Is Staying at One Job for 15 years a Negative to an New Employer

Posted By Jen Roddy

I interviewed a candidate this week who has been with her current employer for 15 years. She mentioned to me that when new employees start with her company and ask her how long she has been there, they are often surprised at her response of 15 years. She even admitted that she was embarrassed at times to recognize her tenure with the company.

Really?? I was surprised at this. Surprised that she would find this embarrassing…I understand that in our current employment climate, it is unusual for an employee to stick with a company for so many years. However, I find this as a positive accomplishment. In discussing her background, she told me she started with the company when she was 22 years old. She began as a clerk, attended college and obtained her Bachelor degree, and worked her way up through the ranks, ultimately landing a management role. She expressed how she never anticipated having a career in insurance. However, the industry has offered her the ability to learn something that she can take with her to any state and reciprocate the responsibilities. Now 15 years later, she has found that she has outgrown her current employer and is looking to expand on her insurance knowledge.

In working with companies, assisting with staffing needs, I honestly have found a more favorable response to a candidate who has fewer jobs, or one job, than to a candidate who is a job hopper. I understand there are reasons why people change jobs that are often justifiable, but staying at one position is also legitimate and should not be seen as a negative.
Everyone’s career path is different. If your employer offered promotions and you gained industry knowledge, then staying with a company for many years has been advantageous. In this case, the candidate still has many years ahead in her career; I believe her loyalty and dedication to her profession will be rewarding in whatever new position she lands!
Be confident in your job search! Take advantage of the opportunity to share all the GREAT things about your experience, and why you have made the choices you have in your career path.


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