Big congratulations out to my dad. After working hard for many years, this week he’s retiring. He’s been with his current employer for 30 years. A few years ago he also retired from the ARNG as a Full Colonel after 28 years.
I remember having a conversation with him once about how often these days people still stay working for the same company for relatively longer periods of time. In his case, he had the opportunity to learn, teach, and grow, developing professionally and helping others throughout his career. And he’s very good at what he does.
My experience in the IT world in some respects is very similar, and at the same time very different. I’ve been with my current employer going on 11 years now, but I don’t see that as often in my world.
Often what I see more is people being loyal to their trade or profession, working with professional organizations, acquiring certifications, and moving from company to company every few years in order to get a raise or promotion.
Some would argue that this is due to due employers investing less in their employees than they used to and employees having an increased self-reliance on financial retirement planning vs a pension. Others would state it’s just the nature of some industries such as IT and Internet-related work.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) never has attempted to estimate the number of times people change careers in the course of their working lives (bls.gov.) They do however seem to have some information reflecting that workers between the ages of 18 and 38 change jobs an average of 10 times (About.com.) And one study states that people change careers five to seven times in their lifetime. (Rosenberg McKay, 2006)
What has been your experience? What do you see in your field, what makes people stay, and what makes them leave?
The Herman Group identifies on their site what they state are the “Five Principal Reasons People Change Jobs”
- It doesn’t feel good around here.
- They wouldn’t miss me if I were gone.
- I don’t get the support I need to get my job done.
- There’s no opportunity for advancement (growth)
- Compensation (typically last)
What say you?