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I've recently had my 10 years anniversary at work. Often when I mention it I hear that 10 years is way too long to stay at one place these days, and that I may find it hard to look for a job in the future if I had to. Is that right? Why would that be?

Some background - I'm now in my mid 30's and this is my first real job apart some short gigs and an internship during uni. I'm working in an IT consulting company on jobs for various customers which brings job variability and travel opportunities that I enjoy. Also I think I'm paid reasonably ok. I may get a little more elsewhere but it's not only about money, is it? This mix of working for a good company, being paid to travel, job variability and often time flexibility makes up for some salary in my eyes. So overall I really have no reason to quit.

It may well be that in a couple of years I'll want to settle down, start a family, do less travelling and earn more. Probably. But I keep hearing more and more that when the time comes I will struggle to find a new job if I only have one long stretch on my CV.

Is it a valid concern? What does it say about me in the future employers' eyes? Should I keep switching jobs every 2 or 3 years like everyone else to future proof my career?

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    "We can't hire this man, he is too loyal, hard working and incapable of getting fired!"... I don't think that's possible. Unless you specifically are seeking none of these. Staying is the employers choice, then the employees. There is no negative to the latter choice (that affects anyone but your own personal feelings). – insidesin Feb 18 at 6:00
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    You'd be viewed as an asset. Totally understandable and admirable reasons for leaving if you ever do as well. Hopefully your existing workplace will up your pay or role when you do need the extra. I know people whose whole 30+ year careers have been with one company. – Kilisi Feb 18 at 8:53
  • If I was hiring someone, and saw that person A moves every 3 years, and person B moves every 10, then I would presume person B would be more likely to stick around and be an asset to me for longer. As long as you are still showcasing skills and development theres no need to leave a good job just because. – Uciebila Feb 18 at 12:43
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    It doesn't hurt your career as much as it <explicit act> your wallet. I stayed in my first job for 5 years and got promoted a couple of years into it. My promotion came with a 4,8 % salary increase. I learned my lesson. I have since DOUBLED my salary by changing companies in a 4 year time span. – Juha Untinen Feb 18 at 14:44
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    Oh and not to mention being able to work with more modern languages and learning new technologies. If you stay in the same company, that chance just isn't there. – Juha Untinen Feb 18 at 14:53
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I've recently had 10 years anniversary at work and often when I mention it I hear that 10 years it way too long to stay at one place these days and that I may find it hard to look for a job in the future if I had to.

The first question to ask yourself is, "are you comfortable with your current job?" Because if you are, you won't be looking for a new job in next couple of years (hence don't need to worry about hypothetical future employers undervaluing you), and if you aren't, you should just start looking for another job.

Which brings us to,

So overall I really have no reason to quit.

So don't quit!


In general, you shouldn't leave a job just because people think that other people will perceive your loyalty negatively. Finding a job where you like the work and the people is hard. So if you have one, I'd prefer sticking with it unless there is a strong reason to leave.

But I keep hearing more and more that when the time comes I will struggle to find a new job if I only have one such long stretch on the CV.

That's just rubbish. If I am hiring someone, I'm more concerned about their skills than how long they've been there. Plus it reflects positively on your ability to work well with your team when you have been in a team for such a while.

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    The grass is always greener on the other side, so the saying goes. – Matthew Barber Feb 18 at 6:15
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    +1. If you're enjoying what you do, you get plenty of variety, and you get fair reward, what have you got to gain by changing? The real career-killer is letting your skillset fall out of sync with what the market wants, typically by getting stuck in a rut of obsolete tech or a never-ending project. – Julia Hayward Feb 18 at 7:29
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I hear that 10 years it way too long to stay at one place these days and that I may find it hard to look for a job in the future if I had to. Is that right? Why would that be?

No it is not right. In my last company, I knew many who were at 15+ years and counting. Most of them are very successful in their careers. In fact, staying long has helped them to rise high fast.

Is it a valid concern? I do not think it is.

What does it say about me in the future employers' eyes?

It says you are dependable and must have been very important to previous organisation.

Should I keep switching jobs every 2 or 3 years like everyone else to future proof my career?

I do not think "everyone else" does that and those who are doing are not necessarily doing it for "future proofing" their career. There could be lot of other reasons, circumstances and consequences.

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Often when I mention it I hear that 10 years is way too long to stay at one place these days, and that I may find it hard to look for a job in the future if I had to.

It's utter BS. People who change jobs every couple of years do this because either are laid off, are unhappy with their job, want a better salary, or change field. I've never heard people who do this to "boost" their career.

In any case, many recruiters see job-hopping as a red flag. On the opposite, the day you apply somewhere else, being a decade in your current job will just signal recruiters that both you and your employer are happy and/or that you're a loyal employee. And this will favorably set you apart from other candidates.

In short, if you're satisfied with your job, stay and be glad.

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I think your mates that warn you against staying in one role for too long think you may later on come across as:

  • You don't like to learn new things (thus staying in your comfortable zone)
  • You don't have a wide skill set (because you were not exposed to different jobs)
  • You won't be able to master interviews (because you didn't practice enough over the last 10 or 15 years)
  • You may find it hard to adapt to a new company culture (because you haven't experienced anything else for a long time)

... and so on. There may be these negatives, on the other hand if you're happy at your current role and you keep learning new skills and technologies and not stagnating I don't see a reason why move now.

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    About the skillset point, it depends. In consultancy firms you often get to see many different projects, so OP's skillset may still be wide. – Liquid - Reinstate Monica Feb 18 at 8:55
  • +1 I think this is a nice addition in that it balances out the other answers. Those points that you listed are actually very valid in many circumstances. – Radu Murzea Feb 22 at 7:29
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The key here is that You're working

on jobs for various customers which brings job variability.

Does that mean many diffrent issue's to solve? Many different technologies? Architectures? etc...

If Yes, then there's no problem. Each customer is potentially as if You changed jobs.

This could make a very rich CV.

So write that experience into a CV and check if that is what the market is requiring.

  • And when you do switch, you will know which industries are growth and what companies are best suited for you at a given time in your career. – paulj Feb 19 at 18:14
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There is never one good answer for everybody. The way you describe it, you are indeed lucky with your job. You do what you like and get paid good.

On the other hand, if you will plan to change jobs, it will be much more important how skilled you are. If you are afraid that your skill may not remain competitive because of any reason, there is an easy solution. Use your private life to stay up-to-date with the technologies. You may even get lucky to have the possibility to that at your job - no need to mix kob and private matters.

While 10 years can be seen as a negative thing by some people, it can be seen as a positive thing by others: your desire to commit and excel and grow in one place - trustworthiness. It is in the eyes of the interviewer - and in your words, in the way you are able to sell yourself.

To understand better what happens on the market (to be able to evaluate your skill), just browse the net or talk to your friends - casual discussions about life, job technologies.

NOTE: you may find a possibility to change every 2-3 years within the same company, with acceptable benefits too. In that case, you can extend your CV with all things that you have done - you will not be limited to say that you did one specific job for too much time.

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It all depends on how the company treats long-time workers. Usually the "let's get rid of the greybeards/greyhairs" come when the company wants to save money - usually by hiring younger, cheaper employees.

If you're in a company that values long-time workers, or you're satisfied with your job, then you have nothing to worry about. They will do everything in their power to retain you because they would lose much more letting you go versus hiring someone younger.

I worked for 21 years at my former company, and many, many others worked or are still working there for 20+ years. One lucky soul has been there 35 years.

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