There are many stereotypes regarding jobs and careers. Among them is the "right" frequency with which to change jobs. Is it necessary to periodically change employers in order to develop professionally?
Hopping from one job to another every year can often be a warning flag to potential employers that someone is unprofessional or unreliable. At the same time, it is often thought that working in one place longer than 5 years may lead to lost efficiency and burnout.
In real life, job change scenarios are not so black and white. Different people take different career paths. Some psychologists and coaches, referring to American research studies, recommend changing jobs every 5-7 years to avoid stagnation and getting too comfortable.
The Japanese, on the contrary, typically prefer to build their careers in one company. Perhaps the lack of stress involved with new jobs is behind the nation’s world-leading life expectancy statistics.
Is it true that people changing jobs too much or too little have poor motivation, communication abilities, or professional skills? Natalya Pulyanovich, HR expert at AsstrA, shares her thoughts.
“When analyzing a CV, I focus on identifying the applicant's career development stages. On a student’s CV, it is normal to see a short 2-6 month internship. That gives a student an advantage, even. Frequent job changes after graduation indicate a search for a job that matches the candidate’s interests and needs. Once someone settles into a suitable role, we generally like to see him or her be in it for at least three years. If the work involves projects, we look at the results of those projects.
Different people have different reasons for changing jobs or staying loyal to one employer. One person might be focused on personal success, while another might prioritize influence, passion, job security, or achievements. As long as someone’s basic needs are met, being happy with the job is the main factor behind loyalty to an employer,” shares Natalya Pulyanovich
“The advantage of working at AsstrA is that team members grow and develop together with the company. New departments, projects, branches, divisions are always emerging. That means there are always new opportunities for growth, both horizontal and vertical. We emphasize progressive assessments, constant self-development, and realizing leadership potential. We help our people move towards their goals. As a rule, managers who have risen within the company have better working relationships with their colleagues, are able to build cross-functional synergies, and are ready to take responsibility for results.
Today at AsstrA there are 103 employees (8.8% of the total workforce) with 15 years of experience at AsstrA. 47 of them are managers. 26 employees (2.2% of the total workforce) have 20 years of experience. 14 of them have senior roles.”
Nikolaj Rukavishnikov, Deputy Operations Director for Rail Transportation, joined the AsstrA team in February 2006. At that point, he decided it was time to Russian Railways and continue his professional path in the private sector.
“Over my past 15 years with AsstrA, I have taken on a variety of responsibilities, some easy and some difficult. A new situation may be intimidating at first, but I look at it as a challenge to solve – a steppingstone on the way to future success. By now, I am a little disappointed when there is a break in the action. After all, it is by overcoming challenges that we discover our true selves and move forward.
AsstrA is a dynamic workplace where you are constantly looking for new solutions and working on new projects. Personally, I don't see the point of changing my job every 5-7 years. In my case, staying at AsstrA means staying in an environment where I have stable development opportunities.”
One more strong player on the AsstrA team joined in October 2005 thanks to the persistence of the HR team. Sergej Omelyanyuk is now the company’s CIS Regional Director.
“I previously worked for a freight forwarding company that cooperated with AsstrA. When requesting quotes and planning transportation, I greatly appreciated the AsstrA team’s accuracy and professionalism in communication. Later, Natalia Pulyanovich contacted me to suggest interviewing for an open position. That was nice, but I did not move forward as I felt an obligation to my current employer at that time. After a while, when my situation had changed, Natalia came back with another proposal. After the interview I was offered a choice to work in the Export Department, Sales Department, or Special Cargo Department. And so I chose to become a oversized cargo freight forwarder,” says Sergej Omelyanyuk.
- Sergej, do you think it is necessary to change job every 5-7 years? Or you can work in one company all your life?
In my opinion, changes are not bad per se. At the same time, you do not have to change employers in order not to stand still. You can develop within a company. At AsstrA, I like the horizon of opportunities that is offered daily. I urge everyone not to wait for a "lucky ticket" but rather to get involved with new projects, new products, new offices, and new ideas. Your skills will grow and your career will advance. I was and still am lucky. At AsstrA I have always worked – and continue to work – on a team of motivated and results-oriented people.”
Anait Vasilyan, Head of the AsstrA Customs Department, started her journey with the company as a secretary in 2011.
“I first learned about AsstrA from my mother's friend. Later, I saw a vacancy and applied for it. After two stages of interviews I was hired. At that time I was in my first year at the Customs Academy and was quite "green." I worked during the day and studied in the evening.
It's hard to say how often you should change jobs. Personally, I get bored when I am always doing the same kind of work. Development, new challenges, task variety, and daily creativity are important. I have them all at AsstrA, where it is possible to constantly develop, grow, promote innovation in the "idea contest," and even create business projects. Thanks to these benefits and growth opportunities, I've been with the team for 10 years.
To become a manager at AsstrA it is important to think big, be passionate about what you do, and imagine and implement new ideas for business development. Don’t just stick to business as usual. I joined the Customs Department in 2013 as an assistant, then became a Specialist, and then a Senior Specialist. In 2016 I graduated from the Customs Academy, and then in 2017 I took the position of Department Head. During this time, our team has achieved excellent results. Our KPIs improved in terms of declarations processed, profits are up, and the Department’s headcount has doubled. We are serving new markets, and we are expanding our range of services. I am proud of these results, and I am happy to have come so far with AsstrA,” says Anait Vasilyan.