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How Long Should You Stay at Your First Job?

As you move forward in life with your journey towards your career, there are many things you will learn and realize. Moving forward in life and your career, you will face many tough situations, which is inevitable.

When you should have faith and stay in your current position or when you should take a leap and move to the next position, all these kinds of questions arise when there has been some time since you got into your first job, and it refers to not any summer jobs or summer internships.

Mostly an entry-level job, you start at the bottom, and with hard work and learning skills, you move upward to the higher levels, which is an important thing to consider.

With more time being in the same job, it may become tough for you to notice whether you have learned something new for growth or not. Thus change is quite necessary if you want to grow and move forward with your career in the long run. The article will help you know and decide when you should continue with your current job or move forward with a new one.

How Long Should You Stay at Your First Job?

How Long Should You Stay at Your First Job
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Many factors decide the time you should leave your first job. These factors can be good or bad, but if you want advancement in life, surely, you have to leave the one job to move forward with new opportunities.

Here are some factors that help you decide how long you should stay at your first job and what are the problems you may face. Read down below to get more information regarding the same.

1. Don’t Consider Your First Job After College as Your Dream Job

Usually, after college, the first job you land is not the dream job that you desire in your life. However, the first employer you get after graduation is great for learning those valuable professional skills. It will help you move forward in your professional field. And you should respect this.

The first job you land after college is just an extension of your college life, where you learn to apply all the skills and techniques you learned from professors throughout your college life.

The first job you get usually helps you improve your skills and learn from more senior people, like the best ways to deal with certain situations and advance your career.

The time it will take to start your first job is unpredictable, and so is the time for you to leave the job. Move out when you feel like exploring yourself more in life, and yes, don’t stay in your first job until your hair turns gray and wrinkles are on your face.

2. Have a Realistic Approach

New graduates often have unrealistic approaches to life. For example, they think that within a few years or months of starting their career, they will be able to take over the whole world. But this is where they get confused about life and career.

Life is all about hard work, but underestimating market competition causes problems. Becoming an industry leader and ruling takes time; you should not forget this. If you want to be successful, you have to be realistic, build a solid reputation, and always be ready to fight the fierce competition in the market.

3. Pay Your Bills

Pay Your Bills
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It is natural for a young employee, especially one who has just started working, to fantasize about sitting in the boss’s chair one day. However, starting the game and aiming for Luke is not how it works. You have some dues and bills to pay, and do not consider them is not what experts will advise. So don’t aim to be in the boss’s chair until you earn it.

Hiring managers don’t prefer hiring new employees or new graduates who don’t stay on the job, even for six months. Usually, it is preferred that employees stay at their jobs for nearly a year or so if they want to get a good job and position in the future.

Those who prefer to be on the job for only a few months are not at all regarded as recommendable by recruiters, as it sounds disrespectful and feels like the particular person is taking the job for granted and using the job as a means to move to higher positions.

Always learn from your supervisor on the job and learn from him as much as possible. It would be best if you said yes to volunteering for tasks no one is willing to do, and you won’t regret moving down this path.

4. Keep in Mind that Compatibility is The Key

 Keep in Mind that Compatibility is The Key
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Sometimes you may land a job that may not be right for you. The job cannot be right for many reasons, as sometimes the recruiters or the boss want the employees to take on a lot of workloads or during their joining the responsibilities of the job may not have been briefly mentioned as of now.

In some cases, the overall environment of the place may not be suitable or positive for you to work in. In such cases, you should at least be in the job for three months and try to adjust, but if you still feel it is not worth the struggle, you should leave it and move on to search for a new job and new position.

5. Look for Good Opportunities in Your First Job Only

If you find good opportunities after graduation in your first job, it is a must-go job. But, on the other hand, if you like the look of the company’s offers for maternity leave after working for several years, is there an availability of stocks?. Such benefits offered by companies are worth waiting for in such places or jobs for a long time.

Suppose the company has a high turnover rate; this can be beneficial as well as risky for you. As in that case, you should look forward to the supervisory roles, but be careful, as a high turnover rate can be a red flag also. There can be a reason for so many people leaving the company.

Of course, in those companies with a high turnover rate, you can get a promotion faster than in other companies, but you still have to be very careful while working in such companies and choosing a job.

6. Meet the Minimum Benchmark

Meet the Minimum Benchmark
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According to many experts, a year is enough for you to stay at your first job and learn new skills. Experts believe that an entry-level job is a paid opportunity where you can learn and earn simultaneously. You may also be considered for a job promotion shortly if you improve yourself and sharpen your skills.

But remember, during the first year only, you should not get frustrated and expect promotions. Those who have graduated and are looking for their first-ever job should realize that they can’t start from the top or even the middle; they have to take small steps and learn at every step to reach the top.

7. If You Find Good Opportunities in Your First Job: Stay

If you find that the opportunities in your first job are worth staying for, then stay at the first employer for more than a year or so. On the other hand, if you find a good environment and good mentorship in the first job, it makes sense to stay at the first job for a long time.

If, after two years or so, you find no further opportunities to demonstrate advancement in your career, then you need to think again about the options and move from the job to a new one where you get to explore yourself better.

8. The Exception to the Rule of One Year

The Exception to the Rule of One Year
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Usually, the first year’s time limit for new employees is one year, but there are always some exceptions to the rules. For example, take a job starting at a position lower than your qualification. You can leave the job when you find a new one with a better position matching your qualifications and needs.

Also, if you face an abusive job environment or find a place that is not in an area where you can work, you can leave the job before completing one year only. In addition, even if the job, company, or position is not what suits your qualifications, you are free to move out before one year.

If you find that you are in a bad situation now, look back at the recruiting time when you came for the job interview, notice the red flags and mistakes you made, and be careful while choosing the next job by correcting such mistakes.

What if You Leave Before Finishing One Year at Your First-Ever Job?

What if You Leave Before Finishing One Year at Your First-Ever Job
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While you must stay at your first job for approximately a year, there can be chances where you can and should leave the job, and there can be many situations that lead to such a decision if you leave the job before one year. Now, these situations lead you to leave the first job, but you must be careful while choosing the next job.

There may be cases where you didn’t stay at the first job for a year, but you should stay for at least two or three years for the next job as compensation or build your reputation. If you don’t do so, it will be the main reason that can leave a bad impression on the recruiter.

A person leaving a job for one another within a short period often explains that the person is a job hopper, not serious about the job, and not interested in learning. This behavior can cause problems in your recruiting for the next job.

Always remember that if you leave the job before completing one year, you should write a thank you letter to the manager or recruiter head to help you learn new skills and develop good habits that will help you further in life.

If you appreciate everything in return, it will not add any feeling of disgust or resentment for you in your recruiter’s mind as you have a long way to go in your professional life, and you don’t want to leave a bad impression on anyone.

Once you leave the job, you don’t need to be abusive or speak ill of those who hired or worked with you. Instead, move out gracefully without any ill-treatment or using abusive words. This behavior not only shows your professionalism but also proves you to be a good human.

Also Read: In-demand Digital Marketing Skills in 2022


Finding a job after graduation is tough, but the more difficult task is deciding how much time you should stay in the first job. If you are not given enough opportunities every day in the office, it is okay to not stay on the job for more than a year or so and move out when you feel like it.

If you find the job, be sure with the recruiting process, learn about the details properly then only move forward with signing for the job. Know the role you have to work at with the company before you sign for the position, also know all the terms and other conditions, and then move forward with selecting a job.

Usually, one year is the most suggested period for staying at job placement for a new worker or newly graduate. But at any point, if you feel that you should start with a new job even before a year, you are always open to opportunities.