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What do you think is an acceptable time period after which you can switch jobs?

Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 304
Say you don't really like your environment, but it is not hell for you either...

After what time period could you change job without having bad faces, and without having a mark on your CV.

I think like two and a half year? Or may-be three? Right?
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 9990
    
    7

I think one year would be fair game. Gives you sufficient time to really find out if you want to work in that environment or not.


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John Jai
Bartender

Joined: May 31, 2011
Posts: 1776
Say you don't really like your environment, but it is not hell for you either...
just a query - you can't try changing that...
Seetharaman Venkatasamy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 5575

I like what maneesh said . so time period is zero in my opinion
Tim Moores
Rancher

Joined: Sep 21, 2011
Posts: 2408
Depends how often you've changed jobs in the past. Someone who's had 5 jobs in the last 10 years doesn't get an interview with me.
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 304
Tim Moores wrote:Depends how often you've changed jobs in the past. Someone who's had 5 jobs in the last 10 years doesn't get an interview with me.


Yes..., this is of course why I am asking you!! It is on the borderline... My CV looks like this:

1994-1998 One
1998-2001 Two
2001-2005 Three
2005-2006 Four
2006-2007 Five
2007-2010 Six
2010-now Seven

The last ten years would be that exact five jobs. Especially Four and Five were mistakes. Seven is still good for technical experience and they are technically also very happy with me.

Addition then, my plan is to continue until the beginning of 2013, about. Wait for a nice moment when a project is finished, all running work is finished and or transferred, and then go, and it will be about that named two and a half, three years. Meanwhile I will still make everybody happy. I am never never ever demotivated or a slacker, .. although never really hyper enthusiastic either I fear.

chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1475
    
  11

Well, I'm a freelancer so my job history is pretty fragmented anyway (around 20 jobs in 24 years!), but your recent history looks OK to me. Of course, it depends on the job market as well: here in the UK I reckon you'd probably be OK, but when I worked in Germany I got the impression they were very wary of people who changed jobs more than once or twice in their entire lives.

But if you leave your current job in 2013, then you'll only have had 2 jobs in 6 years, which in our industry is not too bad. Jobs Six and Seven will have lasted 3 years, which is pretty good from what I've seen of staff turnover in my previous workplaces. And you can probably come up with a good story about why you are moving on (sorry, "looking for a fresh challenge" blah blah) after completing your current project to the immense satisfaction (of course) of your managers, colleagues, friends and neighbours.

As you suggest, it's certainly better to move at the end of a project than bail out in the middle. Will your current boss give you a decent reference, and do you have any other good references from previous jobs/senior colleagues? You could see if any of your old bosses/colleagues will give you a LinkedIn recommendation - not sure it's worth much but some people seem to be impressed by these things.

Probably you need to think about how you will answer the question "why are you changing jobs now?". If you can come up with a positive and plausible explanation, while still allowing your next employer to feel confident you will stick with them, then it may not be a problem. You'll also need to think about how to answer the question "If we give you the job, how do we know you'll stay here longer than 2 years?". Plus you need to cover all the usual stuff about what skills/experience/qualities you can offer them and so on.

Also, be very careful about whether/how you present any negative aspects of your current job: it's much better to put a positive spin on this if you can. Recruiters can get very nervous about criticism of previous employers - it suggests you'll be just as critical of them. So don't say "my current job is really boring and my boss hates me", say something like "I've learned a lot in my current role and I am keen to develop further, but my current role/employer does not offer me the opportunities for longer term career development that I am looking for", for example. And you probably need to persuade yourself whether/how the new job will give you what you are looking for, otherwise you may have trouble persuading anybody else.

Alternatively, you could just switch to working as a freelancer, where nobody cares very much about you changing jobs every few years or what your long term goals are, because they're only hiring you for 6 months anyway!

Good luck.


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60041
    
  65

Tim Moores wrote:Depends how often you've changed jobs in the past. Someone who's had 5 jobs in the last 10 years doesn't get an interview with me.

Seems a bit harsh to me. There're many reasons for job churn -- many of which have nothing to do with the candidate. I've had 7 jobs over the past decade, more if you count contracting gigs.

I think it's best to find out why there was such churn rather than dismissing an otherwise viable candidate based upon a single data point.


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Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 304
Thanks! By the way, another possibility might be job 'Four'.

I left job 'Four', because of a conflict with my employer. About money, payment, nothing special. But I worked for a client, a customer during that period and that customer is so satisfied with me, he wanted me back. And then not working for him indirectly: I would be his ínternal employer instead of a hired external force. That was a year and a half ago though, and then I just started at 'Seven'. But if he would have a vacancy again then 'Four' even becomes a good mark on my CV, instead of a bad one.
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
In reality, a resume is a simplified summary of your experiences and related skills, education, etc. It is not intended to include "every single detail and memory of your life."

That said, you could reasonably drop your resume entries from 1994 to 2001 and start your Experience section with position #3. Anything beyond 10 years is usually irrelevant and can be verbally mentioned if asked in an interview or conversation. It does not have to take up precious space on your resume. If anyone is interested in what you did in those positions, you can verbally describe what you did or repsond with a revised resume upon request.

1994-1998 One
1998-2001 Two
2001-2005 Three
2005-2006 Four
2006-2007 Five
2007-2010 Six
2010-now Seven


In regards to employment periods, at least one year is acceptable. Anything less is questionable. Once the first year is complete, if there are problems or issues, it is ok to start seeking other opportunities. Keep in mind, that too many of these, e.g. one or two year stints, is not good and conveys a potential risk to employers when considering positions of greater responsibility. It reveals a potential problem with your skills and abilities, or your personality / behavior.

Good luck!
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60041
    
  65

I disagree with dropping experience completely from the resume. But the further back you go, the fewer details are needed.
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Another option as indicated would be to just have one line entries for work experience beyond 10 years. Specify only name of company, location, position and time period.


COMPANY XYZ, City, State, Software Developer, 1998-2001

COMPANY ABC, City, State, Mail Clerk, 1994-1998
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 304
Jimmy Clark wrote:Keep in mind, that too many of these, e.g. one or two year stints, is not good and conveys a potential risk to employers when considering positions of greater responsibility.


Since I already have 2 one year periods, I will stick to my plan, stay until the beginning of 2013, try to learn technically as much as I can, and suffer the things I don't like. Life cannot be perfect. Chinese workers have to risk their life in dangerous coal mines to earn a living, my frustration is just an in-comfort.
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3216
Be prepared for your reasons for leaving the last few jobs.


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