Friday Question of the Day – How Long Have You Been in Your Current Job?

friday question
Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

PoPville’s upcoming 10 year anniversary got me thinking about how long I’ve been at some other jobs. I used to rotate every 2-3 years before lasting 5 years at my last job before blogging full time. So then I wondered how long you guys have worked at your jobs. And that’s how my beer dusted brain comes up with a Friday Question of the Day. So how long have you been at your current job? What’s the longest you’ve remained at one organization? How much longer do you think you’ll stay at your current job before moving on?

117 Comment

  • HaileUnlikely

    11 years 9 months

  • I’m freelance – I change jobs around every 6 months. It’s great!

  • Navy-five years so far

  • 10 years

  • Just passed the 2 year mark. Hope not to make it to 3.

  • Almost nine years. Longest I’ve had the same job and lived in the same city. I’m generally happy and could see myself keeping the same job until retirement. But if Trump is elected my government job may disappear?

  • Current job 7 months. The last 2 years have been a bit nuts for me. I left a company I had been with for nearly 5 years to take my “dream” job which fell apart after a month. Was unemployed for 6 months, then took a bandaid job at a startup. It was good for maybe the 2 months but quickly soured due to mismanagement. I was already looking for a way out when they restructured at my 5 month mark. Out of a job for 5 months before I took my current role, which I love. I did work PT in a coffee shop during the interim, which was interesting. I actually liked the job, but my coworker drove me up the wall.

  • 4 months. Was at my previous job for just over 3 years, which is the longest stint I’ve ever had. That being said, I have a pretty sweet gov’t gig now that I probably will have for the rest of my career.

  • Just got my 15-year pin from my agency. Planning to take early retirement in 3-4 years. It’s a great job, but I can feel burnout & rot starting to set in.

  • Cool that works. I’m in Langkawi Malaysia. Just got. Off a sailboat. My job is living. That does sound a bit obnoxious I know, but frail connections here so excuse and go along. How bizarre I can even connect from here. Great trip, but I drastically miss home.

  • 9yrs. When I started I was making 82k and now my base is 128k. I’ve been able to move around on different projects within the company, so even though it’s same company my environment has changed couple times- which I have enjoyed.

  • 15 years. But I want Victoria’s job!

  • binpetworth

    6 years. I really like my job, but worry as a non-profit employee that funding will eventually dry up.

  • 13 years at my agency., have had 6 positions in that time.

  • A little over 4 years. Have had three different roles in that time period.

  • 7 years and I have had two different roles. I really like my organization and I don’t see leaving until my partner and I decide to move to a different city (which will probably be in the next year to two years- I’ve been in DC almost 14 years). Even then I hope to keep my current job as a remote employee.

  • 13 years – first and only job out of college.

  • Almost 2 years! Getting ready to go out on maternity leave in a few weeks and will have my anniversary while on leave.

  • 2 months 😀
    Previous job was 3.5 years. I really liked my colleagues and the work was rewarding, but there were better opportunities for upward mobility & a slight pivot in my role by leaving.

  • I’ve worked for the same general employer for the last 9 years, but different groups, sections, etc which operate 100% independently. So technically 9 years, but actually only 9 months. How long will it last? Always looking… Always.

  • 5 years, the longest I’ve been with any job! I’m ready for something else at this point. This is also the longest time I’ve lived in the same city since graduating college.

  • Next month marks one year at my job and also in DC.

  • mellodcd

    5 years… I’m still with the same firm I started with right out of school, which is pretty unique compared to my peers. I’ll probably give it another year or two before trying out the public sector (need more time/less stress to start a family). Although eventually, I see myself returning to the private sector… hopefully with the same firm I’m currently working.

  • 7 months… at this point I’ll be happy to make it a year here.

  • 5.5 years, but leaving next week for a new job.

  • In my current job for 7 months. Before that, I was at my previous company for 8 years in various locations and positions. I’d like to stay in this role/city for at least 3 years but life has a way of being unpredictable.

