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Hello everyone;

Once again I draw from the well of knowledge, which I hope still has some water in it.

I was in a conversation with a mentor of mine who mentioned that the fact that I have changed jobs frequently (I have worked for only two companies in the past ten years but have changes jobs within those companies several times) could be a detractor in that people may find it a negative to hire you because you may not "stay the distance."

In people's experiences, has this been a detractor when looking for new opportunities? If so, what is the recommended time a person should look at staying in a position? How would one combat the stigma of "itchy feet"?

Thanks in advance for your time.

bffranklin's picture

In one of the interviewing series podcasts, I believe, M&M talk about how to present your work experience by explaining the goals that you had for yourself when you took a position, what you did to accomplish them, and whether you succeeded or failed.

Have you been moving because you've achieved your goals? The "why" would seem to be very important here.

HMac's picture

Agreed. How would you "tell the story" as you review your progress through the jobs? Is it a story of taking and completing assignments? Can you weave in what expereince you picked up at each stop, and how you were able to use it later?

With some thought, this supposed "negative" can be completely turned around into a story of success, accomplishment and learning!

WillDuke's picture

2 companies in 10 years doesn't sound bad to me. (Unless you were ping-ponging between them.) I wouldn't consider that job changes, even though I recognize changes within the company. I would assume they were promotions because you were doing a good job.

CalKen's picture

Thanks everyone for your quick responses...

In regards to my positions, I had not "ping ponged" between the two companies but have had five separate positions in the first company (over a seven-year period) and two separate positions in the past three years with my current company. Each time, they were a "step up" except in my current position where I took a lateral move to learn new skills but am now wanting to hop "back into the stream" to work my way back up the food chain.

The inputs were very valid, that I need to focus on what accomplishments I achieved that caused me to move. By basing my inputs on my growth I can put a "positive" spin on this. Thanks again.

wendii's picture

Hey Cal,

that's not bad.. it's FastTracking!

Wendii

Mark's picture

HAVE NO WORRIES.

Whomever gave you that advice doesn't know what they're talking about. ( I mean seriously, I'd take his license away).

While changing jobs frequently is OFTEN a concern, it is ALMOST ALWAYS moving from company to company that is the issue.

Two companies in ten years is not only not a problem, it is a HUGE PLUS.

Have no worries!

Mark

CalKen's picture

Mike and all;

Thanks very much for your advice, it is as always very much appreciated.

I think that he gave me that advice as a way to motivate me into staying into my current position for a little while. I worked for my mentor for a couple of years before leaving for another position and to be fair to him he mentioned that if I consider taking a position at another company that I give him a chance to counter-offer (which after your podcasts on counter-offers would be edgy depending on what is offered). I was offered a "dream job" which I have delayed taking for a few months as a favor to my spouse and I believe that he feels something on a subconscious level (I have not told anyone but I am somewhat frustrated in my current position so he may detect this).

Thanks again. I believe I will keep him as a mentor (he was a very good person to work for and is very good at his job), I will just not pay much heed to his recommendation about leaving jobs too much.

Mark's picture

CalKen-

I certainly wouldn't change mentors for this reason, but let this be a lesson to all those who say some thing untrue but justify it because it gets the right result.

A better construct: "hey, if I were you, I'd stay where you are, and here's why." If he can't give you a here's why that compels, discount the advice.

And he wouldn't be counter-offering unless he's your boss (surely not) or your boss's boss (again, surely not). He'd just be wanting to offer you. Counter-offers only come from your present employer. (This is a vocabulary comment, not an evaluative judgment.)

Mark