How to Change Jobs After Being Employed at One Company for A Long Time

Kris Leigh Townsend, LMFT
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Millennials move through jobs faster than a hot knife through butter.  Staying in a job for longer than a year or two is almost unheard of.

So, you’re one of the loyal ones, eh?  A tried and true, dedicated employee!

Even as an outlier in a fast-paced workforce, there comes a time for everyone when it’s simply and appropriately time to move on.

You stayed for the salary, the benefits, the people or for keeping a routine.  Now, you feel too cozy, life seems mundane and it’s been a while since you’ve learned anything new.

Yes, my friend, it sounds like it’s time.

Transitions are tough, especially when you don’t do them very often.  Even positive changes are stressful because you don’t know what to expect.  It’s scary to think that your skills might not generalize or that you’re underqualified.

Nonetheless, it’s time to go and here’s what to do. 

Remind yourself that change is good for personal and career growth
Willingness to take risks and be uncomfortable are prerequisites for growth.  It is the only honest way to exit a plateau.

It can be terrifying to do a new job, especially if you’ve been doing the same one for several years.  It could feel like you’ve lost touch with the outside world and the only job you know how to do is the one you have. 

New skills only develop when you do new things.  “The only thing to fear is fear itself”, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” etc.

List any promotions you’ve had on your resume
Staying at a job for too long may send future employers the message that you’re not motivated.  Include on your resume the growth you’ve had in your present position.  This would apply to new titles or responsibilities you’ve acquired.

You can also discuss how the job you have has helped you clarify the direction of your career.  Teach the new company about what kept you there, your values and how you’re ready to move forward.

Discuss the benefits of you staying with the same company
Let’s start with the obvious fact that you’re extremely dedicated and loyal.  This is a quality character trait for an employee.  Companies know very well that they lose business each time they rehire.

Also, you’ve gained a great deal of specialization during your time there.  Make a list of your strengths and highlight the unique skills you’ve learned during your time at that company.

Make sure the new company is a good fit
Don’t go taking a leap of faith without a parachute.  Have a safety plan. 

Risks are only positive when they are calculated.

Even if you’re fed up with your current position, it’s important to wait and make a move that’s right for you.  Identify the values of each company, their management style and the workplace culture before jumping into a commitment you would be unhappy to fulfill.

Leave on good terms
It’s important to keep positive, professional connections so you have references for the future.  Leaving on a good note will also give you a sense of closure.

Give your employer enough notice, tie up any loose ends on projects, ask how you can help the new hire and provide an exit interview.  You never know when you might need this company again!

Remember it’s normal to miss your old job
You’ve been at this place for so long, you almost feel guilty to leave.  You’ve probably made friends that you’ll miss and you’ll probably feel awkward learning a new coworking space.

Remind yourself why you’re leaving and why it’s important for your growth.  Thank your old job for having provided everything it has and move forward into the new experiences ahead.

If you leave on a good note, you can always go back.


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Stacy K. thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you aren't happy in your new job. Have you tried to sit down with your supervisor and discuss your concerns? Did they promise you the hours and salary that you need and then just not deliver? Or did you accept their terms without question? Would be best to speak with your supervisor first. Let them know that you need more hours and/or more money. Maybe they can come up with a compromise for you. Maybe giving you more hours but at the same salary. Then ask if you can revisit the salary issue in 6 months. This way you can prove your worth and asking for a raise will be easier. Always remember, the grass is not greener on the other side should you decide to leave.

  • Stacy K.
    Stacy K.

    I just started a job in April and I’m not getting enough hours or enough money. Is it understandable to leave a job that doesn’t give you enough hours right away?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Becky V. thanks for your comment. First thing you want to do is create a new resume since you haven't needed one in 25 years. Lots has changed. Take some time to do some searching on the Internet to see how things have changed and then start writing your own. Once you have your resume written, just come back here to your Nexxt account and start your job search. @Ted I. thanks for you comment also. How to go about finding a new job? Decide what you want to do. Narrow down the field to one or two possible positions and then go onto your Nexxt account and start your search. You may need to modify your resume if you are planning on a career change. Just make sure that your resume is up to date before you start applying. Don't forget about networking also. You can reach out to former colleagues, friends, family and so on. Let me know that you are searching for a job. Who knows - one of them may know of a position that would be perfect for you. Just remember - looking for a job is like a full-time job in itself. You want to search for and apply to jobs every day. Follow-up on any leads, too. Check places like LinkedIn to reach out to friends and former coworkers to see if they know of anything that would fit your criteria. Don't forget to look around for virtual job fairs and get your resume submitted. So many places where you can find job leads - even during COVID-19. Just remember that it's a whole new world out there - just in the last few months. The traditional ways of hiring might be modified - such as having an interview while sitting at your computer. Best of luck to both of you.

  • Becky V.
    Becky V.

    I was a casino auditor for 25 years at a company. Where do I start to find another job with no advice of such?

  • Cynthia B.
    Cynthia B.

    I managed a telemarketing firm for 13years

  • Ted I.
    Ted I.

    This gives no practical advice on how to go about finding a new job. That would've been helpful.

  • Trevelle H.
    Trevelle H.

    I have 13 Years as a Revenue Cycle director

  • Kathy C.
    Kathy C.

    10 years of Family Caregiving also. Career change is hard to decide?

  • Rhonda B.
    Rhonda B.

    I have 15 years experience with patient care.

  • Timothy H.
    Timothy H.

    Thank You Kris !! Stay Well - Be Safe !!

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