Jan. 10th, 2016

sleepybadger: (Default)
Every once in a while, someone will post a study on facebook that says that everyone should be changing jobs every 3 years or so.

Really, I take anything that says "everyone" should do something with a grain of salt anyway, but in general they do have some good points - if you change jobs regularly, you're more likely to have a better salary than someone who stays at the same place and gets their 1.5% increase per year. And I should specify here that I'm talking about people who are *voluntarily* changing jobs, not people who are getting laid off and trying to find something new (although personally that helped me a lot). You also get more experience and a wider variety of experiences. Depending on what your field is, you might even be able to get to try out many different fields. It also keeps your interviewing skills sharpened and you're always looking for new stuff to learn, all very positive things.

I think many of us are afraid of change in general, so it's easy to stay somewhere where you're less than happy. The whole 'the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.' And we all know folks who have horror stories about new jobs.

My personal experience has been good, though I stay for about triple the "recommended" time. My first post-college job had a lot of good things about it. I worked for a small company and I got to work a few different jobs while I was there. Small companies can be nice because you get to wear a lot of hats and learn a lot. I also worked with really nice people that I genuinely enjoyed working with. The pay was terrible though. I had gotten to a point where I was ramping up to leave, and then our company got bought by another company. I learned I was to be on the chopping block, but they were giving us a nice severance package (I would get 20 weeks of pay and outplacement assistance). Unfortunately, it took me 9 months to find my new job. And the other potential offers I had (which didn't pan out for one reason or another) were making the same lousy pay I was getting at my previous job. When I got my current job offer, it was significantly more than I had been getting paid, which was a huge relief. And this was again a small company so again, my duties were varied. With additional duties and salary reviews to bring me up to par with the "standards" in my field, I am now making significantly more than I was making at when I started. When I think about what I was getting paid at my first job... I seriously don't know how I got by. And I wonder, was the pay there just that bad, or is the pay where I am just really generously good? My current company reviews everyone's pay every 3 or 4 years or so to compare to market standards and makes changes accordingly, which leads me to believe my first job just had really terrible pay.

Now that I'm approaching the 9 year mark at my current job (which actually will bump me into a higher PTO rate), I'm considering looking for something different. I've been told there are a couple of big potential opportunities coming for me this year, so at this point I'm in kind of a holding pattern. There's something I'm working on right now that will take a few months, so I'm thinking I will reevaluate in April. By then I'll have a better idea of whether or not the opportunities will come to pass, and if I should start looking for something else. I'll have the benefit of being able to turn down anything I don't think is an excellent fit, and take my time. Unless they decide to lay me off. My current boss says that my biggest problem at work is that I'm a good worker and people like me, so everyone wants to work with me.

I have a lot to think about.

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sleepybadger

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