Should I stay or should I go? When is the right time to move on?

Should I stay or should I go

Some career experts say that as a rule, it is appropriate to stay in a role for two-three years but this is not always the case and it really depends on a broad range of factors such as the individual’s experience and age, position and level within the company, industry, background, geographical location, and state of the economy, for example.

The career journey is a very individual and personal path and should be treated as such. So, it comes down to the job hunters’ specific career goals and they need to ask themselves some basic questions, when considering a move, such as:

* Does the new company require them to stay for a particular length of time?

* Does it offer continuous professional development and business exposure?

* Have you reached a plateau with your current role/company?

* Will it take further business education for another two-three years to move the career along rather than a short-term change of role?

* When is it financially feasible to change jobs –when can I expect significantly better rewards that justify the time, effort and risk of changing jobs?

Identifying career goals and the reasons for the change are the first steps. In any career and in any company, young working professionals must ensure they are progressing and staying relevant in their field and continuing to network, up-skilling through training programmes and allowing some time for personal development.

The work environment is changing and the way we work is changing rapidly - because technology is accelerating innovation. The younger generation (those under 30) now entering the workforce have different motivations and expectations. Previous generations may have viewed work primarily as a source of income and a way to support a family, but this new generation is looking to be more creative and belong to a culture of change, producing inspiring new ideas and services.

Now, we see individuals taking more time to learn about what they want and to find their mission and purpose in the work that they do. However, as people explore and discover more about the world of work (with greater access to information than ever before) it is still necessary to keep careers moving along and stay relevant in the workplace. They are looking for an environment that supports their personal and professional growth and offers flexibility in terms of job functions and work schedules. The physical working environment is also hugely important to young people.

Life happens and we change as we get more work and life experience, and the global economy also plays a big role in today’s job market, so opportunities for straightforward career progression in a company may be limited and push people to look for external opportunities.

The key to changing jobs is to be purposeful about it and ensure that your resume projects this effectively to the reader or recruiter.


Elena Agaragimova is Career Consultant, The University of Manchester Middle East Centre in Dubai; she provides career support to the university’s more than 2,200 business students and 2,500 alumni in the region.