Rolling stones gather no moss
I read somewhere that young professionals entering the job-world today will have made 10 to 15 career moves by the time he/she is 35 – that’s an average of just a year or 18 months in each job role. Life-time loyalty to your employer was an attribute that professionals of an era long-past were proud to have and over the years the trend seems to be going to the other end of the spectrum. Life-time loyalty also came with the comfort that your employer would never fire you, except if you knowingly violated the law or breached the company’s code of ethics. However, in this day and age, every professional needs to be prepared to face redundancy several times in his/her career
Despite the back-drop of lack of loyalty both by the employee and the employer, I feel that frequent job moves could have very negative consequences on one’s career in the long-run. Apart from making it difficult to explain the frequent job moves to a prospective employer in the future (especially if the move has been for a small raise or a small step up the career ladder), the professional would have failed to establish a track-record of performance in any job role, which resulted in an internal promotion.
My conversations with many employers have shown that they consider a 3-year stint as being the minimum threshold to establish that someone is a high-performer. The first year is seen as a “honeymoon” period where the new employee is getting to know the organization and may demonstrate a few flashes of performance but the expectations of the new employer are not high. It is in the second year that the new employee demonstrates performance and the third year establishes whether the employee can maintain a consistent track-record of high performance or not.
I have come across several average performers who make moves every 2 years or so, because they realize that they need to make a move before their inadequate performance is discovered and they are fired
Therefore, if one has not spent at least 3 years in at least some of one’s job roles, and ideally with an internal promotion in some of those stints, it would be difficult to demonstrate to a prospective employer, 15 or 20 years into one’s career, that one is indeed a high-performing manager. Moreover, one runs the risk of being clubbed with the rolling stones who move every two years because they are not gathering any moss!!