Been in the same company for more than 10years? Feeling content or confined?

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing job market, it’s not uncommon to see professionals jumping from one company to another in search of greener pastures. However, there are still some die-hard employees who remain loyal to their companies for a decade and sometimes even longer.

Maybe they are really comfortable and content in their jobs! They have managed to find a job that pays their bills, gives them a sense of purpose and they’re in it for the long haul. Doesn’t sound so miserable after all!

They have seen the company go through good times and bad times and they have weathered the storms with their employers. In fact, they are so loyal that they are type of employees that make their bosses sleep better at night!

But have these long-standing professionals have become complacent in their jobs? Are they just going through the motions, not taking any risks and not striving for excellence? Not necessarily, some have actually found ways to reinvent themselves within their roles. They have taken on new challenges and responsibilities and have continued to learn and grow within their companies.

While staying for 10 years is good but beyond that there is a risk of your professional growth getting stalled. Prospective employers are often reluctant to hire such professionals for a number of reasons.

The common thoughts that pop up are:

  • They are perceived as most comfortable with familiarity and will have difficulty adapting to new organization and culture.
  •  Long standing employees do not have a diverse learning style and might not flourish when exposed to new leadership and different management practices.
  •  They are not ambitious and driven to achieve; lack dynamism and are averse to changes.

Being in the same organization for long also adversely impacts salary. Even if there is a profile and job growth, invariably salary does not grow in that proportion. Surveys show that annual average wage growth was substantially higher when people hopped jobs. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that job seekers who made a lateral move to a new company received a 10-20% salary increase and some got over 30% increase.

While on the other side, those who move organizations found many advantages linked with it like it:

  • expanded their network.
  • got opportunity to work with different client base.
  • got exposed to new leadership and management styles.
  • new creative ideas and problems to solve.

So, how to make the shift possible after such a long time? Well, if you are one such employee then you have to try harder to demonstrate that you have a steep learning curve. It would be vital to-

  • Quantify your achievements.
  • List your versatile skills.
  • Highlight your experiences in multiple functions.
  • State the increased responsibility with each role rather than just job titles.

How long should you be staying at one organization? That would vary according to industry, job profile, age, culture among other factors. IT professionals have the shortest stint, while PSU employees have the longest. According to Bureau of Labour Statistics median tenure across all industry was 4.1years.

How do you know if the time is right to switch? Well, if you have experienced any of these:

  •  3 years without any promotion
  •  Income stagnation
  •  Decreased productivity & no longer motivated
  •  Unable to visualize your future

Even if you are not seeking an immediate change, it is still important to prime yourself for the process by building an updated profile, assessing your career goals, networking and appearing for interviews as it helps you to test the waters and be better prepared for the jump.

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