Since beginning my career as a developer I changed Jobs exactly once to my current employer.

I personally think I developed into a quite successful consultant in my current job.
I learnt a lot (most of it self-taught) and did a lot of different things in that time (programming, administrating server environment, doing trainings, etc.).

During my time I had some companies wanting to hire me and some quite interesting talks but always ended up staying with my company as the overall package was always best (for me) where I were and still am.

Fast forward 19 years to today: I still learn new things every day and started to earn new experience recently (again: completely self-taught).

But recently headhunters have stopped contacting me.
And here on "the workplace" I read of people hopping jobs every other year and I am really afraid, that I somehow missed the last chance to enhance / develop into new positions for new companies.

Is it so? Is it to late for me to watch out for new opportunities?
If not: how could I make myself interesting again for other companies if I decided to leave my employer one day?

EDIT: Need to clarify one thing (as response to a question asked in comments): I am not actively looking for a new job. I was just wondering, if I would have a real chance, if needed... You know: not beeing sure about the own "market value" or if there is any value left makes me feel... odd...

EDIT2: Fast forward to 6 months later: I did not feel comfortable at my company anymore and started looking for a new job actively 4 weeks ago... long story short: I start with a new company on January, 1st. So: It was definitively not to late to change.

  • Yes I have... And I reached out for one of them some years ago when I was really dissatisfied. It did not work out in the end, but I ask myself if that really is my best / only option...
    – Tode
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 16:54
  • 2
    How recently are we talking about here? A few months? It is hard to separate out the impact of the pandemic then. Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 16:58
  • @MatthewGaiser of course you are right... pandemic might come into play here as well. Unfortunately I cannot answer this question exactly. But you know: If the answers here find the pandemic to be the most probable reason, then this is completely satisfactory for me...
    – Tode
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 17:06
  • By the way, are you okay that your colleagues know you're searching for a new job? You're using your real name and linked it with StackOverflow, where your specialization probably will make you more visible to them.
    – Chris
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 6:36
  • First: I am not really searching (yet). But my colleagues (and my boss) already know that I am not happy with my current situation and that I have a problem seeing where I will be in 2-5 years in that company: I really love what I am doing... but all possibilities to evolve here are out of sight since some time... And I don't know if I want to spend my whole work life in this same position...
    – Tode
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 6:49

2 Answers 2


It's definitely not too late to find someplace new to work!

One of the things that solves 50%+ of problems I see here is simply trying to look at the situation from the other side. In this case: what do things look like from the recruiter's perspective?

We've got Alice, Bob, and Torsten. Alice has been switching jobs every 3 or 4 years. Which means that the odds of Alice switching jobs right this moment is kinda low, but still possibly worth keeping tabs on her. Checking every so often to see if she's still happy - because if she's not, it's worth a nice commission check to the recruiter if they can convince her to move to another spot.

Bob switches jobs every year. That recruiter has got Bob on speed dial. Why not? Every time Bob switches jobs, the recruiter has a shot at a nice commission check. At any given moment, there's a decent chance that Bob is either looking around or thinking of looking around for other opportunities.

Torsten? He never seems to switch jobs. He might have skills that are in demand, but that doesn't mean much to the recruiter if Torsten never actually moves - because that means the recruiter isn't going to get a commission check. So the recruiter doesn't bother Torsten - not because there aren't leads or because they don't think Torsten would fit any openings, but because they view the odds of Torsten actually leaving the current job are too low. So why waste the time with a low-likelihood lead, when you've got Alices and Bobs to pester?

Do you see the solution? You tell a recruiter that you're actively considering moving to another job!

BAM. Those same recruiters that were ignoring you will immediately be peppering you with leads. Because it wasn't an issue of your unsuitability or skill set or anything like that. It's an issue that they didn't view you as willing to switch jobs in the first place. Change that part of the equation, and everything else changes alongside it.

  • 1
    Great answer. Recruiters get paid to place people. They're not going to spend any of their valuable time trying to "mother" an egg that isn't likely to hatch. Change that presumption (or assumption) and they'll gladly work with you.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 4:11
  • This is pretty spot on. Once you make known you're on the lookout, the recruiters are suddenly a lot more interested.
    – Magisch
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 9:39

Recruiters tend to build up a network of people who hop jobs frequently because it's in their interests to do so. They don't particularly care if candidates find roles that suit them well as long as the role lasts long enough for the recruiter to collect their commission. Clearly as someone who has stayed put for a long time, they don't see you as someone they can monetise easily and have turned away to lower hanging fruit.

If you are happy where you are, keeping well up to date tech-wise and have a strong network, you should absolutely not feel pressurised to move on. And if you do move, that network plus your own research skills will tend to work better for you than a third party (though of course no guarantees).

  • It's a good answer, but I feel like it would be improved by specifically calling out the fact that "not interesting to recruiters" and "not interesting to companies" is not the same thing, and that there are a number of ways to get jobs that do not involve recruiters at all (job fairs in particular being a good one). Alternately, if you prefer, I could build that into an answer of my own. Still, I feel like the core insight of why the recruiters have lost interest is important enough to the whole thing that I don't want to just jump in without checking.
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 18:26

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