How long should I stay in my job?

The average number of years in a profession can vary widely depending on the field and other factors. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.1 years as of January 2020.

However, this figure does not necessarily represent the average number of years in a particular profession, as workers may switch jobs or careers multiple times throughout their working lives. In addition, some professions may have a higher degree of job stability and tenure than others.

Overall, the average number of years in a profession can vary widely depending on a range of factors, including the specific field, job market conditions, and individual career goals and circumstances.

Some jobs that typically have longer tenures include:

  • College professors - Many college professors have long tenures, with some remaining in their positions for decades.
  • Judges - Judges are typically appointed or elected to serve for a set term, which can range from a few years to several decades.
  • CEOs - CEOs of large corporations often have long tenures, with some remaining in their positions for 10 years or more.
  • Tenured government officials - Some government officials, such as heads of regulatory agencies or senior civil servants, can have long tenures due to the stability of their positions and the importance of their work.
  • Medical professionals - Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can have long tenures, particularly if they are highly skilled and in demand.
  • Military officers - Military officers often have long tenures due to the structure of the military and the need for experienced leadership.
  • Scientists and researchers - Scientists and researchers may spend many years working in a particular field or on a particular project, with some remaining in their positions for decades.

Some jobs that typically have shorter tenures include:

  • Seasonal or temporary jobs - These types of jobs, such as retail associates during the holiday season, typically have a limited duration and do not offer long-term employment.
  • Freelance or contract work - Freelancers or contract workers may work on a project-by-project basis, with no guarantee of ongoing work or long-term employment.
  • Entry-level positions - Many entry-level positions, particularly in industries with high turnover rates, may have shorter tenures as employees move on to other opportunities.
  • Gig economy jobs - Workers in the gig economy, such as drivers for ride-sharing companies, may have short tenures as they move between different gigs or platforms.
  • Sales positions - Some sales positions may have high turnover rates due to the pressure to meet sales quotas and the competitiveness of the industry.
  • Internships - Internships are typically temporary and designed to provide students or recent graduates with short-term work experience.
  • Temporary or contingency workers - These workers may be brought on for short-term projects or to fill in for employees who are on leave

Is changing jobs every 2 years OK?

Changing jobs every 2 years is a relatively common career strategy for some individuals. This approach is sometimes referred to as "job hopping" and can have both benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits of changing jobs frequently may include:

  • Gaining new skills and experiences - Changing jobs frequently can expose you to new industries, job functions, and work environments, allowing you to build a diverse skill set and gain valuable
  • Higher pay - Changing jobs frequently may help you negotiate higher salaries, as you can use your job offers to leverage better compensation.
  • Advancement opportunities - Changing jobs frequently may allow you to advance your career more quickly, as you can move up the ladder more rapidly in new organizations.

Drawbacks of changing jobs frequently may include:

  • Difficulty building relationships - Changing jobs frequently can make it challenging to build long-term relationships with colleagues and managers, which can be important for networking and career growth.
  • Lack of stability - Frequent job changes can lead to a lack of job stability and uncertainty, which may impact your financial security and well-being.
  • Negative perception - Some employers may view frequent job changes as a red flag, and worry that you may not be committed to their organization for the long-term.

Ultimately, whether changing jobs every 2 years is a good career strategy for you depends on your individual goals, priorities, and circumstances. Some individuals may find that job hopping is a valuable way to build their skills and advance their careers, while others may prefer to build
longer-term relationships with their employers and seek stability in their work lives.