Why do software developers switch companies

Why headhunters advise changing jobs every three years

Munich headhunter Christian Pape recommends that candidates look for a new job every three years. Change jobs around 13 times in your professional life - is that the future on the job market?

Frequent job changes can be good for your career. As long as it is reasonably justified.

Too little flexibility makes applicants unattractive

“HR managers want applicants who have got to know different corporate cultures,” says headhunter Christian Pape. Experience matters. And flexibility. Is changing jobs, previously an option for the dissatisfied, now a compulsory exercise?

“So-called 'chimney careers', in which applicants spend their entire professional life only with one and the same employer, are no longer up-to-date,” says Pape. Especially in fast-moving industries such as IT, where a lot changes in a short period of time, staying in one position for too long can be detrimental to your career.

Pape therefore advises employees to change jobs regularly - also in their own interest, because every year in the same company, the employee becomes more dependent on it. And if the job is suddenly lost due to a stroke of fate - perhaps because the company had to file for bankruptcy - the job search can be difficult. "The more experience the employee has previously gained with different jobs and corporate cultures, the easier it is for them to find a new job."

Sapling, take turns - when is it time to go?

So, after a year, throw it all away and move on? "No, not that - at least not on an impulse," says Pape. “There must be a sense in the job change.” Those who change too often and for no comprehensible reason may appear erratic and not very ambitious. Three years in a company are a period of time after which you should slowly reorient yourself, explains Pape.

With an average career duration of 40 years, that would be thirteen positions that an employee has in the course of his career. Realistic? Or over-ambitious? And above all: where is the identification with an employer?

Studies show that this is an important reason why employees stay with a company. Personnel expert Till Lohmann from the consulting firm PwC knows that employees who identify strongly with their company change jobs less often. And that should also please the company, since loyalty has a positive effect on sales.

So identification makes you satisfied. Employees and employers. But why then play with constant change?

Experienced employees: try it with consistency

Maybe it's a little bit like love at work. At a young age, people try things out and gain valuable impressions. The following questions also arise at work: What do I want? Who suits me “I recommend that candidates change as often as possible in the first half of their careers and gain new experiences,” says Pape. In the second “half of your career” you should become more consistent and commit yourself more closely to one employer.
Those who are lucky then already know relatively exactly what “the right one” (employer) should look like for them.

Incidentally, at some point it is no longer just the broad base of experience that counts. Anyone who has found a company that they can identify with and wants to climb the corporate ladder needs more perseverance. Three years in rapid succession are then probably not enough. In this case it means: Try it with consistency. For a while, at least.

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