  • 14 years, 2mo same employer, but various positions which is a rarity among fellow Gen-Xers.

  • 4 years 2 months

  • 32 years this August (yeah I know, longer than most of your readers have been alive). I found the job of my dreams and am still in it. Won’t be leaving until I retire. Just think folks, that used to be the normal way of things.

    • congrats on staying in a dream job for so long! You started your job the month and year I was born. Good things come from August 1984 ;-).

    • Haha — I’ve been at my job for 25 years and recently realized there were people working here who weren’t born when I started. Ugh. But I love the job and will stay until retirement as well.

    • My mom’s been in her position for 25 years (and at that organization for 30), and won’t leave until she retires in another 5 years or so – I’m jealous of you both! I’d love to stay at one organization for 10+ years, but that won’t happen until I get to director level. That’s so hard to achieve in my field because of a scarcity of roles so I feel like I have no choice but to hop around every few years until I can make it up there.

  • Retired two-and-a-half years ago after being with that company nearly 10 years (longest at any one place). Man, am I glad to be out of the rat race!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Almost 10 years with my company, 2 different positions, and hopefully a third position soon. If not, it’s time to start looking for a new gig some place else.

  • 19 years – only the second company I’ve worked for since graduating college back in ’89, but I’ve had 7 different jobs in that time period, working in 4 different departments. When I started, my sister was just beginning her family, now my nephew can vote.

  • callmeB

    1 year, 2 months. Record so far. Expect to stay 2-3 more years

  • Technically a year and a half, but it’s my third stint with the same division of the same office of the same agency. I started my career and spent 6 years here, then 5 in the private sector, then 7 back in this office, then 2 at another agency, and then back here in summer 2014.

  • I Dont Get It

    Thirteen years and it’s really starting to wear on me.

  • Current job a little over 4 years, industry about 7. This is the longest I’ve been at a particular job; can’t think of any reasons to leave. Great company and lots of opportunities ahead.

  • 5 years and 9 months.

  • I think this question would be relevant with more details. It would be interesting to see break down between Millennials and Gen X’ers.
    Time at job: Almost 5 years.
    Age: 34 (oldest Millennial cohort)
    Job type: Fed
    I think one ends up making more money the more they job hop (every 2 years seems to be the sweet spot). In my experience, the greatest opportunity to make more money is when you’re negotiating salary when starting a new position.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      agreed – your age definitely helps round this out. thanks!

    • I agree it would be interesting to know peoples’ age ranges. I think millenials do have a reputation for being flaky/wanting instant gratification/not wanting to put in the time at an organization. I’m 32 and I have been at my current organization for 7 years and don’t have plans to leave. Sure you can make more money by jumping around, but at this point I’m more concerned with quality of life than making more money so I’m staying put.
      .
      Side note: I don’t know if I consider those over 30 ~true~ millienials. The difference between over-30s and low-to-mid-20s seems pretty stark to me.

      • FtLincolnLove

        I’m 27 (28 in April) and have been at my job for 6 years come June. Longer, if you count my intern time. Not all of us are flaky, want instant gratification, or don’t want to put time in at an organization 🙂

      • Unfortunately, “putting in time” doesn’t get you what it used to, especially for people currently in their 20s. Real wages compared to inflation haven’t risen for millennials like they have for other generations, and many entered an extremely competitive workforce post-recession. It’s not just that you can make more money jumping around–it’s that you really *need* to jump around to avoid salary stagnation, unless you find a rare entry/mid-tier position with lots of advancement opportunity. Being able to change jobs easily is one of the few bits of leverage young workers have today.
        .
        I totally agree with your side note. I’m also just inside the supposed “millennial” cutoff, and I don’t identify at all with people who weren’t alive when Nevermind came out.

