FAQs on work: tenure, job hopping, purpose of work, and overtime

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General Rule of Thumb on the length of work tenure

A while ago, in year 2010, I got this rule from a friend. My friend spends most of time doing IT/software contractor work, long term contract though. I asked him “how long should I stay at this place because there is a senior guy seems doesn’t like me”, to be precise, he was trying to get me fired. My friend told me the rule of thumb below.

Try to stay at full time (employee, or permanent) position for one year. Stay at a contractor position for 6 month or more. Some old fashioned people may call out you as “hopper” or “job hopper” if you have a lot short stints in your resume.

And below is my recent observation and my quick thoughts. When interviewing for my current job, my big boss (my manager’s manager) did raise the tenure (short work stints) and I was prepared. “see, boss, I worked for this credit company for almost 4 years”. And I also worked for my 1st employer for 8 years. All are facts, but I stayed not just due to loyalty 🙂

What to look for in a job?

I think the below tweet (or X) summarized it well. In other words, our day job is to bring the bacon (or bread) home. 用中文讲就是养家糊口。I am discussing a related question (overtime 加班)more below.

Overtime 加班

It’s not worth it. Ideally we should avoid overtime as much as possible.

Work smarter, not harder. –quote one of my former coworker at Unigraphics (UGS, EDS PLM Solutions, Siemens Industry Software)

I have been in the US for a bit over 25 years now. From time to time, I need to go overtime for the work. From my early days in the graduate school doing research for the professor, to work as progammer for my day job. Most of times it’s either voluntary, or I have no better other choices.

I got sick when working for Mercy:

One night it’s already past 10 pm. But there is some urgent work or expectation for me to “solider on”. I was trying to fix some problems as a result from the security scan.

Later, once, I still went to work when I was coughing pretty bad. Eventually I went to urgent care due to that. It took me a while to recover from that.

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