3 Reasons Not to Stay at Your Job Too Long

Should you stay or should you go? Typically, job hopping is frowned upon because it suggests that you’re flighty and possibly incompetent, thus a waste of money for the employer. Of course, it could also mean that you know what you want and don’t want in your career. Here are three reasons why staying at your job for too long may be a career breaker, rather than a career maker.


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The job market is much different now than it was even 10 years ago. Having a killer resume doesn’t seem to cut it anymore, and more of the focus is on your online presence and individuality. Younger generations, millennials especially, are much more focused on finding happiness and meaning in their careers, rather than joining the rat race and climbing the corporate ladder like the many generations of burned-out professionals before them. Therefore, if one job doesn’t serve them after a while, millennials might be less reluctant to move on to greener pastures to seek out the happiness and fulfillment they originally sought out to find in their careers.

Maybe they’re on to something, there. If you consider that a Gallup study found that 65 percent of managers are “checked out” at work and hate their jobs, and that 70 percent of employees are miserable at their current jobs, it seems that ditching the downer job might be the way to go, if you want to have an enjoyable and fruitful career. Here’s what you need to consider.

1. No Money, Mo’ Problems

If your reason for sticking around at your current employer is because of money, then you’re in for a rude awakening. According to a Towers Watson survey conducted on 1,100 employers, employers are expected to cap raises at 3 percent this year, reports CNN Money, and employees can expect this same percentage for 2016, too. To put this into perspective, say you earn $80,000 this year and are expecting a 3 percent raise at the end of the year. This means you can expect a whopping $2,400 more tacked on to your annual salary, and that’s before taxes.

The problem with being overworked and underpaid is that you will become resentful of your employer over time, which is extremely detrimental to your and your employer’s success.

2. Boredom

Staying in the same job without advancing can cause you to become bored with your job and, even worse, complacent in your career. As the saying goes, “Idle hands are the devil’s playground,” and this especially applies to workers.

If you’re bored at your job, then you’re probably filling your time with things that do keep your interest, like gossiping, taking long breaks, and surfing the internet on the clock, to name a few. What’s the point of staying in a boring job and collecting a paycheck, when you could be out there doing something that you love and are passionate about?

Too often, professionals stay at their less-than-fulfilling jobs because they hope to advance up the ranks eventually, only to find out that they’ve wasted valuable time and energy on a dead-end job. The problem is that these professionals end up accepting their unfortunate fate and become jaded and complacent in their careers until retirement. That’s no way to live.

3. Stagnant Growth

Sticking around at one job for too long can also be detrimental to your chances of progressing in your career. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind working at the same exact job for your entire career, then this doesn’t apply to you. However, if you’re like the vast majority of professionals who have a desire to get promoted, then staying at the same employer for too long can stifle those plans and your potential.

Staying put also tells your employer that you’re just peachy keen where you’re at and don’t have intentions to move up anytime soon. This type of mentality and behavior can lead to your employer taking you for granted and overlooking you when it comes time for promotions, perpetuating your “stay put” situation again and again. 

If you’re looking for some pointers on how long is too long to stay at a job, then read this post. It’s also important to know when it’s time to switch careers and when making the change to an entirely new industry is the right move.

In the end, the reason to stay at or leave your current job is a personal decision. If you’re happy at your job and there’s potential for you to grow within the company, then, by all means, stay and earn seniority as you expand your career. However, if the future looks gloomy at your current employer, then it may be time to move on to bigger and better things to ensure that you’re not wasting your prime years at a dead-end job and limiting your full potential.

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