A Job for life!

How long should I stay in the same job?

A very legitimate question from a Pinnacle newly hired Business Development young talented man. The question hit me while I was showing him the career pathway for Pinnacle consultants and the minimum years of experience to move to the next level.

He is questioning the concept of a job for life, and how long should a successful person stay in the same job, he is asking me this knowing that I stepped into Xerox when I was a college freshman in the first year, I was only 18 years old, and I stepped out when I reached 49!

Contexts for Job for life, “Security in employment” A job in which one remains for one’s whole career until one’s retirement. The Noun “Security in employment”, “Job security”, “Permanent contract”, “Secure employment tenure”

The thought of a job for life is not new for me, I was not shocked by my colleague’s question, I always thought about it my entire career. Am I doing the right thing staying with Xerox, am I preferring my comfort zone turning down HSBC or Vodafone offers for me?

I had it all clear in my head, I was not fuzzy and I knew what I am aspiring to, and I knew how to plan my career. Let me tell you how I did that.

How Long Should I Stay with the same employer?

This question is going to pump in your head while you wonder if leaving a job is the right move for you, either because you have achieved all you wanted or simply want to try something new.

I always thought of it as a triangle representing three main elements (I always use triangle logic in my thought process)

If you are learning, growing, and are fairly paid, why should you consider leaving the job you are already in,

In my opinion, you should stay at your place of employment for a minimum of two years. It’s enough time to learn new skills and build your qualifications, while short enough to show that you value growing in your career.

But, what is the maximum? Is five years the best span?

How long you stay at a job depends on that particular workplace and your career goals.

Some people do not want to take risks growing in their jobs, they do not want the responsibility that comes with it.  And this is absolutely Ok, we do not have to have the same ambitions about stepping up the career ladder.

But, If one of your career goals is to be promoted or experience a lateral move to a new role, and your current employer does not have the resources and availability to support this, it may be time to take your talents, experience, and knowledge to another company. Sometimes your employer might have the opportunity, but you are not the most eligible, capable, and able person to take the vacancy.

So, Five years is not necessarily too long to stay in one job, if your job were constantly evolving and expanding so that your resume and your skills were growing, and you are fairly paid against the market, then there would be no reason to look around. With the same thought process, one year could be too long to stay in a job if you were bored and stymied. Sometimes one week in a new job is too long!

I used to update my CV every year and see If I was adding to it; New certifications, job scope expanded, etc., and as long as I see new challenges ahead and plenty of advancement potential in my job, then I decide to give my employer another year of my life.

In the old working world, longevity at one job or one employer was a virtue. Now a long tenure in one workplace raises questions: “Is this person someone who likes to get a job and go to sleep on  the job?” A shorter stay at a job used to carry a stigma for employers, but that’s not necessarily the case any longer. Employers now understand that people want certain things from their job and that sometimes it’s necessary to take on multiple jobs to move forward in a career. You may need to explore other opportunities if the company you work for does not offer the career growth you desire.

According to a study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018,  the typical USA employee stays at a job for just over four years. females and males are found to be the same tenure, older employees typically have longer tenure at a company than their younger counterparts. However, every person is different, so knowing when it’s time to apply for and accept another job may depend on several factors such as promotion opportunities, company culture, skills training, and work-life balance.

The longer you stay in a going-nowhere job, the less marketable you are on the inevitable day when you hit the talent market again! That’s why it is important to grow your muscles all the time. You know how it is with muscles, going to the gym, if your muscles are not growing, they’re getting soft!

The only job security we will ever have is the kind we build in ourselves, Particularly by stepping into the unknown! Market dynamics have changed, please read the article “Stable Job End” it is not only due to the changes that happened in the employment market in the last two decades and after the pandemic outbreak, but it is also the changes that took place in the culture of the multinational companies, and large enterprise seeing employees as liabilities and expenses rather than assets. it is the way the employment market now has changed with remote workers working from anywhere serving companies across countries making it harder for both Employer and Employee.

Always think about how to improve your current job and increase your chances to grow and earn more. You do have what we call a “Bank Account” which represents the good moments you have done for the companies, and your history, Instead of immediately changing jobs, think about your current role and ask yourself if you can improve it. For example, maybe you love your job and work with great people, but you want to take on a leadership role. Make sure you have discussed your goals with your manager during your review and asked what else you can do or what projects you can take on to establish yourself as a leader in the workplace.

Also please consider the standards of the industry you work for; some industries tend to have a longer span for job levels than others, and pathways for growing are different, like banking, telecom, different from FMCG.

How your CV is being perceived?

Employers realize that, during difficult economic times, employees may be forced to leave a job within their first year through no fault of their own due to situations like layoffs. However, please avoid establishing a pattern of working at several jobs for only a year or less,

You are creating a job-hopping work history and your resume isn’t going to impress any hiring manager. Layoffs can’t be avoided, but if you are moving on by choice, it’s a good idea to consider what, if any, impact the move will have on your future prospects.

There are three types of employee patterns that we define from their CVs.

  1. Job hopper

When we see a CV where the employee jumps into a series of different jobs at different employers, the position lasts for 18 months or less.

  1. Steady employment

When the CV shows working with the same employer in a series of different jobs, for periods from two years to five years or even longer when promotions and salary have fueled the stay.

  1. Job clinging

A CV of an employee who works in the same position at the same company for a period of five years or more with little or no change in title, job responsibilities, or salary.

Remember that staying too long at a job can also hinder your employment prospects, and a lengthy tenure with one company can give the impression that you are not interested in growing your career.

Long gone are the days when we finish school and then sign up to work for one company in the same position for life hoping for management to promote us before we retire. The expectations have changed for the employer and the employee.

Today, the value of steady employment is that you will show up and consistently deliver and perform your job at the highest levels so as to help your employer achieve its goals, and in exchange for this, you will receive the agreed salary and benefits.


The days have long since passed when people would stay at one job for their entire career. Workers now switch jobs several times in their careers, and employer-provided job security no longer exists.

Creating a culture for job security and advancement is becoming challenging for many organizations, losing employees who have the right talent for the job is very costly as well not only the cost of recruiting the right replacement but also for the training and development you have invested in the current employee to go and benefit your competitors.

Pinnacle has a set of consultation & training programs that can help you build the right structure, culture, and career plans with a compensation scheme that grants the best employees to stay and perform with passion becoming loyal to your team and brand. We have designed programs with Develor to build the leadership team that can drive your business to stable growing profitability.

Pinnacle® is a multi-country consultancy & training firm. Our consultants & multi languages trainers and consultants are spread around the world. We have built our organization on a modern business model with agility, diversity, and resilience to the business dynamics. We have chosen our technology platform to support our modern mindset thus we work from anywhere as work is not a place anymore. We implement Lean Six Sigma and EFQM in everything we do whether internally or externally at our client sites.

Article is written by:

Mohamed Mounir,

Managing Director

Pinnacle Ltd.

Pinnacle Ltd.

Pinnacle Ltd. is a multi-countries modern consultancy firm, with offices around 11 countries in 4 continents, and 28 consultants working remotely and virtually managed.

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