money. If you are too long with the same employer, you are probably not going to make too much money, unless you involve yourself in new projects and you update your set of skills regularly so that it makes sense to get compensated with a higher salary. On the other hand, leaving your job for a new employer doesn’t guarantee that you will get more benefits, especially in a competitive industry like finance where there are all sorts of star candidates with all sorts of degrees and abilities.
At the end of the day, the best approach to deciding how long you should stay with your job in the demanding and challenging finance industry is to think of your career as a whole. There are always reasons for leaving a job or staying at a job, but the final decision should be based on whether you are happy and there is potential for you to grow within the company at your current position. If the future is gloomy and there is not too much to learn with your current employer, move on to bigger things and let your potential grow.
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