Q&A: Is It Bad To Stay At A Job Too Long?

QUESTION: I’ve been working in the same place for five years. It’s an OK job, but I’m getting restless. I see other people doing things that I’d like to try, plus my work is not very interesting. Should I look for a new job or am I crazy to leave a good job?


Boredom at work is common — and its natural after working in one position for several years. Feeling restless, however, is not a good reason to quit your job. Quitting is a last resort to dealing with a job you hate.

Many people worry that leaving a job too soon or having too many jobs on their resumes can make them a “job hopper.” While there are some benefits to working short-term jobs, employers might not trust a job candidate with a history of leaving positions after two years or less.

You say that other people are doing things you’d like to try. If these are coworkers in similar positions as yours getting better projects or promotions than you, then your career might be in trouble.

Ask yourself — or your supervisor — why you are not considered for promotions. Maybe you are not getting challenging assignments because your supervisors don’t know you are interested in using new skills.

If you’ve been in the same job, doing the same things for too long, you might give the impression that you aren’t interested in growing your career.

Remind your supervisors of your Career Identity and talk about how you can grow at work while helping the company with their goals.

Repeatedly leaving a job after a year or two can label you a job hopper. Staying in the same job too long can make you seem not interested in your career or in your employer’s growth.

Only you know when its time to make a career move. Keep in mind that, depending on what type of job you want to move into, it might take several months or years for you to find your next right job.

So, how long should you stay in a job?

Some career experts say “four years is a good length of time to stay with one job.” This will get you “full credit” for working there.

If you’ve worked in the same job for many years but your duties have increased or you have opportunities to learn and use new skills, then being in that job long term can benefit your career.

“Six years is the point on a job at which it starts to hurt you if you’re not getting promoted or getting better projects. If you keep getting promoted, however, there’s no upper limit on how long you can stay at a job,” according to Fortune Magazine.

Remember two things:

  1. You are in charge of your career. Only you can decide why and how long to stay in a job.
  2. EVERY job is temporary.