January 2, 2018

Career progression - The Pendulum

As a follow on from the discussion around Millenials, where they change jobs frequently, we mentioned that they looking different meaning in their work. They not stuck to companies for years, as a sort of loyalty, neither are they driven by money, but rather are looking for meaningfull work, wherever it may be, and will look to change jobs to keep on doing rewarding work.

In my 13 year career - 2005 till present 2017 - I am on my 6th job, 3 of which is with the same company, and each with the following lengths:

  1. 2.5 years
  2. 2.5 years
  3. 3 years
  4. 2 years
  5. 2.5 years
  6. 1 month and counting

This last change, was an internal move (my first in my career) in the company, to a completely different team and role.

When I look back at the changes in my career, I see a type of pendulum (please read this article, its worth it).
The pendulum begins where I start to build something (a platform, a team), then I get good at it, then I leave to start it all again.

There is also the element of 'getting bored', which is true, but I think it talks to the point of doing meaningfull work. Companies need to provide the ability for people to move around in different roles, and to learn new skills, which bringing existing skills and successfull ideas to be applied in new areas. This is much better than leaving the company completly, because it takes time to 'know who is who in the zoo' - who to speak to get things done quickly. Most successfull guys have built up reputations in companies, and know how to get things done quickly, by knowing which rules can be bent or broken. So by encouraging people to move around, you have much faster on-boarding, and quicker time to be productive.