        • I agree with your points, and to clarify, I wasn’t saying that I think millenials fit that description- just that it seems to be the reputation they have gotten- especially from the older generation- which I find unfair. I do think the job market is much tougher on young people today than it was for our parents’ generation.
          .
          Case in point, my dad was from a very poor farm family in TX, never went to college and managed to get a job at IBM (it was the 60s after all) where he worked for 40 years, retired as an executive making lots of $$$ with a large pension (that will then go to my mom if he dies first) and paid for healthcare- something almost NO ONE can expect today. That sort of thing just doesn’t happen any more. Back then it literally paid to be loyal to a company, and now it simply doesn’t.

        • It’s not how much you earn that’s important, but how much you save.

      • andy

        just to follow your generational thing, at just under 40, it’s hard to associate myself with either the GenX folks or millennials. One cohort seems to have been watching movies during the grunge years and the other seems to have been born the same time.

        And I’m a federal employee who once worked on Capitol Hill. Still looking for something fulfilling that lets me have a family life.

    • Older Millennial(31) here. Before my period unintentional job hopping I stayed with my previous jobs for 4 and 5 years respectively. I did not love the former, but it gave me great benefits, vacation and sick time. I plan to stay with my current job as long as they have me. I see oppertunites for growth within the company, and I’m learning new things everyday. I do recognize that unfortunately this is not the norm in the current job market.

    • I am also 34, I have worked in healthcare for 12 years now (that hurts just saying that!), the last 10 of which have been focused in admin. I now work in a pretty specialized aspect of admin. I believe that I am pretty maxed-out salary-wise for the position I am in and the geographical region. I have definitely, definitely made more job hopping. My last salary bump was a 20% increase on my previous salary. In healthcare, raises tend to max out at 3%, maybe 5% if you are lucky. Also, because most people in helathcare take the “work for a cause not for applause” thing to heart, we tend not to ask for more because the more money we take, the less there is for the patients. This is particularly true for the “heart-stringers” – those who go into the field to make a difference. Basically, our salaries tend to suck, but we love it anyway.

    • Umm, why restrict it to Millenials and GenXers? There are Boomers in PoPville, too, ya know!

  • 15 years but will be 16 in June! 5 weeks vacation, ability to work remotely from anywhere and there are no clock watchers in sight. Pretty sure I won’t find that anywhere else so I will enjoy this for now while it lasts. Dress code… super casual!

  • Over 18 years. It never seems that long until I say it so I guess that’s good! Unless something amazing comes along I probably won’t leave until I retire.

  • A little over 4 years with increasing levels of seniority. My salary has practically doubled during that time period (started at an entry-level salary, now solidly mid-level to more senior for my org) and my benefits are amazing. Another org just reached out with a potential offer that is senior-level with management responsibility so we shall see. I’ve turned down offers in the past to stay here.

  • 6 years with 2 different roles. Job is great, but getting a little stir crazy…

  • Almost two months!
    Before that, 12 years as consultant working with many different organizations (including the one I’m working with now)

  • 1 year on this job. 2 years at the last. 1 year at the other (paid FT internship/fellowship). Working since I graduated from college. Probably going to leave current job in 6 months to a year due to projected budget shortfalls for the organization.

  • hammers

    1 year 3 months leaving any day (I wish)

  • It was a year last week, and I hate it. I was at my last job for 13 years, and was so excited to start this new gig. It has turned out to be quite a disappointment.

  • FtLincolnLove

    6 years….came on board right out of college and have no plans to ever leave my agency!!

  • 1 year.
    It’s a 2 year “pathways” program so I’ll stay one more year, but probably leave after that. I’m a millenial job hopper…

  • 10 years, and only the 2nd company I worked for out of college (I’m 36). I have held about 4 different roles in the organization, some very different, which is why i have stayed so long. I make about 95k with bonus, I do wonder if i would have jumped around more if i’d be making more by now. I really like the people on my team and the work i’m doing (I also get to work from home) so I don’t see myself leaving.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Currently at Census 6 years – 2 as a contractor and going on 4 as a Fed. Previously at BAE where I was given a raise and promotion, then laid off with 1 days notice while undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer ( massive budget cuts in 2008).

