Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

How long should you stay at your job? Employees and hiring managers weigh in

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jul 07, 2024 2:47 pm

In the past, hopping from one job to another was frowned upon in the working industry. If you aren't careful, you may find yourself being regarded as a red flag by hiring managers because you can't stay put.

However, moving from one company to another has somewhat been more normalized. In fact, employees from the newer generation are surprised that older workers have remained loyal to one job for so long, as seen from some discussions on social media.

PhilSTAR L!fe spoke with employees from different generations as well as hiring managers to shed more light on how long you should stay in your job in the modern world. 

Old vs. new beliefs

Before moving to her current job as a researcher and editor for a publishing company, 24-year-old Nycole Alforte believed that a year was enough to learn the intricacies of the corporate world and of a particular industry before trying to seek other opportunities.

"As I reached my work anniversary, I figured that a year [was] not enough to acquire the necessary knowledge and build qualifications. I still have a lot to learn and apply in my current job," she said.

However, she also believed that a year is "enough to discern the direction of your career within the company."

Alforte, who previously worked as an editorial assistant for a newspaper company, shared that the things that drove her to apply for a new job were her desire for growth as well as salary raises.

"In the workplace, you have to climb the corporate ladder to achieve higher compensation, but the thought that it could take years is demotivating. Looking for another job with better benefits and compensation would be easier at this point," she said.

On the other hand, 58-year-old office administrator Marlee, who chose not to reveal her full name, said that employees should stay at a job for about three to four years as this duration will give them "ample time to learn new skills and build your qualification." She has been working in her company for 12 years now.

"Once you have found a good reputable company, work your way up, establish a good standing with the company, you can stay with the company until your retirement age as long as you find the balance in life," she said.

According to her, some of the factors that contribute to whether or not she'll stay at a job include the stability of the company, the benefits the employer can provide, the satisfaction you feel, the new things you learn, how meaningful you find your work, and happiness.

Marlee said that it was more beneficial for her to stay at her current job and work hard to rise in the ranks than to move on to another.

"Not only do you have a job that you want, but also you develop your character and discipline by working with others and learning from your mentors," she said.

Thoughts on job-hopping

Times have changed and one's daily needs are pricier compared to how they were a decade ago, and one way some people have adapted to this challenge is through job-hopping.

However, in the case of Alforte, when she left her job to pursue another, she didn't really get the higher salary she was eyeing.

"I think it was too optimistic for me at the time to demand a higher pay considering my experience. Not to mention, I’ve only worked there for six months, so it was understandable that in another entry-level job that I applied for, I was offered the same salary," she shared.

Still, she isn't shelving the idea of job-hopping as for her, there's still a "huge disparity" between the older generation and Gen Z, especially with the cost of living.

"My current salary is not enough to keep up, or even raise a family or pay all the household bills. Staying in one job for a long time is not enough anymore. Finding another source of income or job-hopping is the key," Alforte said.

Marlee agreed on how life back then is way different compared to now, highlighting how their generation was "happier and lived a simple life." However, she still noted how generations today "are more impatient with regards to work" and "lack the character and discipline of how a good employee should be."

"Gen Z, in my opinion, feel entitled when they have not proven their worth yet.  How can they demand a higher salary when they are not even meeting the expectations of the company?" she continued.

While she acknowledged that inflation is inevitable, she pointed out how companies are aware of it which is why salaries are being adjusted every now and then.

"Some may have a better salary than others but that should not be a reason to feel like 'it’s the end of the world.' One should learn how to live within their means," she stressed.

What do hiring managers think?

When it comes to the ideal length of stay within jobs, human resources practitioner Katreena Duenas said it really depends on the setup and responsibilities of the work.

"In the normal viewpoint for a recruiter, staying for at least one year is quite acceptable as sometimes the line managers would already imagine how long their candidates (or soon to be employees) would stay as they would prefer having those who can last long," Duenas said.

Fellow HR practitioner Elly, who opted not to use her real name, meanwhile urged that employees should value the time they invest in an organization.

"Regardless of the employment type, I would say that a year or two is quite enough to stay in a job before looking for another one if an employee wants career growth," she said.

However, she warned that an employee who's most likely to job hop within a very short period of employment in an organization is most likely to be at the bottom of an employer's shortlist.

The reason for this is that companies are not just looking for an effective and efficient employee, but rather someone who's dedicated to the job.

For Elly, some of the factors that she has observed that causes employees to pack up and resign include salary that "cannot sustain most of the laborers' daily expenses," the working environment, and their emotional welfare during their in the company.

Apart from low salary, Duenas also cited the lack of career growth, unfavorable work set-up, benefits, heaviness of responsibilities, and relationship with superiors and colleagues as factors that affect employees' length of stay.

Both of them agreed the Philippines' prices have become too high in the past several years—people who change jobs quickly cannot be blamed for doing so.

"There [were only] a few companies and businesses during the old times, that's why [employees back then] managed to stay for a long time instead of job-hopping. While nowadays, inflation happens rapidly and there are lots of opportunities that open its doors to the Gen Zs," Elly underscored.

"As part of the people under the recent generation, prices of everyday expenses tend to continue rising," Duenas shared.

She added that some don't just accept positions for the role, but also consider pay, too. "A part of that now is if the salary would be able to sustain them for a long time. That's the reality that even fresh graduates are now facing as well."

Based on the latest data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on July 5, while inflation had slightly eased to 3.7% in June from 3.9% in May due to lower energy and transportation costs, food prices are still rising. It had gone up to 6.5% in June from 6.1% in May.

In spite of the temptation to constantly seek higher pay from other jobs, Elly recommends staying for a year or two before setting your sights on other pastures.

"Although practicality is more important nowadays, we must also consider the work experiences that we'll acquire and its advantage to the next career we're looking for," she said.