Are People Who Have 8-10 Years at Their Current Company Dinosaurs?

I think an interesting thing has happened when it comes to careers, and it’s probably not a good thing.  People have historically judged you by switching jobs too often.  That’s why I always counsel people to stick it out a year (preferably two) before jumping out of a less that perfect situation.

But in today’s high change environment, there’s another way candidates are getting judged:

Candidates who are approaching the decade mark (10 years) with the same company are increasingly being viewed as being low-change, less-than-nimble dinosaurs.

Too harsh?  Well, I’m working on my 8th year at Kinetix, which far outlasts any other stop I’ve made in my career (previous record – 5.5 years.  I don’t feel less nimble, but I can understand how the marketplace might think I’m “settled in.”

“Settled in” is code for:

–set in my ways

–telling young kids to “get off my lawn” at work

–digging the long lunch

–not stirring up necessary change

–understanding it’s “beer-thirty” somewhere.

OK, I’m an owner/investor at Kinetix, so maybe my situation is a bit different.  Like the Eagles once said, I can check out, but I can never leave – but I don’t feel like I’ve checked out.

Unfortunately for those of my ilk (minus the ownership part) that would like to make a move – The 8-10 year professional grade worker who has risen to Director level, etc – the market might view them as settled in/tired.   For some, that’s absolutely an accurate description.  For others, it’s unfair.

If you’re part of the latter group – open to a change but wearing the scarlet letter of too much time at your current company – there are things you can do to signal to the world that you don’t sleep at work and could actually #### some #### up if they take a chance and hire you.  Things like:

1–update your LinkedIn profile (turn off notifications if you don’t want your company to be notified)

2–write something that shows your passion for what you do

3–if you’re cranking out killer work product that’s non-proprietary, share the slides/excel/word docs publicly

4–participate in professional groups/events outside of work

What am I missing 1-company people?  What else can people who have been at the same place 8-10 years do to show they are open to new opportunities?  

It’s hard being a middle-aged professional and straddling the line between being content and being eligible for the external game.

If you want to be in the external game, you’ve got to act accordingly.

Now get the #### off my lawn.

This post originally appeared on The HR Capitalist
Author: Kris Dunn