  • Current job 4.5 years, but was at my last organization 10 years, 2 different positions. I’m 46.

  • 1.75 years. More than half way to 6 hours of AL! (not that I’m counting)

  • Too F’ing long!

  • I am 30 yo and will have held my federal govt position for three years this summer. I was a contractor at the same organization for two years before that. Once I hit tenure this summer, I will be much more open to leaving (I can apply to positions only open to current govt employees for the rest of my life, even if I leave). I thought it would be much easier to move around within the government but that has not proven true. My job is definitely interesting and unique, but the general mismanagement and consequences of our budget being cut in half by sequestration are getting to be too much for me. Not that the grass will be greener anywhere else, but I don’t see myself sitting in a government office in DC for the next 20-30 years without losing my mind.

  • Im in my early thirties, and have been with my organization for 4 years (but only 6 months in DC, in my current department). I expect to stay for awhile, as theres lots of opportunity to take on different types of roles within the organization.

  • 4 years

  • canadianexile

    9.5 years at this firm and in DC, promoted 2 years ago. 2 years at previous job and many years in grad school/professional school before that. gen-x.

    there is a lot more consistency in these answers than i was anticipating – good question to ask!

  • I’m a serial monogomist–was at one job for two years after college, then five years of grad school, now coming up on seven years at my current job. Every so often, I think about leaving because it can be really hard to get projects out the door, but I’m not sure life would be better elsewhere.

  • 5 years 4 months. Private sector. Female – age 35

  • I’m 30 and been at my job for 1 year now. Spent three+ years at my last job before leaving to get a grad degree. I work in non-profit international organization and lack of funding or mismanagement is what will drive me out of this place (both of which seem really likely right now) even though I have awesome colleagues and fascinating work, mostly.

  • 7.5 years now as a legal journalist. First and only job out of law school. The sooner I can get out, the better. Older millennial, FWIW.

  • My current bosses have had me for 16.5 years

  • Current job: 7 months.

    Same company: Just over 3.5 years

    This is the longest I’ve been with any one company.

  • Three years and today is my last day! Starting a new remote job in a week. Whoo hoo!

  • Just over two years. Before this, 2 years in grad school (+ another 6 or so months to find this job), and a bit over 3 years at my old job. I hope not to make it to 3 years at this job, so if anyone’s hiring a meeting planner…

    I’m 29, for what it’s worth.

  • Age – 32
    I’ve been in my current Fed job for 5 years 7 months. Been in this particular niche field for 11ish years (wow…I’ve never actually stopped to consider that). Feeling stir crazy like I want to try something different in the non-DoD realm…but I’m not sure my skills will transfer elsewhere.

  • 32 years old. I was at my first job out of undergrad for 3 years, then law school for 3 years. going on 5 years at current agency, although I changed groups (same position, different subject matter) 1.5 years ago. not planning to leave until my student loans are forgiven in 2022, and then I have no idea – maybe stay, maybe try something else, but it’s far enough away that I haven’t given it much thought yet. my favorite job, though, was working as a barista during college and law school so if I could live off of that once I’m in my forties, maybe.

  • 31 years and 6 months… And I am retiring in 19 days! Yay me!

  • 5 years, 29 years old, and leaving shortly!

  • I’ve worked at my federal employer for five-six years. I’m thinking of finding something less soul-crushing. Perhaps you can guess the type of job I have.

    For any feds out there, I have a question that might seem crazy, BUT if it looked like a Trump or Cruz was about to be elected in November, would you stay in your job with a goal of undermining the insane steps that a crazy man might take with your agency, e.g., by sharing ridiculous plans with press or his opponents?

  • 4 years. 3 different positions within that time.

  • 3 years – but looking to switch. need something with telework/travel involved.

