Time to Move Tool

Time is your most precious asset. You can build up and spend down money, but the weeks and months of your life just tick forward in one direction.

You need to know when to hunker down in your job and when to fire up LinkedIn and start looking.  Top stock traders say their most important trade decisions are picking the right time to “sell.” The same is true in your career.  

But the decision to look isn’t easy. You need to balance the danger of inertia with the distraction of always looking for the next thing.

5 Signs it’s Time to Move

  • Your learning curve has flattened and you feel like you are optimizing existing things rather than moving the needle
  • You feel less confident about your equity after every all-hands meeting, good people are leaving and the culture is deteriorating
  • That opportunity to expand your role or start managing more people has been “next quarter” for 2 years now
  • Your role or channel is not valued or well understood by management
  • Investing another precious year in the same place is starting to feel “riskier” than moving somewhere new

Want More Help? Try our Time to Move Tool

This 2 minute quiz will give you a score based on a few pivotal questions about how things are going. People tell us that it really helped them think about the right topics.

You should make this decision for the right reasons. You don’t want inertia, laziness, or tunnel vision in your current role to prevent you from picking your head up and being strategic. On the other hand, you don’t want to be distracted from executing in your current role by spending too much time looking around, jumping too easily based on “grass is always greener” hopes for the next role, or overreacting to a bad stretch at work.

As a benchmark, 2-3 years is a good standard for each “tour of duty.” After that, the burden of proof shifts to making sure you are still growing in your current role and you might think about either changing roles within your company or moving somewhere new.  

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you continually learning and being challenged in new ways? This includes getting exposed to new channels, tools, tactics, and analyses. Do you have room to pursue new areas that you’ve identified as important to your goals?
  • Do you have managers and leaders who give you the direction you need? You don’t want either extreme of being micro-managed of having someone completely hands-off or preoccupied. Is someone investing in your learning and career development in a structured way?
  • Is your channel or function valued? Does leadership and the rest of the org understand and support what you do? Is it important to the business, is it well resourced? Examples of mismatches include brand marketers at a company driven by quants and engineers or SEO experts at a company just “checking the box” and not understanding the cross-functional commitment SEO takes.
  • Do you have a meaningful promotion or role change coming up?
  • Is your comp competitive for your function and level?
  • Is the company on track to meaningful growth or an exit? Are the most talented people who you admire sticking around or leaving?
  • Do you care about the company’s product and mission?
  • Is there a culture fit, can you “be yourself” where you are?
  • What is your overall risk tolerance for making a move? You need to take your broader personal and financial situation into account too.
  • How do you feel day-to-day coming to work? How do you feel when you think about being in your current role in 6-12 months? The above questions help drive a rationale evaluation, but it’s ok to give your gut a vote too, it can be a good overall indicator.

How Your Moves Look to the Market

You should focus your thinking around the internal factors above, but we also wanted to give you some perspective on how hiring managers and recruiters will view you.

We see the results of both these extremes as we and the companies we work with evaluate candidates. Someone who jumps every year or two is looked at skeptically in terms of commitment, progression and grit. And someone with very long stints at just one or two companies may raise questions around diversity of experience, ambition and curiosity.

This evaluations aren’t always relevant (or fair), but here are the quick impressions we hear from hiring managers around these two extremes.


Now Hiring Managers See Candidates – the 2 extremes

“The Lifer”

Long stints at just one or two companies

  • Not enough diversity of experience and learning from different types of problems and multiple cultures & orgs?
  • Lack of curiosity or scrappiness?
  • Was there strong progression within the tenure?
  • For long stints at larger companies, too comfortable with big company structure and pace?


“The Jumper”

Switches companies every year or two

  • Possible lack of progression and learning?
  • Missing the grit to work through tough times?
  • Not enough commitment to a mission & team?