In this post, I am trying to look at things from the perspective of employees & employers. I don't have experience being an employer, but I helped to interview & change jobs myself a few times 😄.
- Do I have to stay in a company for "X" years before changing jobs?
- Should I hire/interview someone who frequently changes jobs?
It is a question we need to ask ourselves during a job hunt or hiring someone.
Employee— No one else knows your story better than you, so take your time to understand the profiles, see differences in your current profile, and where you see yourself in a year or two. Yes, no more "where do you see yourself in 5 years ?" question. How will you achieve five years' goals if you can't move an inch towards your goal in 1–2 years? 🤔 Let's think of it as stepping up towards a five-year plan.
Before making any decisions related to your job, you need to think about the pros & cons. Even after all the study & analysis, if you land in some company or profile that is not what you like, you don't be afraid to make a change & leave.
"Be compassionate towards your future self."
Before you try to look for a new job, maybe give some things a try:
- Communicate- As an employee, communicate what bothers you & what can be changed or improved with your leads.
- Discuss your Goals — See if there is any chance that you can achieve your goals in the current organization. Sometimes, you need to create an opportunity if it isn't available as an option.
- Visibility — Make your work visible so that you know where you spent your time & it is taking you towards your following profile change goal.
Despite trying all the options mentioned above, if you still plan to change the job, make sure to focus on getting the best suitable role aligned with your future goals and plans.
Here are a few things I look for when changing jobs:
- Learning — Am I learning anything new by joining this company?
- Work culture- It isn't easy to understand work culture from the outside, but you can look for company profiles on LinkedIn, Glassdoor review. Ask questions during an interview.
- Flexibility — I like working from the office & home both, but it's essential to have that flexibility to WFH when needed.
- Money is not everything, but you need to do calculations to reach your financial goals with the package offered. So do your research on salary & payscale for similar profiles based on where you stay. If you are changing country, you need to think about the cost of living, taxes, etc. We should not change jobs only for a high pay scale. However, this might be different for you if you have a family to support & other obligations.
- Study — No matter which type of company you work with, always have your study path or side project. It helps to grow your profile in the direction you want to grow rather than being pushed towards the profiles that some else needs.
Employer — If the candidates' skill set matches your requirements, there is no need to prejudge the resume based on several job switches. Having open communication before you hire someone is essential. No one tries to switch jobs thinking I will change in a few months or 1–2 years, neither we get a pension when we stay for a lifetime (except a few jobs). Everyone has their reason for changing jobs, and if it bothers you as an employer, it's always good to ask & get clarity on the grounds if you think it's fair enough, then you found your next candidate.
People will always judge who changed job often & who stayed in the same company for 15 years.
"Try to be a lawyer before a judge" — understand the profile & person before selection or rejection.
I remember one answer when I was looking for a job for the first time: "How long do you see yourself working here ?" or something to evaluate an employee's commitment to the company.
The honest answer would be — "As long as a company & I both benefit from each other." However, there will be moments when the balance goes off, which should be managed with communication sometimes but not above the threshold.
Also, some good interviewers will understand the reason for the job change & do not think of it as a sign of lack of commitment.
You can create an environment where people want to stay rather than doubting profiles based on a job change as an employer. If they were not leaving someone, how would you find your right candidate, unless you were looking for freshers? I never had an experience being an employer, but I understand it isn't easy to create an environment that everyone likes; at least we can try.
- Job description & responsibility — Share honest & transparent job descriptions, no big trending words to lure people into applying for the job. Because later they will know what the reality is & they might feel betrayed. There is always something new that we might not mention in the job description, but it's always helpful when we share the requirement.
- Commitment — Conflict emerges when we do not follow our promises, commitment to work, growth, more payment, or higher position. Whatever the reason not to complete that particular commitment, it still leaves doubt in employees' minds about every following commitment you make. We need to be more honest & careful when we make them in the first place.
- Environment — Provide open communication for real. The feeling of being understood by someone, especially someone you interact with daily, is the best.
- Career growth — People need to see their career growth when doing a particular job. However, it should be challenging enough to keep growing.
So, the simple answer to the questions mentioned at the start of the post is 1. No 2. Yes. Simplifying further, ask yourself, would you not date someone who has been in a few relationships before or has never been in a relationship before? Tricky question right, it all depends on where you are right now & what do you want. We all have been there finding perfect job or partner, there is no guarantee both take effort. So do what you love & stay true to yourself.
Hopefully, next time you look for a job change or go through a candidate's resume, you won't jump to conclusions. Instead, you may think about the multiple reasons to leave/stay company or hire not to hire a candidate. It's up to you what things matter the most to you in both situations. Also, there is a person behind the resume & interviewer; the best way is, to be honest about it.