The days of lifetime careers with one company or organization are gone. But what does this mean for young professionals who are starting in the liberty movement, or any similar field? Yes, the ability to change jobs always exists, but sticking with your position will distinguish yourself.*
Unfortunately, some young employees are constantly searching for a new, seemingly better position. They think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I know someone who worked at an internship for six weeks, moved on to a new job for three weeks, and was already sending out resumes for a new position. While this is an extreme case, it speaks to the importance of loyalty to your employer.*
There is no “correct” amount of time to spend doing each job. Only you know if it is the right fit and what kind of long-term growth opportunities exist. With that said, you should generally stay with each job for at least 18 months to two years, unless there is an obvious reason to leave. When I see resumes that list 3, 4, or more jobs in 2 years since graduation, it makes me wonder how committed that person is.
Dennis Nishi writes in the Wall Street Journal how, “career experts say that staying put should be a top option…Experts also add that when you don’t retreat from a job, you learn to deal with less-than-optimal situations and people, which is a negotiation skill that hiring managers value.”
If you like the organization, communicate clearly with your manager to see if long-term advancement opportunities exist. If not, you are justified in leaving after 18-24 months when a better opportunity arises. When you move on, don’t burn the bridges. Maintain positive relationships with your former employers to the greatest extent possible because you don’t know when you will collaborate with them again. This is especially true in the liberty movement.
No matter how long you stay at a job, be entrepreneurial. When you find gaps that exist and start working to fill them, you will certainly distinguish yourself. Nishi recommends changing jobs within the same organization if you are not satisfied with your current role.
*There is a flip side to this coin. I put an asterisk on the loyalty point because you don’t want to miss an opportunity just to be loyal. Don’t stay at a job for more than 2-3 years if you don’t enjoy it and there are not clear opportunities for advancement. Find something better where you can create more value.
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