To all job hoppers: how long should you stay at a job?

Most millennials do not plan on working for the same company their whole lifetime. We want to experience different jobs. We want to explore different companies. And maybe, eventually, we will settle with one. If we have to.
For those of you who like to switch jobs or employers once in a while, take in to account these periods while making your decision.

Don’t leave before 8 months

If you are leaving due to unforeseen circumstances, like a reorganization, you can still explain this to your next employer. Otherwise, don’t leave during the first 8 months. It might be perceived as if you did not pass your first performance review or as if you did not manage to get a project running.
It can happen that, already in the first 1 or 2 months, you realize that taking this job was the worst decision ever. Should you suck it up and stay? In this situation you could omit this job from your resume. Say what?! Well, let’s face it, this is not a great situation to be in to begin with. Perhaps you learned something in this short time span which you can add to your skills or experience. Perhaps you can classify the role as a temporary project. If nothing seems morally justifiable you could leave it out and prepare to explain the gap.

18 months minimum

Ah, you reached 1,5 years at your job. Could you now leave with grace, if you wish? Yes. 18 months is acceptable. It means you have had the time to develop your skills and probably achieved some goals. You have also gone through at least one performance review cycle.

4 years = perfect

This is perfect! You have earned credit and managed to survive several performance reviews. Unless it’s clear you were not performing well, you got this one in the bag. You should be able to show accomplishments and personal development growth. Perhaps you even changed roles or were promoted. Working for 4 years without a promotion is not the worst either, if you can show that you received increasing responsibilities or that you changed roles.

But when it comes down to it, you should do what feels right for you. Life is too short for bad wine, and way too short to be miserable in a job.

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