The subject of this week’s article will be a bit different than most that have been written. Typically, the focus of our column is slanted towards those individuals who are either trying to decide whether to seek new employment, or are in the job search process. This week, however, we will take a look at the value of staying with your current company on a long-term basis.
The usual point-of-view is that a worker should move jobs a few times in their career (even geographically), in order to maximize career earnings and progression. So, over the last few decades, perception has reversed and those who leave positions can be just as favored (or even more) as someone who has been loyal and stayed with a singular employer. There are, however, still significant benefits to staying with an employer if it is the right situation for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that would indicate that staying with your current employer long-term may be your best career move.
• Financially Value Internal Talent – Some companies do this much better than others. Many employers are slow to adjust their internal compensation structure for internal talent, and the reality is that your annual merit increase will generally not account fully for these changes. If you are, however, with a company that does regular market reviews and properly adjusts their key talent, then you don’t have to move around to be compensated fairly.
• Like Your Co-Workers and Manager – We often understate how important your working environment is when factoring your job satisfaction and your desire to stay with a company. If you are in a situation where you truly enjoy working with your co-workers and respect your manager, then moving on to another company may be very risky for you.
• You Are Treated Well – Ultimately, you want to work at some place where you are treated like you feel you deserve. If you regularly receive prime assignments, recognition, strong merit increases, and market compensation adjustments, then you may already be in the right spot.
• Clear Career Progression & Training – There are several key reasons why a person will want to leave their employer (compensation, job security, better environment, and better career projection are some of the main ones). If your company does a good job with succession planning, communicates to you their plans, and develops you to be ready for that next opportunity, then you probably don’t have a need to leave for a better carer progression.
• Leader In The Industry/Largest Company – You may want to consider leaving your employer if they are a market trailer both in terms of revenue and overall re-investment back into the company. This bullet point is about job security, in that usually the biggest is not bought by a smaller company and merged into them. Likewise, those companies that continue to invest in new technologies not only provide new skills and education opportunities for their employees, but also continue to be successful in the marketplace. So, if you are already working for the leader, does it make sense to take the risk to leave for another company?
• Subject Matter Expertise/Historian – There is internal knowledge that is gathered naturally by being with an organization. This stored data can be quite valuable to an organization who has, unfortunately, lost others over time that also knew this information. Over time, by staying with an organization, you become that go-to-person when a question comes up regarding the details of a process or the history of a decision. The possession of this type of proprietary information can make you very valuable (or even indispensable) to an organization.
• Creating a Work Legacy – For many of us, an important aspect of work is to be able to create a legacy for ourselves after we depart for another position or retirement. The longer you stay with an organization, the more likely you have to create that lasting legacy of achievements and relationships. I have interviewed so many people over the last few years who, during the discussion, can explain how they started and participated in a project, but can rarely provide me the lasting impact because they left for another company, either without seeing the project to the end or knowing its final result.
• Miscellaneous Benefits – There are a variety of other (more miscellaneous) reasons why it can be in your best interest to stay with one organization long-term. On the Benefits side, you may accrue more PTO than others, or be fully vested in the 401k or pension. If a financial downturn did occur at your organization, your years of service may be the deciding factor in you staying or receiving a higher severance pay out than others who are newer to the company.
The decision to stay with an organization or leave is a personal one for an individual. The concept of departure, however, is not always the path towards greener pastures. Sometimes, an individual is in the best situation for them right where they currently are employed. It is important, then, to recognize what is important to you, and be in a situation to objectively evaluate your current position compared to the potential that could be out there for you.
As always, best of luck in your job search!
The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
WNY Human Resources Professional
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