During extended periods of unemployment, job seekers start to get desperate. Every day that passes is a day they are not earning any money, and over time they start to feel as they will do anything just so that they can have a job.
This can be a dangerous mindset. If you start to get too desperate for work, you may end up taking a job that doesn’t pay you an amount that you will be happy with, or has duties that you find boring and tedious. It is a bad idea to take any job that you want to leave right after you get hired.
This brings up an interesting question: How long should you stick with a job once you are hired? What is considered an “adequate” amount of time before you look for other work?
Unless you have a personal reason to leave your job, you should try your best to stay with any company that hires you for a minimum of 2 years. Two years allows you to do the following:
- Show at least a minimum level of commitment on a resume.
If you are going to look for work elsewhere, they do not want to see that you start and stop jobs too quickly. Two years at a job is considered “quick” but not “too quick.” Usually two years is an acceptable amount of time for you to “realize” a job is not right for you, and employers will have an easier time believing you tried to stick it out if they see you were there for a minimum of 2 years.
- Growth potential may open up for hard working employees.
If you stick with the job for at least two years, additional growth opportunities may open up for you that better suit your skills. Most employers won’t start promoting right away, but by year two they should have a good idea of your abilities and will make decisions on your long term benefits to the company. A job that may not be great now may become much better if you wait two years.
- Employers will be less pissed that you are leaving.
Employers tend to look down on applicants that leave the company, but if you wait at least two years before you leave, you should be able to create a positive enough impression that they will not think too little of you. They may even offer you a greater contract or different responsibilities to get you to stay if they like you.
- Time for you to change your mind.
If you start a job knowing that you might leave soon, your productivity is going to suffer and the company’s opinion of you is going to drop. By giving yourself a 2 year minimum, you provide yourself with an opportunity to see if there is any additional benefit to staying at the job, and a reason to continue to work hard (since you have set a two year goal, and ideally you would like to not be fired in that time).
It may seem like a long time, but you should try your best to dedicate at least 2 full years to any employer before you quit, unless you are forced to leave for personal reasons. It is better on a resume, it opens up more opportunities, and it gives you an opportunity to work hard and improve your skillset. It is an investment that you need to make for your career, and if you cannot make that two year investment, you should not take the job.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Stay with a job a minimum of two years.
- If you cannot commit that long, do not take the job.
- Leaving a job in less than two years can drastically affect your future employment/graduate school chances.