The Benefits of Switching Jobs Every Few Years | Disabled Person
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The Benefits of Switching Jobs Every Few Years
Gone are the days in which a worker might spend their entire career at a single company. These days, switching jobs is more common than ever, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that wage and salary workers spend just 4.1 years with an employer on average before polishing up their resume.
Of course, if you prefer the notion of sticking with your current company for the long run, you may not be sure why moving jobs is worth it. After all, why fix something that isn't broken?
No matter who you are or what you do, jumping back onto the job market can be great for your personal and professional growth. Here are a few key reasons why applying for new jobs every few years might be a smart move for your career development.
When you spend years on track for a career path within a single company, you tend to grow more familiar with the perspectives of your peers and the company as a whole.
This can be a great way to get ahead within your company. However, it can make it hard to see what's happening within the industry and the outside world.
This sometimes means that we stagnate in place. With nothing new to challenge us, expand our knowledge base, or even offer new experiences, we don't have many opportunities for learning and growth.
Starting a new job allows you to broaden your horizons while gaining career-specific knowledge. Forcing yourself to learn new strategies and skills can make you a more capable and employable professional in the future.
Even better, changing jobs can often help you revisit your perspectives about yourself. Often, people who stagnate in a single role begin to believe that they are their job title and that their capabilities are limited to what they currently do. Stepping outside your comfort zone allows you to see your own possibilities for growth and development without the limitations of your current role.
Linked to stepping outside your comfort zone is your ability to step into better roles.
When you stay at a single company for a while, your career path may be limited by the needs of the company. For example, it's hard to move into a supervisory role when all of the openings in your workplace are filled at present.
With a job switch, you can move further down your career path by applying for your desired role within a new company. You may need to be strategic to prove your fit for a higher role, but you'll often have a better chance of doing so by reaching out to a new employer rather than trying to convince those at your current office. Note that this tip is especially true if you're thinking about a career change.
It's easy to imagine that you'd love a cushy job where you do very little in return for your salary. However, feeling bored and unfulfilled can lead to decreased satisfaction and disengagement at work.
Even worse than boredom is outright dislike. If you find yourself annoyed or frustrated at your job or if you're experiencing workplace toxicity, for example, it might be time for a change. Not only can workplace stress and frustration be bad for your well-being, but they can also bleed into feelings of dissatisfaction during your day-to-day life.
Changing jobs allows you to find a workplace situation you feel more comfortable with. Though it can sometimes be difficult to vet the working environment of a job you're interviewing for, the change is more likely to help you avoid a boring, stressful, or outright hostile atmosphere like your current one.
Staying with a single company for more than a few years can put a cap on your earnings. Often, employees receive a starting salary from within a set range, and a manager can only increase that salary by so much.
When you change jobs, however, you'll often have the opportunity to ask for a better salary on the front end. This is because you'll be negotiating your new starting salary based on your experience in your current role.
Even better, because you'll still have your current job, you'll have the safety net you need to turn down low-paying work in favor of seeking your desired salary. There's no need to hurry your search as long as you keep your existing role.
A Better Reputation
As we've discussed above, employees who take on new roles tend to gain skills and insights that they might not otherwise have. For potential employers, these changes can make your resume look more attractive.
Working for multiple companies within your industry can often grant you a better reputation in your field. It gives the impression that you're ambitious and driven to learn, and it provides evidence that you're flexible and adept enough to work in a variety of situations and workplaces.
Enhanced Interview Skills
Interviewing is a skill, and it's possible to learn it over time through job hunting. As you move from role to role in your career, you'll have the opportunity to polish your job search skills and your ability to network.
This means not only getting better at negotiating but also evaluating your employers. You're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you, but this can be a difficult fact to remember when you're nervous and unfamiliar with the process.
As you get comfortable vetting new employers, you'll be better equipped to see when a work culture or position isn't right for you, or when a workplace doesn't have the accessibility features you need. This, in turn, can make your future job searches easier.
Start Switching Jobs More Often
The bottom line is this: switching jobs can not only help your growth and career but also your bottom line. Though finding a new job can feel like a challenge, doing so from the relative stability of your current position is a great way to broaden your horizons. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and send out a few applications when you have the chance!
Looking for more helpful tips on making the most of your career? Be sure to take a look at our other tools and guides for more insights.