Is your job becoming "stale?"

If you think 16.5 years is a long time, a couple of months back I took a Unix course. The instructor teaches in the evening and programs C in his day job. Something he's done for the last 40 years. That's right the same programming language for 40 years. Would I recommend he go out and learn Scala to enhance his career? Probably not. The best advice I received during my college career was essentially, "develop good skills and you'll always have a job."

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So why did I leave my last job? Was I fired? Down-sized? Right-sized? Nope. I've never been let go from a job (fingers crossed, I never will be). In fact once in my career I'd asked to participate in a separation program just to be turned down (I left anyway). I left my last job because it was becoming stale; I was learning to hate my job. But, it was hard to leave. I had excellent pay, incredible benefits, like pension and about the best 401k (retirement) match I'd ever heard of. It had been a long time since I'd been on the job market.

Was it worth leaving?Hell yes. Now I spend my days loving my job instead of calculating how many years to retirement.

Do I think that if you're serious about your career you should leave your job? Possibly . There are a number of things to keep in mind, here's a few:

  1. Are you getting complacent, bored or just need to gain wider experience in the field? Then you should probably consider moving on.
  2. Does your employer believe in you? Appreciates you? Sends you to enough training to make you feel like you're progressing? Then you should probably stay. Not all companies care that much, they think of you as a cog in the machine.
  3. How long should you stay at a job? I'm not sure there's a 'right' answer, but my average stint is about seven years. This has proven beneficial the company I'm with was looking for someone with a little staying power, a little loyalty. I've been here about 8 months, the first six months as a consultant. It's been one of the best jobs I've had. I love my life again.
  4. I do believe sometimes changing jobs is a good thing. The corporate world can be confining and suffocating. If you really want to change jobs every couple of years, go with a good consulting company and stay for a while, but request new assignments when you need a change.

One last piece of advice, keep your skills current, your resume polished and the world is your oyster. Best of luck with your adventure!

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Posted in Business Service Post Date 06/08/2022


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