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How long is too long?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:59 pm
by PG
This is in a way a resurrection of a previous thread from DJS. At this forum we have had a lot of discussions about what too long is for a postdoc but what about other types of positions in either academia or industry? Or are there positions for which there isnt anything that is too long? The assumption is that the person who has the position for some reason wants a new position.

Re: How long is too long?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:17 pm
by Dave Jensen
PG,

As your company probably does, employers want to see constant growth and progression in one's career. So, staying in ANY job more than 3-4 years is going to start to look like a problem when you are job seeking. Moving up to a new category can change that perception, from Research Scientist to Senior Scientist, or from Senior Scientist to Principal Scientist, etc. But, sometimes people do well to have a variety of experiences, and so moving from R&D to the production facility, moving from lab-scale bioreactors to the large scale production of therapeutics would be one way . . . or, from science to business development, etc.

Dave

Re: How long is too long?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:20 pm
by Rich Lemert
The suggestion I've seen is that you know it's time to move into a new job when you know everything you need to about the job you're in.

Re: How long is too long?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:33 am
by PG
What Rich stated is what I have been trying to do myself. One of the reasons fopr my question is that the Company I work for recently became part of a bigger organization and this large organization have very clear goals for among other things staff turnover. The goal is that less than 5% should leave the larger organization each year. Translated into years this means that to reach the goal each employee have to stay within the family of companies for an average of 20 years.
This of course allows for people to change jobs within the organization and definitely also to advance from scientist to senior scientist etc but it still looks like a major challenge if the perception is that everyone should change their position every 3-4 years.

Re: How long is too long?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:31 pm
by Ana
Rich Lemert wrote:The suggestion I've seen is that you know it's time to move into a new job when you know everything you need to about the job you're in.


I remember reading Dave Jensen say something along the line of "if your career is not going up, then it's going down", meaning that there is not such thing as stability, once you stop growing you are actually losing when it comes to career progression.

I absolutely agree. You should strive to be learning and growing constantly in whatever job you are doing. That point will come sooner or later depending on the job and where you start.

That's the internal perspective for the person with the job. For external people reading your CV I would agree that the point is usually about 4 years in the same position.