How Many Jobs Have You Had So Far Out Of College Or High School?
  • Dear FS Community,

    You always read about the average person having so may jobs by their XYZ birthday. Is it true? How many jobs have you had and how old are you? I only had two jobs, one for 2 years and another for 11 years and then I decided to go out on my own. What is it that makes people want to move around so much?

    Given I was at my last place for 11 years, I'm biased towards longevity at one place. Longevity allows for more recognition and upward mobility imo. However, I have often wondered whether I could have built more wealth by going for those bigger competitor contracts. Firms start taking you for granted after a while and resetting can sometimes only be made through a move.


  • Current jobs I've had: 3 - working at is my 3rd job and I've been here almost 5 years. It's been great - competitive pay and benefits. Maybe there's something better out there, but I haven't felt the need to look.
  • I've had 5 in my entire professional career, and I'm 40. My average tenure is probably about 5-6 years per job and the first few moves really helped boost my salary. Early on, it's more important to move to different jobs.

    But, at this point, I feel like I've topped-out and don't expect that more big jumps are possible even if I do move.
  • After college? Just 2. I'm 28.

    While in college? A different main one every year, and most of the time multiple other jobs at the same time. So many different jobs and industries. I loved it! I'm so glad I did that because I "figure it out" before I had more to lose and couldn't just quit and try something else whenever I wanted to in order to find a better paying opportunity or my "true calling". I probably would have been stuck with any ol' job after college that related to my major and stuck with that for the rest of my life, never knowing what else might be out there for me.
  • *figured
  • I'm currently working my first "post-college" job.

    I'm not sure I agree with the "stay with one company" strategy. I was hired on making about $15,000-$20,000 less annually than "average" pay in my industry, simply because of my lack of industry experience. The problem is that my raises will not keep pace with getting me up to "average" within 3-5 years (taking my first annual raise as a barometer). The logical solution for me will be to move on to a new company in 3-5 years. It will reset my tenure with my employer, but I will also be starting out at a much higher pay grade.
  • I'm still on my first job after 5 years out of college.

    I know it's always a touchy subject, but it seems like asking for a raise to bring you up to industry standards would almost always be a better option if you're happy. This way you get the benefits of longer tenure and you don't suffer losing salaries. On that note, why isn't this the viewpoint of the employer?
  • It may be that my experience is not universal, but I have been informed by managers in my department that it is not really an option in my company to ask for raises other than the normal annual raise, which are structured amounts.
  • Any thoughts on why your employer wouldn't want to give their employees raises that would encourage them not to jump ship for a salary reset? I've found employees that have been around a company for a while are more valuable than recent hires.
  • @straightflush That is a question I have wondered myself. I have yet to come up with an explanation other than they are okay with having to retrain. It seems that are okay with occupying the recent college graduate space, save for a few management positions.

    Another strange thing is that they like to throw title changes (Developer I, II, III) at people without offering an associated raise. I think they believe that makes an employee feel like they are "progressing".
  • @straightflush @ayoungpro Employers take employees for granted after a while. When you come in at 22 years old, even after 8 years when you are 30, your manager who was 35 when you were 22 will still see you as a 22 year old at 30.

    This is why job hopping is important to RESET perception if you don't think you are being treated well.
  • I started working full time in High School so counting those jobs I'm up to 5 for an employer. I had several contract positions between that time and left two of the mentioned jobs to start my own companies. I'm currently self employed.

    (I'm 26 now)
  • Just the one (for this profession), but then again I'm only 29. Did multiple degrees at university and when I finally figured out what I wanted to be, I did five years' worth of courses in roughly two and a half years, which technically means I graduaded early, but with about six years' worth of university level studies in total.
  • I started working straight out of college in my first real job in summer 2009. I'm 26 years old and have been with the same company in two different positions for these last four years, but like some of the earlier comments from those who are about my age and experience I am also thinking about switching jobs and/or industries. I am a bit concerned about getting 'stuck' in a job/company and not being able to advance myself professionally and financially past a certain point. I don't hate my job or company but I did leave school hoping most of all to obtain a decent job right away and am now interested in pursing other avenues.
  • I'm 30 & at my 3rd job out of college. I started in banking and bounced between two of the two big to fail banks during the financial crisis before landing at my current job a little over 2 years ago. The prospects for growth in this company don't look too bright at the moment so it may be on to #4 sometime here in the near future, we'll see...
  • @Jay - Nice, a fellow financial services industry person. I got out in 2012 partly b/c the correlation between reward and compensation broke. The business is in structural decline so I figure I best go out on my own.

    @Bbinkyman - Now's the time to always be searching for a better opportunity. Don't settle!
  • @jmichelsen If you don't mind me asking, what type of work are you doing now?
  • Currently I am on my first job post college though I had a paid internship after graduating so it could also be counted as my second. At 24 I feel like that is a normal number, but I think I will be looking actively for new opportunities soon. There really isn't anywhere to move up to in my company. I would agree that longevity allows for recognition and upward mobility, but if you work in a smaller company there isn't always anywhere to move up to.
  • My employer I started with as an intern while still in college which was over 12 years ago.. This is actually unheard of for someone my age and industry, but my skills are current and I'm being paid more than I ever thought I would be paid. I like the work and people, built a name for myself so why leave? There is also a very generous severance package policy if I'm forced to leave due to lay off. So little motivation to bounce around. I see those types that do, they keep a job just long enough to complete a project learn our process, tools, technologies -- brain drain in essence then move on.. Make them better off longer term? Maybe. I think it might have to do more with the personality in the industry, on average creative people get border easily and cant be content for too long. I think loyalty is important, but maybe I'm biased too.
  • edit *bored*
  • I once thought I had changed jobs too many times during my life. But in doing the inventory for this... it looks like I have been really stable. I am 55 and since graduating from high school ( I did college on the 20year plan... it took me 20 years to finally get my degree, but I got it), I have changed jobs 7 times. Of course it seemed like more to me, since a few of them were merged a few times. Most of my career has been in the IT side of the banking industry and we all know how those places like to merge. My current position has been the longest in the 'same desk rule'. The bank has changed 5 times in 15 years. I think it is time for a change....

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