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Posted 07 November 2023

When to Break Up With Your Employer

Your first job after college can be a valuable opportunity to learn new skills, gain experience, and build your professional network. However, it can also be challenging to find the right balance between staying long enough to grow your skillset and leaving early enough to pursue other opportunities. How long should you stay at your first job out of college? Here are some factors to consider: 


  • Think about how much time you have invested in your first job and how much time you need to achieve your career goals. If you work in a field where you may need to further expand your industry knowledge before looking for a better opportunity, you may consider staying with your current employer a while longer. However, if you feel you have gained all the knowledge available in your current role and the path to advancement is not clear, it may be time to look elsewhere.  
  • Consider the start and end dates of your employment that you list on your resume and how they reflect your current situation. Leaving multiple jobs in a short period of time may show future hiring managers that you aren’t committed.  
  • If you have a clear path for advancement or a better opportunity waiting for you, you may want to leave sooner rather than later. 
  • If you are still learning or developing your skills, you may want to stay longer and gain more experience before looking elsewhere.  


  • Think about the challenges you face in your current role and if they motivate you to improve yourself. 
  • Consider if there are ways for you to take on more responsibilities or assume a leadership role that would help you advance your skills and competencies. 
  • If you enjoy the work that you do and find it fulfilling, you may want to stay longer and continue contributing to your organization. 

Job Satisfaction 

  • Think about how fulfilled you are with your current job and what aspects of it make you happy. 
  • Consider if there are any aspects of your job that make you unhappy or dissatisfied, such as the work environment, the culture, or the pay and benefits.  
  • If there are any issues or conflicts at work that affect your well-being or performance, you may want to leave sooner rather than later. 

Work Environment 

  • Think about the work environment of your first job and how it suits your personality and preferences. While pay may be a priority when looking for your first job out of college, it’s also important to consider your mental health and whether an employer allows you to be your true, authentic self within your role.  
  • Consider if there are any factors that make your work environment conducive or detrimental to your learning and growth, such as policies, culture and values, or the way recognition or feedback is given. 

How long you should stay at your first job out of college will ultimately depend on various factors such as your career aspirations, your current situation, your personal preferences, and the opportunities available. Aside from these considerations, some general guidelines suggest staying a year before making any big changes. This can help you establish a solid reputation, earn positive recommendations from your colleagues, and prepare yourself for another position. Ultimately, you should do what’s best for yourself and make an informed decision that aligns with your career aspirations.