How long have you been at your current job? How long do you plan to stay? The answer to this question will have an impact on your career going forward. The truth is that most of us don’t have an answer. We may stay with our current employer for the next 10 months or 10 years. You could also be actively looking to make a move right now.

But it does bring up an important question – how long should you stay at a job? Our Toronto HR recruiters offer up some insights into how long you should stay at a job:

HR recruiters how long should you stay at a job


If you stay at a job too long

Staying too long at a job could result in a drop in interest and engagement, and it can even impact you financially.

As Sarah Doody, illustrates in a Forbes article, if you stay too long at a job you could limit your earning potential. People typically see a higher bump in salary when they change employers. If you stay with your existing employer, you can expect marginal increases at best.

“It’s literally impossible to know what’s available to you at a higher salary if you don’t take a chance and put yourself out there,” she says.

If you leave a job too early

Staying with an employer for only a short time can also have potentially negative repercussions. Leaving too early could make you look like a job hopper. You could be a liability to future employers, who will have concerns about you not being committed to the job long-term. While some degree of job hopping is becoming more acceptable, excessively frequent changes could potentially impact your credibility.

How often you change jobs depends on your situation

How often you change jobs depends on many factors that are specific to you. Your industry, job title, aspirations, and your level of satisfaction with your current job all affect your next career move.

Consider the following if you are weighing the merits of staying or exploring your options:

  • Learning and Growth: It’s often recommended to stay in a job for at least a year or two to gain a solid understanding of the role, industry, and company culture. This allows you to develop skills, build relationships, and contribute meaningfully.
  • Career Advancement: Staying in a role long enough to demonstrate your abilities and make a positive impact can enhance your chances of being considered for promotions or more challenging opportunities within the organization.
  • Job Satisfaction: If you find yourself consistently unhappy or unfulfilled in your current role, it might be a sign that it’s time to consider other options. However, it’s important to assess whether the dissatisfaction is related to the specific job or if it’s a recurring pattern in different positions.
  • Market Trends: Some industries or roles might have faster turnover due to rapidly evolving technologies or market shifts. In such cases, shorter stints may be more common and acceptable.
  • Long-Term Goals: Consider how the current job aligns with your long-term career goals. If the role doesn’t contribute to your overall trajectory, it might be worth exploring other opportunities.
  • Company Stability: If the company you’re working for is undergoing significant challenges or instability, it might impact your job security and long-term prospects.
  • Networking and Relationships: Building a strong professional network can benefit your career. Staying in a role long enough to establish meaningful connections can be advantageous.

The decision to stay at a job depends on a balance of factors that are important to you. If you’re considering leaving a position, conduct a thorough self-assessment, seek advice from mentors, and weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of your decision. Remember that your career is a journey, and each job experience contributes to your growth and professional development.


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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across Canada and internationally. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Construction & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Tanya Schwartz Toronto Recruiter

Tanya Schwartz

Tanya is a Senior Director, Client Services, with more than 20 years of experience headhunting across numerous industry sectors, including Fashion, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Administration, Retail, and Sales Recruitment. Her broad and lengthy track record of experience makes her a go-to partner for searches across all industries.

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