Why Engineers Should Switch Jobs Every Four Years

This used to be a bad career advice. Not anymore.


Before people object to what is written in this article solely because of the title, hear this one out first. While it may look bad in the resume to be jumping companies from time to time, new research says that it is not entirely a bad thing.

The previous generations have this impression on engineers, or employees in general, that when they change jobs every couple of years, there is a reason why they can’t stay – probably an issue with colleagues of boss, disloyalty, or lack of commitment.

But now that millennials are going to compose majority of the workforce in the coming years – studies show that 50% of the workforce by 2020 will be composed of the Generation Y – changing jobs is already seen in a different light.

Engineers who stay with a company longer than two years are said to get paid 50% less. Not only that: job hoppers are believed to have a higher learning curve, be higher performers and more loyal, due to their characteristic which is making a good impression each time they are with any employer.


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Patty McCord, former chief talent officer for Netflix, concurs. He is one with the idea that employees, especially the young ones, should hop jobs and do so every three to four years.

“I think that the most important, critical change in people’s mental outlook is to view employees as smart contributors from the beginning,” advises McCord. He is now working as a coach for companies and entrepreneurs on culture and leadership.

Read more  Engineers, You Don’t Have To Act Tough All The Time

“If we changed our perspective and said, ‘Everyone here wants to come in, do a great job, and contribute,’ then they either fit or they don’t,” she adds.

“You build skills faster when changing companies because of the learning curve.”

And this is mostly due to the fact that job hoppers are constantly placed outside of their comfort zones. Engineers who make the most out of their short stay in companies are bound to learn a lot, and often overachieving when employed.

Serial entrepreneur and author Penelope Trunk also agrees. She said, “In terms of managing your own career, if you don’t change jobs every three years, you don’t develop the skills of getting a job quickly, so then you don’t have any career stability,” she tells Fast Company.

“You’re just completely dependent on the place that you work as if it’s 1950, and you’re going to get a gold watch at the end of a 50-year term at your company,” Trunk adds.

Source: Fast Company

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Why Engineers Should Switch Jobs Every Four Years

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