Job stability vs job hopping – the ESY way out

Let me start this blog with a rather sad, personal experience. Recently, one of my friends from a previous job fell seriously ill. His current organisation, the one he had joined just a couple of months back, had very little emotional connect with him and was unwilling to share his financial burden. Sure enough, he ran out of his insurance money and his treatment expenses began to mount alarmingly while his savings started to dip. In short, my friend’s options began to dry up. So, was my friend’s current employer wrong in denying him the financial help? Or, was my friend’s decision to quit a long-standing job for better emoluments at the peak of his career, a little hasty? We may never know the right answer but in my personal experience, if the friend had continued with his previous employer, he may not have fallen on such hard times. Let’s face it, longevity of employment versus job hopping is a classical dilemma that has forever afflicted people in the corporate sector.

But the question is, should it? Isn’t the answer staring us in our faces?

While most individuals in the corporate sector go through a phase of technical growth, related to acquiring skills, etc in their 20s, in their 30s they start moving towards acquiring managerial skills. The 30s is also the time when an organisation starts investing in the individual, leading to better prospects for both. By the time individuals enter their 40s, they start acquiring distinct leadership skills. That’s also the time when they start looking in different directions for greener pastures, to improve their social and financial worth. Truth be told, when a move like this succeeds for an individual, it looks very impressive but when it falls apart, it often makes life miserable for the individual. In fact, if we look back into a not-so distant past, our fathers and forefathers often ended up spending their entire lives working for just one organisation. So, were they any wiser than the current lot?

My research indicates, they were. Let’s examine why.

  • A steady job always presents better leadership opportunities to the individual.
  • It gives the individual and their families stability, both emotional as well as skills related.
  • Longevity in a job always leads to better retirement benefits leading to a happier family life
  • It gives an individual better opportunities for self development
  • A steady job improves a person’s credibility. It even improves their worth when it comes to getting loans, etc
  • It gives people the flexibility to explore and hone cross-functional skills within the organisation leading to a more holistic all-round growth.
  • A long tenure also helps the individual create a more congenial atmosphere within the organisation and has an extremely positive influence on junior employees.

In fact, longevity of employment works both ways – for the individual as well as for the organisation. Here’s how…

  • A steady employee gives the organisation a ready wealth to cultivate its culture, vision and objectives.
  • An individual who has been with the organisation for a long time is fully aware of the culture and processes and has a solid knowledge base about its products or services.
  • The person also provides solidity and stability to the organisation and reflects a stable work environment.
  • It is cost effective. Investing in a new person is always a long drawn, expensive process.
  • It provides the organisation with a solid support system to motivate other employees.

It is always wiser for an individual to explore and exhaust all options in their current job before taking a final call. They must explore what is making them do this. Have they stopped learning on the job? Is the job getting too monotonous? Is the job demanding you to compromise and adjust on too many things? The answer to all these questions may simply lie in talking to someone in the organisation and resolving the issue. Talk to a friendly colleague, talk to your management, talk to someone in your family, may be a friend. Seek advise. Introspect. Know that you are a stakeholder in the organisation. If you think carefully about it for your own self, for your family’s sake and from the point of view of the society you live in, you will always find the right answers.

Decide with a cool mind. Decide wisely.

Author: Dr. V. P. Sajeevan, CEO, ESY India