Is changing companies every 2-3 years the way to go to optimize comp? Changing consistently under 2 years seems a bit too chaotic?

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Changing everything 2-3 years or more frequently is a red flag to some companies and can paint an unfavorable picture of the employee. I recommend finding a company that you can stay with and grow within. Obviously, this is easier said than done. If your goal is more money then focus on the work quality and the increase in money will come.

likefunny

If you are a contractor then you will have shorter jobs on your resume.

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I haven’t stayed at any company longer than 3 years, but my moves have been split between what I’d call discretionary (chasing title/comp) and non-discretionary (getting MBA, moving for family) reasons.

On the plus side, yes this has generally gotten me higher comp with each move. I’d also say my varied experiences make me pretty darn valuable - I know the playbooks at several different companies.

On the flip side, there are definitely some companies who won’t talk to me just based on the number of lines on my resume. That’s okay in my view - you only need one company to understand your story and what you can bring to the table.

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I’m the same. Have been working for over 20 years and the longest job I’ve had was 3 years. But, laid off twice and have left on my own accord for the others. One company dissolved and no longer exists. Companies will lay you off at the drop of a hat when they need to cut costs. There really is no incentive to stay unless you like your company and they’re giving you the raises and opportunities you think you deserve. The last 3, soon to be 4th jobs I’ve had were all 2-3 years. I’ve only had 1 person ask me why I’ve had so many jobs and he has been at this company for like 20+ years. It’s just a very antiquated way of thinking. It’s not how the world works these days.

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That’s what I’ve done lately and I keep getting a higher comp

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Same here, PA1

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Just doing LinkedIn stalking I’ve seen that in peoples early careers they jump every 2-3 (optimize comp, get diverse skills, etc). As they get older and likely have families they settle down and go up the corporate ladder at the same company.

likesmart

I know some people do it, but changing companies every so often gets tiring (square one with benefits, learning a new company, building connections again, etc.) In an ideal world, one would be able to move up in a company and make decent raises. A lot of companies these days seem to prioritize external hiring though (it is almost impossible to transfer internal at my company unless you know someone and even if you do they give internal candidates less money in the offer than external). Kind of a messed up system, but I understand why people leave their job after a few years.

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I have no remorse. I will likely explore ops every 1.5 - 2 years and decide from there. If I get a 40% increase and do work I’m excited about, it’s a no brainer to move.

likesmart

Exactly! Looking is the key to that convo, I should’ve articulated that better.

I would say 2-3 years is about right. A history of frequently staying less than 2 years would concern me as a potential employer, especially since you generally consider it take several months for someone to reach their full potential.

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Recruiters shotgun these days.

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I have changed companies every 28 months to 36 months. Made a 40% - 65% hike in base salary each jump.

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People moving every couple years used to be a red flag. There was a time I’d bin resumes that contained too much job hopping.

Not anymore. It’s much more accepted for people to move around, esp early in their careers. I find the opposite is true for me now. If I see a person early in their career who’ve been at the same company 5+ years right out of college, I wonder whether they’re hungry enough for moving up the ladder.

Interesting shift in my perspective for me

likesmart

Monetary comp? Probably. Work life balance etc....probably not.

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It kind of blows my mind that some people are saying they stay in 1 company for 5 years. That's insane. How can a person stay that long in a company? That's literally 10% of your adult life. Do people envision being employees till they retire? Do people have no plans to exit early and actually start their own business or gigs or sth?

likefunny

There are real benefits to staying at a company for a long time. I’ve done both- my job stints have lasted 1.5 years, 9 years, 1 year, and now 1 year into my latest job. The place I was at 9 years easily had the largest impact on my career growth and network. I made life long friends. I was an expert in my space and had a path to stay forever if I wanted to. I left for more money but could easily see myself going back some day.

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I think jumping in early stages of your career can be beneficial, but as you get to mid / upper levels you have to be able to show what you deliver on. As a Hiring manager, I will scrutinize Sr engineers and leaders who jump every two years, but not jr engineers or analyst

When Sr levels jump, it can imply a lack of commitment, competence or confidence ( ie jump before you are exposed as not being able to deliver? Happened a lot with the .Coms & the early internet job boom

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You generally leave behind 401k matching and any stock options or RSUs when you leave under 4 years. However, you can use that to negotiate if another company wants you. I believe that it all depends on what your goals are: 1. More base pay or 2. Equity in the company and your reputation. #1 can be more helpful in your early career stages. #2 can be more of a goal later. It totally depends on where you are and what you want.

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I moved companies every 3 years(9 yr experience). My comp has increased by a minimum of 50% each time. I would have preferred to stay at the same company but 2-4% per year doesn’t give me the freedom to provide for my family the way I wanted.

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I wish I had control over changing jobs….but I keep getting laid off with the group….no matter HOW well I perform

funny

If you can't get promoted, sure. Personally don't think it's the best long term strategy.

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If the goal is making more money, there is always SOME company some where that will offer you more. But definitely you reach a point where more money is rather meaningless.

I also agree with another commenter that this habit creates a red flag, especially for senior / highly compensated positions.

New hires rarely provide value in the short term, and are an expensive (and expected) longer term investment for companies.....

I don't even bother interviewing folks that are clearly short term hoppers....it's an expensive "mistake" for companies to make. Looking and hiring (and paying recruiter compensation) is an expense item...and we want to minimize how often we need to do that.

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Wel the world was resetting for the last 10 years so it understandable to have jumped around. It’s not 1981 anymore, life moves exponentially faster. Tech changes people go out of business or are left in the dust. Move on and stay current!

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