Do you feel like completing the 18 month time mark to avoid being judged by your next employer or would you prefer resigning regardless of how long you’ve worked at a firm?
The answer to the question depends on how much you’re learning and how the job fits with your future goals. In general, one should remember this numbers-8, 18, 48 and 72.
Under 8 months:
This appears as a blemish on your resume unless you have an objective explanation (such as large corporate action). Less than 8 months would mean that you didn’t manage even to pass your 6-month review or the first performance cycle. You may want to avoid mentioning the job or move any accomplishments to the freelance section. You can also mention the job as a project-specific role and say that you were offered more projects, but you declined. Yes, it is advisable to omit something from your resume. Some things are bad enough, and jobs under 8 months always fit this category. As long as you don’t make accomplishments up, it is not the unethical type of lie. It won’t be counted as deception but an attempt at your part to save the interviewer from asking irrelevant questions about things that have happened to you.
Also Read: Urgent Changes In A Resume
An exception would be a situation in which you were a part of a news-making layoff in the first year, or ever. A surprise layoff (under 5% of your division) will be assumed to be skill-related and should be hidden. However, if you’re affected by a known layoff (such as a plant closing), there is no shame in it. Example, if you were a part of a large-scale layoff that was a non-performance layoff, it is better to mention it.
18 months is a socially accepted minimum. It suggests that you managed to complete at least one review cycle-reviews are presumed to be annual and people are not reviewed until 6 months old. That’s why 18 months is considered to be a safe time limit. It suggests that one must have some amount of achievement to be retained for that long. You can get away with 9 months also but only if you have a really good excuse like a family-related reason.
If you happen to be one of those people who fall under the category of under 18 months, it is almost obligatory for you to establish that you did manage to pass at least one performance review.( Something like a bonus or a round of layoffs where you were safe would be good enough reasons). Even then, you can’t apply the same to say four or five jobs. That simply doesn’t look good on the resume. If you had one job where you were bait-and-switched, an HR cynic would understand. However, five of such jobs on the same resume are bound to make the HR officials skeptical. It would make it look like the problem is you. If your excuse is that you keep getting bait-and-switched, it will alert the HR cynics about your unreal expectations from a job.
Main point here is that two years look better than one, but three years look much better than just two.
Four years (48 Months)
This will give you full credit for working loyally with an organization, unless something projects you as an under-performer or stagnating. If your history was full of increasing accomplishments and preferably at least one title change, you’re safe. However, if your projects have not been getting better and you haven’t been promoted either, you better start working your way through it until you apply for another job.
Six Years (72 Months)
At this point of time, it really becomes frustrating if you’re not getting promoted. Four years with a flat-trend would still mean that you did your job and gave the company a chance. More importantly, you didn’t annoy anybody and managed to keep your job despite lateral moves or flat-trend. However, 6 years without any promotions can only be explained by a person’s unambitious nature and a thorough mediocrity. However, if you’re experiencing success and getting timely promotions, there is no limit as such regarding how long you should stick to the job.
Many feel that these numbers and their complexity are absolutely baseless. A job should be left if it doesn’t suit you or doesn’t give you a feeling of contentment. If you don’t like your job, leave it and have full confidence in your decision. If a future employer questions you about the time spent with the previous job, tell them the truth. Mention to them what you want and what your goals are like. Nobody should force themselves to stick to a job that makes them feel frustrated just because of how it would look on a resume.