How Long Should You Stay in a Technology Marketing Job?

By Sally Sullivan, Senior Partner

Sally O’Sullivan

As you might expect of someone who recruits nothing but marketing professionals for technology companies, I recently put forward several great candidates to a software firm looking to recruit a young marketer.

Whilst the client agreed that each was a good match, their one reservation about most if not all applicants was their tenure in previous perm jobs. Or rather, their lack thereof!

Specifically, the client felt that an average of two years in a permanent role was not long enough – perhaps because they felt it displayed lack of loyalty, risk of lost investment in things such as training or even that it takes three years or more to really get under the skin of a marketing process and excel at it.

All of which got me thinking – how long is long enough in today’s world of marketing technology jobs? How long should you stay in a marketing technology job? Is two years long enough?

The UK does not record data of this kind with the Office of National Statistics (ONS), but after some light research I discovered that average UK job tenure is approximately 5 years, according to the insurance firm LV=. However, the BBC attests that this figure decreases markedly in sectors such as technology, advertising and PR, where job-hopping is more acceptable – “in order for employees to keep up with changes in the market”.

In the United States of America – where this metric is measured – the average tenure of workers aged 55 to 64 is 10.1 years, over three times the 2.8 – 3.2 years of workers aged 25 to 34, according to the most recent USA statistics.

Back in Blighty, shorter tenures of two to three years are clearly becoming increasingly common. I believe in today’s world that the best way for an employee to get as good as possible is to expose themselves to as much marketing as possible – ideally within the same company but externally if they hit a glass ceiling. This is particularly prevalent amongst millennials who want to jump up the ladder quickly.

What do you think? Is two years enough? Is five years too long? Please leave your comments below and I’ll reply to each!

Sally O’Sullivan

Contact
To discuss how Marketing Moves can help your organisation, please contact Sally by any of the means below:

+44 (0) 1932 253 352
+44 (0) 7976 488 303
sosullivan@marketingmoves.com
linkedin.com/sally-o-sullivan

 

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Sally O'SullivanAlan RadiDavid HetlingSi J Recent comment authors
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Alan Radi
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Alan Radi

As a Millennial, we grew up watching Batman and Superman jump from location A to location B within seconds and we were also teaching Elders including mom and dad about how to use computers, mobiles, and fix the TV which gave us a confidence boost that we’re the “Techies”. This childhood created a wrong impression that lead to a crisis in many of “my” and my friends career stages. The TV shows and the Movies we watched all had an end game of taking over the world-making billions-and taking social responsibility roles at organizations such as the UN and so… Read more »

Sally O'Sullivan
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Sally O'Sullivan

Hi Alan!

I like the analogies you have used with TV and all so true. In our early careers we definitely don’t appreciate the value of the business we are working in and like you I look back to the mentoring and support I had knowing that this helped to shape me as an individual and a professional.

That said I am seeing more and more CVs that indicate people are changing jobs quite frequently and lot seems driven by package as well as a chance to climb the ladder.

Best wishes,

Sally

David Hetling
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David Hetling

You raise interesting points Sally! I agree that two years is too short, even at the start of a career when you’re building your profile – technology, and organisational, complexity often mean that it takes a while before that person is at the point in the curve where they are really adding value to an employer (and arguably to their own skills and expertise). Five years is about right in my view – but at the other extreme, I was at my last company for nearly 19 years and that loyalty was not viewed positively by many prospective employers in… Read more »

Sally O'Sullivan
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Sally O'Sullivan

Interesting David!

I have been at Marketing Moves for 11 years and whilst I am not looking to move on it would be interesting to understand how I would be viewed to prospective employers in my niche!

Best wishes,

Sally

Si J
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Si J

I’ve always worked in tech, in some way shape or form, and most roles have only lasted about two years. I can definitely relate to the idea of wanting to move between companies in order to get a varied and diverse experience as well as keep up with trends. For me especially, I’v found that my own growth and then in turn what I can offer is better serviced by moving on as soon as I feel a slowing of that momentum.

Sally O'Sullivan
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Sally O'Sullivan

Thank you Si!

It is an interesting concept and I do agree that for some companies this may cause unease. If you are a quick on progressing then this can only be a benefit to a company.

Best wishes,

Sally