"In my opinion, a reasonable timeline for your departure from a job is three to five years," she says. "The longer you stay at one company," Welch says, "the more hiring managers start to ask, 'Can this candidate adjust to a different culture, a different pace, a different way of doing things?'"
Ultimately, she says, hiring managers want to know "if they can teach an old dog — you — new tricks." She advises employees to start thinking about their next career move on their third anniversary at a job, because she says "it will give you enough runway to take off before your resume starts to raise red flags."
There is, Welch warns, one exception to her three-to-five-year timeline. "If you've got a passion for what you do, and see an achievable path to the top, by all means — stay put. There's no reason to leave a job you love if it holds an exciting future for you."
"But if, like most people, you know your departure is only a matter of time," says Welch, "don't ask for whom the bell tolls. At five years, it tolls for thee."
Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker. Think you need Suzy to fix your career? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beatriz Bajuelos Castillo
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