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How long did you stay at your first "career" job after college?

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How long did you stay at your first "career" job after college?

Old 07-05-06, 07:45 PM
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How long did you stay at your first "career" job after college?

I've been working for my current place of my employment for nearly 2 years, and it's my first job since I graduated from college in 2004. I get paid decently (I got promoted last September and this September I'll receive a 13% raise), but for the last several months I've been incredibly bored and lethargic at work, to the point where I really have to force myself to do any actual work. I'm not depressed or anything, but I feel I've learned all I can learn (all self-improvement on my own time or on the job). During my time I've made several noticeable improvements to "the old ways" of doing things before I came on board, gave presentations at conferences, etc. And while there's a very slim possibility that I could move into management here some day, it wouldn't be for several more years and I really doubt I'd even want the job (here, that is). It doesn't help that I'm the youngest person at the company of about 300 people (the average age is probably 45) and virtually the only person without a family, so I have no friends my age there.

Sooooo... long story short, I really want to move on, for my career and sanity. But will switching jobs after 2 years look bad to prospective employers? I'm a web applications developer, by the way, but I'm looking to branch out into related fields. One of the places I'm looking at is Amazon.com.

What do you guys think? How long did you stay at your first "career" job after college?
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Old 07-05-06, 08:13 PM
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I was at my 'career' job for the last year of my undergrad, and about another year and a half. It is totally normal to jump ship right after college. You are looking for opportunities, and companies don't expect you to find your 'career' your first move out. If anything 1-2 years after is the time when MOST people move on/up.

I was in web. It is normal. Jump away!

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Old 07-05-06, 08:20 PM
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For the computer field, 2 years is not too short. Longest I've stayed at one place was 7 years. The rest have been about 2 years each. If you're getting bored and not being productive, then it's time to move on. Otherwise, there'll come day when you'll be asked to move on. That would look worse to prospective employers.
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Old 07-05-06, 08:36 PM
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I started with a company my 1st year out of school and am still with them. I have had only one career job and still love and proud to work for them.

I will say this, you mention a 13% raise...that is HUGE. I know this is your 1st job and have nothing to really compare, but look around, ask friends. Many companies have suspended raises, or give only token amounts. Many industries while not in desperate times are really tight.

No doubt money is not everything. And especially at your age and not married you can certainly "afford" to move on. But just realize what you are giving up.
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Old 07-05-06, 08:40 PM
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You sound like you are in a rut. How's your social life? Take any boring whores to the fair lately? Could you pursue your future job interests on the side? If you threaten to quit will this offer you a ton of money and a better position to stay?

You could go to Amazon, but I'd be surprised if they didn't offshore a bunch of their programming.
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Old 07-05-06, 09:01 PM
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4-years...On the 2nd right now, and looking for a career change already
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Old 07-05-06, 09:03 PM
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Thanks for the feedback so far. A few things:

- Raises aren't merit-based where I work. They are typically small and expected ("Were you here and breathing? Check."). The only reason mine was so unexpectedly big this year is because they recently had an outside company evaluate the salary scale and I was being underpaid a fair amount. Most people "lost" money compared to where they expected to be in the coming fiscal year. I knew I was underpaid when I took the job, but it was my ticket out of Kansas and into Seattle, so I'm not unhappy about it. A raise is nice, but money is not a huge motivating factor for me (believing in what I do is, though).

- I've actually heard that it is starting to turn back into an employee's job market.

- I'm in a rut career-wise. I'm okay socially (I've spared you guys details of some of the weirder encounters I've had ). I do some stuff on the side, but the fact remains that I spend most of my time in a place where I no longer want to be. I don't think I would ever threaten to quit--if I am unhappy enough to threaten to quit, I would just find a new job and then quit, period.
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Old 07-05-06, 09:06 PM
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First job - 15 years - but that's not saying you should do that.
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Old 07-05-06, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct

I will say this, you mention a 13% raise...that is HUGE. I know this is your 1st job and have nothing to really compare, but look around, ask friends. Many companies have suspended raises, or give only token amounts. Many industries while not in desperate times are really tight.
Yeah...but 13% at a starting salary may not be that great, if he started below average.

-p
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Old 07-05-06, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pedagogue
Yeah...but 13% at a starting salary may not be that great, if he started below average.

-p
Ah very true. Many a company uses a sliding scale so that you get big % early and less later on so in the end your $$ raise rarely changes.
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Old 07-05-06, 09:13 PM
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i started with a firm that I made good money in the beginning (got % cuts of projects, etc), but I didn't get a raise b/c of some of the commissions I got. It was a shitty system (one reason I left), but it was very much risk/reward.

