Have you stayed too long?

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” - Og Mandino

A manager and a sales representative stood looking at a map on which colored pins indicated the company representative in each area.

“I’m not going fire you Wilson,” the manager said, “but I’m loosening your pin just to emphasize the insecurity of your situation.”

Longevity in the workplace. It’s more of a challenge now than at any other time. I was thinking about this recently after having a conversation with a friend of mine who’s enjoyed a very successful career in the same profession he started out in.

“I’m thinking about retiring in another year or two,” he said.

“Then what?” I inquired.

“We’ll see,” he said, “but 30 years in the same job is enough.”

Is it? The dynamics of longevity in the workplace is changing. And for each generation, it looks different.

Writing for www.thebalancecareers.com, Alison Doyle provides some great insight into longevity in the workplace. Dean states, “Fuzzy definitions aside, the average person changes jobs an average of 12 times during his or her career.”

What about you? What’s been your story?

Doyle continues, “Many workers spend five years or less in every job, so they devote more time and energy transitioning from one job to another. In January 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median employee tenure was 4.3 years for men, and 4.0 years for women.”

With such a high turnovers in the workplace, how do you know when it’s time to go or whether to stay? Can you still be effective in your chosen profession after being in the same job for 10, 20, 30 years? Absolutely! How do you know if you’ve been there too long? Here are a few warning signs to help you know if it’s time to go or if it’s simply time to recharge your batteries.


One of the signs that maybe you’ve been around too long is that your ideas are no longer relevant or fresh. When the way you did things 20 years ago seems fine by you and you’re just stuck in the past, then it might be time to step aside or step up with some fresh thinking.


Every smart leader knows how to adapt to change and welcome it. To be sure, not every change will guarantee success, but it’s a guarantee that by never changing you will stay where you are. How open and receptive are you to new ideas? So long as you have a mindset of “this is the way we’ve always done things,” then your leadership is stagnant and so is the health of your organization.


As a leader, your personal growth and development is your key to longevity. So long as you are learning, growing and retain a growth mindset then you can be just as relevant as you were the first day you walked in on the job.


This warning sign is the most difficult to own up to and can be the hardest to overcome. Your years of sacrifice and giving haven’t come without cost. When you have given of yourself in unselfish ways it can be hard to admit that you may now be at a place where you are a guardian of the past and not a leader for the future. Some soul searching is in order. What tradition from the past are you holding onto at the expense of your future?

None of these warning signs have to be fatal. Your most useful and productive days can still be in front of you. But you must be honest with yourself and the people you lead to know just how long is too long.

©2019 Doug Dickerson

Read more at https://www.dougdickerson.net/

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


Breaking News Alerts

To sign up for breaking news email alerts, Click on the email address below and put "email alerts" in the subject line: sdetar@thedanielislandnews.com

Comment Here