Why stability is the secret to long-term career success.
Last updated: 20/08/2007 16:37:30
0ne of the frustrations of our job is seeing candidates - especially those at the start of their careers - making clear mistakes.
These are often the same mistakes that elder candidates made 20 years earlier and now really regret. There are plenty of people prepared to offer you advice, who should you listen to?

The secret to building a good career rests on a number of factors. A good candidate will have experience, drive, motivation, single-mindedness and will display loyalty and commitment.

If they are lucky they will have genuine talent as well.

Many of these qualities are contradictory. It is difficult to see how you can gain experience in a number of different environments and yet remain loyal and committed to one employer.

It is also frustrating to see a career in which you desperately want to get on, blocked at every turn by an employer who does not see you ready for promotion. A lot will always feel the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

They will make a move that is perhaps badly planned or poorly thought out. Within a few months they will realise their mistake and will seek desperately to put it right.

The next move is likely to be even less logical and the strong career platform they have built is lost. It may be then when they approach us. Sometimes it may be too late, the mistake has been made, and the chance for genuine career stability has gone.

It can be rebuilt, but may take far longer than you are prepared to put up with. It pays to look outside your own predicament and look at what a prospective employer would look for.

You may have had five or six jobs in the last three years, all "victim of circumstances".

If you were to recruit for yourself, however, would you consider candidates with such an unstable background? Very often the answer is "no". One of my clients has a saying "He might have been unlucky, but I don't employ unlucky people"

Whatever you feel about it, instability in a career can make someone unplaceable in a job that interests them.

It is therefore essential that if you want a career, not just another job, then stability is one of the most precious assets you can have. In the current legal environment it also confers rights upon you and duties upon employers.

If you have genuine talent, real drive and complete motivation then do not be swayed by others who say that it is always time to move on.

Consider your position carefully and ask whether you have proved yourself enough to take the risk. Make sure you have achieved all that you possibly can in the position. If you are really frustrated give your employer the chance to put it right before you decide to give it all up.

Strange advice from a recruitment consultant who can only earn if people move?

Not really, our interest is on the long career prospects for our candidates and the long-term satisfaction of our employers. Two-month disasters do nobody any good.
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