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Old 07-05-06, 09:20 PM
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I just finished my first year at my current job.
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Old 07-05-06, 09:53 PM
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I'd look into pursuing your other career interests on the side to see if it's truly what you are looking for. If it takes off, go for it, if you hate it you have learned something. You say you are in a rut career-wise, but it sounds like to me it's more job related since you are bored at work. You need to tell them what you want to do. Want more people under you? Tell them you need to hire some people. At this point it sounds like you are in a truly powerful position at this company with nothing to lose, so why not try and exploit that instead of giving it up for something unknown.
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Old 07-05-06, 10:10 PM
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11.5 years for the first job, as a research scientist. Since I went into the legal field, I'm at my 3rd firm in 5 years. Much more mobile profession than science.
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Old 07-05-06, 10:10 PM
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I figure i'll whore myself out. Allegiance (sp?) be damned.

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Old 07-05-06, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
I started with a company my 1st year out of school and am still with them. I have had only one career job and still love and proud to work for them.

I will say this, you mention a 13% raise...that is HUGE. I know this is your 1st job and have nothing to really compare, but look around, ask friends. Many companies have suspended raises, or give only token amounts. Many industries while not in desperate times are really tight.

No doubt money is not everything. And especially at your age and not married you can certainly "afford" to move on. But just realize what you are giving up.
8 months for me.

I'm not sure I agree with your assessment. There is always money for people who are worth it. Average performers on the other hand, get paid...average.

Left first job, moved to 2nd job got a 20% raise. 2nd to 3rd job a 20%. 3rd job for 4 years with an average raise of 13% for my 3 raises. Next job was a 34% raise, and current job was a 14% raise.
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Old 07-05-06, 11:46 PM
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Well after being asked by the department head not to return to graduate school in 1994 I got into real estate and have been there since.
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Old 07-05-06, 11:49 PM
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Breakfast With Girls- I'm pretty much in the same situation as you. 2 years out of college, job pays decent, but bored out of my mind and not really doing what I'd like to be doing (grass is greener?)

Anyways, I've been in this rut for the past few months and only now have I started to make some change. I've had the resume online for awhile and am getting hits, but all the offers sound like clones of the job I currently have. With that said, I decided I probably need something more extreme and am now trying to get some international work experience outside of the US.

..whether or not that solves my work rut is yet to be known...but it'll at least provide some excitement career-wise.
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Old 07-06-06, 08:38 AM
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Didn't go to college. I went to a vocational school, which I put myself through by working as a night housekeeper in a hospital, a clerk-typist at a nonprofit, and a department store salesclerk. I began my first full-time job in 1985 and stayed there about eight months. My next job lasted not quite two years, as did most of the ones that followed. I took a hiatus every now and then to temp and look for better work, but I never stayed at any job more than a year or two until the one I'm in now, which I began in 2002.

When I graduated, the idea was to find a job in a big company and stay there for a long time. Unfortunately, the early 1980s downsizing trend was well under way by then and most of the companies on my resume no longer exist. I think the best advice out there nowadays is to look at yourself as a free agent -- not an employee -- and to follow what's best for YOU. Employer loyalty is nonexistent; why spend your loyalty on them?
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Old 07-06-06, 08:38 AM
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Just a headsup that amazon's interview process rivals microsoft's and google's. you need to know alot of hardcore c and linux.
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Old 07-06-06, 08:39 AM
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about a year after I graduated.. and I worked part time for 2 years during college.. They sent me on a business trip to Austin and I decided to stay there. A few months after I quit, the company went under.. Good timing
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Old 07-06-06, 08:41 AM
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First "career" job after college: 24 years and counting. I was offered a full-time permanent job before my last semester in college and 2 weeks later offered a co-op position. (do companies still have college co-op programs?)
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Old 07-06-06, 08:50 AM
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My first real job out of college, I was there almost 3 years. I've been at my current job 2.5 years and I'm desperately looking to get out. I have a well paying, dead end job and it's killing me.

You're certainly within your rights to jump and I don't think prospective employers will hold it against you. This is not the days of 25 years at IBM and a gold watch when you leave. Consider yourself a free agent. Shop around for what the job market can offer YOU.
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Old 07-06-06, 09:19 AM
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What's your industry, BwG?

The expectation of job fluidity is higher for some than others. I do what could be classified as business consulting -- not big shakes that I bounce around a bit.
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Old 07-06-06, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Bushdog
What's your industry, BwG?

The expectation of job fluidity is higher for some than others. I do what could be classified as business consulting -- not big shakes that I bounce around a bit.
I'm a web applications developer. I make complex web applications with the alphabet soup--OO, MVC, Ajax.

nodoubt: While I do know my stuff, the specific position that I'm interested in there would be for a more community-oriented and less programming-only position.
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