What is the Average Number of Years that People Stay at a Company?

Jul 29, 2020Career Advancement0 comments

Yesterday, a Senior Manager at my company sent an email to the department to inform us that her employee will be leaving to further pursue her career. Not too long ago, a director in my company also sent out an email to inform us that her employee will be leaving the company to chase her academic pursuit. 

That got me thinking about the average years that people usually stay at the companies they work at. So I went out of my way to analyze these two situations more carefully:

  • Both are female
  • Both are in their early twenties
  • Both of their reasons for leaving are to pursue their academic pursuit
  • Both have only been at the company for two years

Are they leaving because of the burnout culture of this company? And they’re merely using the excuse of pursuing their career as a way to mask the fact that they want to leave the company? Or are they really leaving because they want to pursue higher education?

At this point, I started thinking, when will I leave my company? When I started nine months ago, I told myself that I’m only going to stay here two years at the earliest and three years tops. 

Regardless of whatever reason they had for leaving, what matters is that they’re pursuing something they deem much more important and I respect that. I just wish the best of luck to both of them. 

I’ve only known them for nine months.

Average Number of Years that People Stay at a Company

After a quick google search, I learned that the average number of years that employees stay at their company is 3.2 years. 

Was that surprising? No, not really. 

First of all, you don’t want to leave early and often. It’s going to show on your resume and employers are going to question your authenticity for wanting to work at the company.

Second, you don’t want to work at a job too long because it’s going to limit your capabilities. Well, as long as you’re not working the same role over and over again.

The most senior people at my company have been working here for 25-30 years. Can you believe that?!

So, How Long Should I Work at My Company?

I’m going to say it depends. But I’ve realized over the years that this answer sucks. It doesn’t help. 

Instead, when someone offers an answer, you will either realize you don’t like it, it’s not true, or it is true. 

So I will say, at most you should stick to a company for at least three years. This gives you ample time and opportunity to be efficient at your job. You’ll discover your weaknesses and strengths.

But at What Point Do I Leave? What if I Want to Leave? When Should I Leave? How Do I Know When it’s Time to Leave? 

These are questions that might be running through your mind right now. Don’t worry. I’ve got the perfect answers for you in this post.

In the meantime, what is the average number of years do you think people stay at their company? How long did you stay at your company before you left?


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