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12 years and going strong: when is it a good idea to stay with the same company for long?


12 years and going strong: when is it a good idea to stay with the same company for long?

‘Should you change jobs on a frequent basis, or should you stick to one company for a longer period?’ 

This is a question that had a very simple answer just a few years ago. Common wisdom said that if you switch your jobs too often, your resume will betray you as a ‘job-hopper’ and it will be difficult for you to advance your career. 

This is no longer the case. Writing for Forbes, Kaytie Zimmerman notes: “Millennials can earn a higher salary, grow their career, change locations more frequently, and find a better cultural fit from job-hopping. The negative stigma is on its way out, so people should lean into the positive outcomes from making a change.”

And there is no doubt that in booming job markets, talented and qualified individuals can land a new job offer without making too much effort. It’s a lot easier today to search and find new jobs online. In a flourishing job market like Indian outsourcing, there are all kinds of opportunities available to you.  But is job hopping the right thing for you?

So, why should you stay with the same company? 
After becoming a CA, I joined QX Ltd.  I have spent 12 years in the same organisation and do not feel any need to change. Why did I choose to stay with the same company for such a long time? These are the key reasons:

1. Growth: With QX Ltd, I got a chance to explore various roles and work with clients from a wide range of industries. I started out as a Group Management Accountant, got a chance to set up a new division from the ground up as Director of Operations, and worked as a Finance Controller for a leading UK-based student accommodation provider.  And now I am heading-up the Finance & Accounts Outsourcing division within the company.  The opportunities to explore new roles, hone new skills and grow consistently were the reasons I never thought of moving to a new job.

In each of these roles I have played a part in QX’s journey to become a major global player in the outsourcing industry.  We have reached over 700 employees now and it is exciting to be a part of the growth story of a company you have been with since the start and it feels good when you see that your contributions have had a real impact. 

2. People and culture: QX started with just 5 people and we used to work in a small office where Chris Robinson, chairman and founder of QX, showed us the ropes.  I remember starting from scratch and producing the first payslip in the company.  Over the years, I have had the chance to work with knowledgeable and experienced leaders – all from different backgrounds – who taught me something new. 

We have a wealth of talent and diversity in the leadership team, which allows the company to think from a range of perspectives. This factor helps the company a lot while making any kind of decisions – be it expansion, entering a new geography, building strategic partnerships or making any other important decisions. 

Over the years, I have learned from – and shared my knowledge with – truly talented people.  At the very beginning of my career, I got the chance to work with the founder of QX, Chris Robinson, who is a KPMG-qualified, ICAEW-member chartered accountant with over 20 years’ business experience. The ongoing experience of working with Chris is incredible and has helped me grow: I started as a CA and today I am managing the entire QX F&A division.  Similarly, working with QX’s Managing Director Rajiv Bhatia, with the knowledge he has gained from his time with Fortune Global 500 companies, is a tremendous learning experience. 

I am also lucky to work with highly capable and dynamic colleagues, incredible people from whom I could learn a lot along the way.  There are so many people who joined QX as freshers who have now grown to assume bigger roles. I have also observed the numerous people who have joined QX again after leaving, and I have heard of their experience.  All this has confirmed my feeling that, at QX, we have been successful in building a superb work culture. 

3. Challenges and learning opportunities:  There’s not been a moment in my job when I can just sit and coast. New challenges and opportunities come my way on a regular basis. This keeps me from getting bored or jaded. “Competition is tough today and it will only be more so tomorrow” – I had heard from others.  Working all these years, I have realised the truth of this statement.  

During the earlier part of my career, the challenges were technical in nature. Today, the challenges that I face require less of a technical understanding and more of soft skills, general management ability and market awareness. For instance, as an outsourcing company with operations in India and clients spread internationally, we are at times impacted by both local and international changes. Whether it is Brexit or local political agitations, along with the management team I have to gauge the impact on the business and make necessary course corrections. 

Working with the same organisation for so many years also taught me another important lesson: you learn a lot more from failures than from success. When you succeed, you rarely sit and review what worked – whatever it is, you do it naturally. But when you fail, you are pushed to analyse and amend your approach.

4. Money: Money cannot be the driving factor for doing any job – if you don’t enjoy the work, no amount of money will be enough! However, you obviously want to be paid according to your skills and your contribution. Thankfully, I work for an organisation that rewards performance. 

When is it not a good idea to stick around?
I strongly feel that it is always a good idea to stay with the same organisation – there’s a greater chance of getting promotions, seniority and leadership positions. You also get to know a company, its culture and the people really well, which helps you deliver a lot more value. But there are situations that make it a good idea to grab hold of fresh opportunities: 

1. You simply do not get along with the people: If you wake up every morning feeling that you do not want to see the faces of your team members or your manager, it might be a good idea to move on. But before you do so, just look within yourself and make sure that the problem is not within you. Because if it is, you will not gel well with people anywhere. If you are sure that it’s not you but the toxic environment around you, take it up with the HR and try to resolve the issue. If this doesn’t work, it may be time to jump ship. 

2. You are stuck in a rut: If you are fed up with the work you are doing, it might be a good idea to try and find a role of your choice within the organisation. But if that is not possible, it might be a good idea to find a company that can offer you the kind of challenge and opportunity that you are seeking.

3. No path for career growth: For ambitious and able employees, there’s nothing more frustrating than stagnancy. If you have the skills, drive and talent, but see no path for further growth in the organisation, changing jobs is sometimes the only option. 

What’s your take on this?
What are your views on this? How long have you been with the same company? Are you planning to stay or open to change? Please share your stories and experiences with us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn

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