Is it wise to stay in a role too long?

The work of life

Is it wise to stay in a role too long?


The five-year rule allows you to pause and reflect. PICTURES | BOWL

Staying with a company or position for a long time can show loyalty and commitment, desirable qualities that employers value, but some career coaches say it’s a sign of employee complacency and laziness.

In a growing market, how will you demonstrate relevance, career growth, and development if you stay too long in a role or company?

Being in an industry and serving in a role raises issues of institutionalization and being a bit one-dimensional, so every employee should strive to be diverse, especially with changing technology.

In a changing job market it doesn’t make sense that you as an employee stay on a payroll, you also need to know why you stay there.

It would protect someone from being declared fired. So how long should you stay in a company?

David Njuguna, human resources partner at Rubis Energies Kenya, explains that the length of time one stays with a company should be guided by the diversity of the organization, as well as its ability to evolve, and adapt to growth. employees.

The set of skills that an employee must acquire in a position or a company determines his stay or his exit.

“In the beginning, the employee learns the basics – how to interact with people, communicate and report. After a few years, this employee acquires business, managerial and leadership skills. These are learned on the job or on the job. ‘other forums,’ he says.

Failure to hone these skills should be a red flag for an employee.

While employee growth shouldn’t depend solely on the employer, Njuguna argues that the employer is the foundation of an employee’s progression.

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“The work environment, mission, vision and goals shape the career.”

This fosters a symbiotic relationship between employer and employee, even if the biggest stake comes from the employer.

Additionally, not having challenging opportunities in the workplace was also a consideration for packing up and leaving.

Employees who are used to doing the same routine tasks every day tend to feel limited and limited in their potential.

So what are the ideal timeframes to stay in a role?

Sarah Omaya, Human Resources Manager at Africa Biosystems adds that although there is no time limit to stay with a company provided an employee is progressing, the latter should not exceed five years.

“If you’re approaching the five-year mark, assess where you are and what else is there. Always keep your eyes open,” she says, adding that this discourages institutionalization.

After five years, employees should be transferred to other positions to acquire skills and competencies that are impossible to acquire in a single quarter of activity.

Likewise, companies have a five-year business plan where they check that they are on the right track, and employees must do the same.

The five-year rule allows you to pause and reflect.

Rotating jobs come with perks, help to network, learn new skills, engage with new ideas, take on new challenges and open up career opportunities.

On the other hand, the disadvantage of staying in a position for a long time is to be the victim of retrenchment or to be declared dismissed.

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“No business moves with dead weight,” notes Ms. Omaya.

Managers who have been in a position for a long time may better understand a company’s history and know the shortcomings, but they also fall victim to the complacency and contempt that comes with familiarity.

“It is difficult to replant a tree whose roots are too deep. The business world is changing and the leader may fail to open up and adapt to the changes,” she says.

Yet, while the five-year rule remains the optimal rule, age and job security matter.

Baby boomers and earlier generations have typically spent much of their careers in one organization. Young workers change jobs more than previous generations, learning new skills or getting a better package.

If you have been employed for more than 10 years and have held a job title that may also cause concern, unless the position you hold is the highest and there is nowhere somewhere else to climb.

However, while staying in a role for a long time is worrying enough, so is staying in a role for a short time.

Mr. Njuguna notes that a resume that shows a year or less in a particular role or company can set off red flags for the job seeker.

“When an employee has changed more than three jobs and stayed there for less than a year, it’s a worrying trend that raises more questions than answers,” he says.

The bottom line is an employee’s career growth and the benefits that come with it should dictate how long they stay or leave.

Should we then start thinking about getting out gracefully before staying too long in a job or in a business?

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