  • Age: 33 (does not consider self to be a Millennial)
    Federal Government: 10 years (get my pin this year!) and have been at 4 agencies.
    Current: 17 months
    Longest: 5 years

  • emvee

    Coming up on 2 years. I averaged about 1.5 years per job before this, just because as OP Anon said, it was the best way to get pay raises and more work. I’m quite happy at present though, and hope to stay put for quite some time! 28 years old, FWIW.

  • 11 years this summer. (Fortunately they moved 1 year in, so my commute went from 45min to 25min)

  • 13 years, 6 months. But I’ve moved several times within the same organization.

  • Going on 5 years

  • Aglets

    I just left my job of 7 years.

    Needed a change and was extremely burned out.

    Anyone hiring? 🙂

  • 10 years, 10 months. Started as admin, grinded up to partner.

  • Curious (I’m the lady who’s been in her dream job for 32 years & counting). I had 2 jobs before this one, each for 2 years. Both were just to pay the rent or in one case, work at the Library of Congress while getting my MA (easy/free access to a whole lot of books!).

    For folks of any age who switch jobs every couple of years or so – what’s the reasoning?

    Looking for your dream job and if you find it you’ll stay?
    Convinced there is no such thing as dream job?
    Looking to bump up salary?
    Other?

    • I just commented on your post above, but I’ll flesh out my answer! Almost everyone I know around my age (I’m 30) who works in non-profits changes jobs every 1.5-3 years because it’s often the only way to get a raise and/or a promotion. It’s not usually that we get bored or that we think the next job will necessarily be better, though I think a lot of us still hope to find a “dream job” even if, realistically, we know they don’t exist in this economy. It’s just that if we want to grow our skills and to take on more responsibility – at higher salaries – we have to move around. The younger boomers / older Gen Xers who are at the top of the food chain at most non-profits I know have been in their positions for years and aren’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon, so it feels like we can never move up, not really. We can only move over.

      • Well I hope you find something that makes you happy. My parents grew up during the Depression, and there’s really something of that era that imprinted on people. My dad wasn’t that happy in his job, but wanted something that supported his family. And he supplemented it with volunteer work that was the joy of his life. I’m happy that by whatever – my generation, my education, sheer luck, I got this job. Before this I did the 2 year jobs that paid the rent and were not in the least bit fulfilling. I happen to work in a non-profit sector where money isn’t the issue. Nobody gets rich doing what we do. But being happy makes up for it in spades.

        If your short term jobs are fulfilling (even if not profitable), that’s something to be happy for.

  • I made a career change out from the private sector about 5.5 years ago. I’ve been at my current agency ever since and have had 2 different positions. I’m surprised at how many people have been at the agency since the 1970s. That being said, there should be many opportunities to advance over the next 5-10 years and plan to stay put for a while.

  • 5.5 years. 30 years old. No plans to go anywhere.

  • 32yr old and a Fed for 9 years now, same agency. Same general position since I started but I’ve been promoted several times. The work is still interesting and we have good management, so I’m pretty happy. I do wonder if I should move around though- It seems many people do.

  • 26 years minus 5 years. Translation: I started at my company as a temp in 1990, went permanent, left after 15 years and worked somewhere else for five years before coming back five years ago. I hope to stay until retirement in 10 (?) years.

  • Current job: 1.5 years
    Previous job: 8 years
    Both are federal jobs, and I can see myself continuing the fed thing for the rest of my career, although not necessarily in my current office/position.

  • 26 years + !

  • 9 years, 1 month, and 14 days, but who’s counting

  • Longest job was 12 1/2 years with a great boss at a good company. Was seduced into a “dream job” as a consultant (yep, I walked away from a steady salary and good benefits – like I said I was seduced). That lasted 4 horrible months before both the company and I figured that that particular role was a lousy fit for me. However, I have continued to work for the same company on much different projects that are far more suitable and enjoyable. That’s been for 3 1/2 years. While I haven’t had any problems earning a living and supporting my family, I have grown weary with the lack of stability in this kind of work. I want to go back into a full time salaried position with benefits.

  • consulting independently (not by choice) for 1 year (after more than 20 at my last company.)

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