It used to be the case that you'd get a job out of college, work your way up the ranks, and stay with the same company until the time came to retire. These days, however, it's not uncommon for workers to jump ship every few years throughout their careers.
But there's a benefit to holding onto a job for several decades or more. For one thing, the longer you stay with a company, the more loyal that company is likely to be to you. And if you're the type who thrives on routine and consistency, there's something to be said for walking into the same office and knowing the ropes. If your goal is to keep a job for decades, here are a few tips you should follow.
1. Find a company that values its employees
Some workers end up going from one company to the next not because they're fired or laid off, but because they choose to move on independently. If your goal is to stick with a job for many years, then you'll need to find a company that treats employees the way you want to be treated. Specifically, you'll want to work for a company that's generous with benefits, from paid time off to health insurance. Similarly, if your company makes a point of employing a management team that respects employees, it's a sign that you can potentially plan on staying for many years to come.
2. Always keep learning
Nobody wants to stay in the exact same job for years on end. If you're hoping to hold a job for several decades, you'll need to work on continuously expanding your skill set and finding ways to collaborate with other colleagues and teams across your organization. By consistently providing value to your employer, you'll send the message that you aren't growing lazy or complacent, even if you've been on the payroll for a decade or longer. Just as importantly, you'll be doing your part to ensure you don't get too bored along the way.
Furthermore, the more skills you develop, the greater your chances of surviving a layoff that might eventually come to be. Even if your department is downsized, if your skill set and business knowledge are strong across the board, you're more likely to be placed elsewhere within your company.
3. Be open to new ideas
No matter what type of company you work for, there's a good chance some aspect of it will change over time. Perhaps you'll get a new management team with a different business philosophy. Or maybe your company will choose to close certain divisions, or expand into new arenas. No matter what changes come your way, the key is to be open to new ideas as things evolve. Some people take the attitude that if things aren't broken, there's no need to fix them, but if you show your company that you're able to adapt to new circumstances, there's a good chance you'll survive whatever upheaval ensues as a result.
4. Become that person your company can't function without
Though it's always wise to expand your knowledge to other areas of the business, if your goal is to keep a job for decades, you should work on becoming the type of employee your company depends on. Of course, being such an integral cog in the machine has its drawbacks. You may have a harder time getting away on vacation, and you might feel the pressure when others come to rely on you heavily. But if you turn your role into one that's essential for your company to keep doing what it does, that's a great way to lock in some long-term job security.
While staying at the same job for many years has its benefits, be aware that you could wind up limiting your income potential in doing so. It's often the case that moving on to a new company is a more efficient way to increase your earnings than sticking with the same employer and hoping for annual raises. For example, your company might dish out an annual 3% cost-of-living increase year after year. But if you find a job that's willing to pay you 10% more overnight, you'll come out ahead financially by jumping ship, assuming a relatively equal benefits package. But if there's room for upward mobility at your company, and you're happy with your compensation and benefits, there's plenty to be gained by sticking with the same job for the long haul.
The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.