Earlier there was nothing called a resume building process that is tightly coupled with a person’s career. You finish education, get on the first job that comes and then retire from that job. Working for the Government and the private company was nothing different when it comes to the tenure you spend in a place.
But then it changed when people started changing the companies and they had to create resumes to apply for new jobs. Then firing became a norm in every industry and so people who were in a comfortable job one day found themselves jobless the next day. This started the process of Resume building where in a person writes and rewrites his resume as well as takes up jobs that will add value to the resume he has.
The choice of job became the choice of the company that you can put on your resume. Large Banks, Large corporations, even short commission services in Military all happened and added to a person’s resume and profile. But this over years generated a new wave. Youngsters leaving college started changing jobs every now and then. This is always started as Resume building exercise but then it gives way to fact that people are unable to stick on one job for long.
They jump ships for a myriad of reasons like friend or boss moving to new company, getting bored with current company, politics, and work pressure and so on. Why I say this is because if you are a senior guy hiring for a fulltime position in your group and you see a ten years experienced guy who has worked in 8 different jobs. What is your opinion? Will you feel good about it.
So is there a good time that one can be in a company and then move on. I would say 5 years but in a changing economy, it’s too long, but at least 3 is a good thing.
Jump ships because you have to. Not because you have nothing else to do