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Must you jump from job to job to be promoted?

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Ted Blackwater |
Experienced manager
Career   It's usual for managers to change jobs but...

To spend all your working time in just one company may be extremely smart decision.

We all know that it's usual for managers to change jobs every 4 or 5 years. In fact, we are so used to that information that we think that a manager must change companies often in order to be accepted as successful. And, indeed, it makes some sense.

Every job is a new experience and experience is the most valuable thing you can get on the job. It means that you tried many things, worked in different fields, organizations, and corporate cultures, which in turn makes you one of top candidates for that ultimate job title, that of the CEO.

So, what do you think about a person with such a CV: "15 years of dedicated service in our company?" Unfortunately, for many that translates "was unable to find a better job." And that may be far from the truth as it gets.

If you are reading careers news in POST Online Media, and we know you do, you could notice that a delivery boy became a director in that same company, the lady from the reception became a CEO, a truck driver became a CEO of a great company.

Now, before you say those are exceptions, let us share some interesting facts with you.

First, companies tend to give an advantage to internal candidates because they know the business, company culture, and people. There's no need for a period of getting into all of it, the moment the new manager is on the job the things start to roll.

Second, an internal manager has the best insight what's the best way to get the jobs done and what's the best way to deal with people. If there is a strategic shift that must be done, an internal person can do that without too much shaking and stirring.

And third, studies show that when you are totally "in," meaning focused on your job from your earliest day, you achieve better results than somebody who worked this and that, here and there.

In other words, if you started as a "Good day" person in the bank and gradually went from the job to the job in that same bank, there's no Harvard-educated MBA PhD and-what-not who's better suited for the job.

Recently, I exchanged some thoughts on this matter with an English gentleman. "Very well, if you ask me," he said [fast forward 20 minutes after weather information across all England, from Oxfordshire to I-don't-know-where-it-is-shire] "let me ask one question.

"Is it better to have a son and teach him something, than abandon him and make another one and teach him something, and then abandon him and make another one... Or is it better to stay with your firstborn for 20 years?"

And that's exactly the point: you may be an extremely successful parent with just one child because you can devote all of your time to that one person. And you may be an extremely successful manager devoting your time to just one company.

In the end, it comes down to the same thing: loyalty and hard work. And it's hard to trust a CV that reads "I'm a loyal employee" followed with three pages of different companies.

So when you see a CV with 20 years of experience and steadily growing responsibilities, you can be sure that's the person full of experience you can count on and one of the most serious candidates for the top job in your company.


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