Chapter 15. Making Career Moves

Sure, our parents or grandparents might have started a job right out of high school or college, stayed with it for thirty or more years, and then retired, but that just isn’t the way careers go these days. And by these days, I mean for the past thirty years. In the various technology-related careers, it’s rare to find anyone in the same position with the same company for over five years.

From personal experience, I worked for EDS and HP for sixteen years, but I held several positions within each company during that time. Most of my jobs lasted from eighteen months to two-and-a-half years. It was prudent to switch roles often, although all were lateral moves, and I grew and learned in each one. I worked for the same manager three or more times during my tenure at EDS and HP. We both moved around inside the company and kept crossing paths. It seemed that managers moved around as often as regular employees. In those days of massive and continuous layoffs, it was wise to be a moving target.

These days, career moves aren’t seen as unfavorable. One recruiter told me that some managers and companies view a technical person who doesn’t make a move every eighteen to twenty-four months as less desirable as a potential candidate. I’m unconvinced that this is true. There’s something to be said for someone stable enough to stay put for a few years and become competent in every aspect of their job. But you will, at some point, find yourself looking for a new ...

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