How Long Should You Stay at a Job

There is this unspoken rule that you should at least keep at it for a year or so when you take a job, even if you do not like it. One cannot predict the stability of the job market, and if you want to move on to a better career, you should do your best to show your skills and presence to get a positive review for your next job.

But, as the workspace and employment practices continue to change, is the one-year job rule still applicable?

How Long Do Others Stay in Their Positions?

The one-year rule is followed by most people when they get a new position since it usually takes a year for a person to get used to a new work environment and set of responsibilities. After one year, they will be able to understand the organisation and show an improvement in their performance since they started.

If they consider a new position, staying one year in their current position can help support their case as to why they should be considered for the job. Some employers note how long an employee stayed with the company before they are considered for the position.

If the applicant did not make the full 12 months in their previous post, it is a big red flag for them to see the person as someone who cannot stick into their position.

How Long Should You Stay?

It is recommended that you try to at least stay in your position for two years at the minimum. This will help your employer get enough time and money to see if they can find a better candidate and get them ready for the position. The length of time is also enough for employers to see your worth and have a positive image of you, which you will need when you switch jobs.

However, if you are in an abusive work environment or if you discover that your position is not the one for you, it is not wrong to leave even if you have not completed the ideal period. The longer you stay in such an oppressive work environment, the higher your chance of developing workplace stress and eventually mental and emotional health problems.

If you have doubts about your position or feel the strain, start looking for new jobs as early as possible and research which ones can help you recover. If you frame your application properly to answer why you stayed for a short period in a position, prospective employers may overlook your job history and consider your skills instead.


It can be hard to determine whether or not you should stay long in the job because each situation varies per person. But, if you sit on the same job past your “specified” expiration date and don’t see any difference in your career, you are wasting your potential. Do your research and see what is available for you and see if it is time for you to move or not.

If you do not like your current job and thinking of jumping to greener pastures, check out these articles:
Writing a Resignation Letter
What is the One Thing Your Company did that Made You Resign?
Should You Quit Your Job During The Pandemic?

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Tangie says:

    Been with same employer for 35 years but in different position/promotion. Lord willing, I am retiring next year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally says:

      Oooo!! I bet you can’t wait to retire. 🥰 what are your retirement plans?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tangie says:

        Lord willing, after September 2023 retirement I plan to use more time for blogging and supporting fellow bloggers page and work on other writing projects.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Kally says:

          I wish you all the best in your journey into a new chapter of your life.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Hammad Rais says:

    Hey Kally!
    Stopping by after a long time at MiddleMe and finding this post, which immediately caught my attention.
    I have this thinking that if a person stays with an employer for an extended period of time, then that person becomes a white elephant. The age factor, changing market trends, secure in a comfy zone, all play out some role for a person like me, who is being staying in the same company for past 15+ years.
    But this is just me who is thinking like this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Hey, Hammad! How are you doing? Hope everything is going good for you.

      If the employee is being valued and appreciated at the current employer, I don’t see why he or she shouldn’t or wouldn’t want to stay forever 😄 you can always upgrade your skills somewhere else.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ultra says:

    I have worked at school in various positions for 35 years. Often I did not count the hours, so beyond the norm, but because I liked my work with children.


  4. newwhitebear says:

    How long do I stay at work? It depends on the needs. There is no rule.


  5. msw blog says:

    I agree with you “It can be hard to determine whether or not you should stay long in the job because each situation varies per person” I written a post about this in 2019, with the same title, you and your readers may enjoy my perspective on the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

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