In September of this year, I will reach my two-year anniversary of being in my current position at work. You know what that means?
It’s time to find something new.
I’m happy with the company I work for, and I’m even happy with the group I’m in and I really like my boss. However, none of that is a good excuse to stop learning as much as possible.
And the best way to learn as much as possible is to take a new job.
Change Jobs Every Two Years
Let me be clear, I’m not planning to leave my current company. In fact, I’ve already talked to my boss about my desire to find a new job, specifically a promotion, in a different group. He said that he not only thinks it’s a good idea, but he’s going to try to call in a favor from another manager and find me a great position.
My theory is that early in your career, it probably takes anywhere from one day to one year to get really good at a job. Once you’ve gotten really good at a job, you’ll want to do that job for about a year to execute on the skills you’ve learned and be a highly productive worker.
After a year of execution at a high level, it’s time to hand off all your hard work to someone else and go solve a new problem.
It’s dangerous to work a job for a really long time for two reasons.
First, you have very little job security when you are only good at one thing. If your company no longer needs that one thing, you’ll probably lose your job. Furthermore, if you work the same job for 10 years, your company might decide to fire you and hire someone else with 10 fewer years of experience who will be much cheaper.
Secondly, it is much harder for you to move into a new position and get a promotion. When you work the same job for 8 years, your boss relies on you to do that job. He or she may be unwilling to promote you because you are deemed vital to that particular function. It is also hard to sell yourself to a new manager and convince them that you can learn a new job when you haven’t learned anything new in a decade. Say goodbye to any big promotions and raises.
To Stop Learning is to Stop Growing
The human mind is truly an incredible thing, but it needs exercise. If you do the same thing over and over and never have to think really hard to solve a problem, your brain stops getting exercise. And when your brain stops exercising, it starts getting fat and unhealthy.
Ok, maybe it doesn’t get fat. But your brain is a muscle, and if you don’t flex it every now and then it’s going to get weaker.
So step outside your comfort zone, apply for a position that’s really going to challenge you, get yourself a raise, and put your brain to work!
Readers: How long have you been in your current position at work? When do you plan to find a new job?