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Career Counselor
The Value of Job Tenure

February 2007 It's not unusual today for people to change jobs periodically during their lifetimes. While carefully planned transitions can bring new challenges and greater rewards, too much moving around can be detrimental as well. As you begin your accounting career, keep in mind that sticking with a position or company for a significant amount of time may make you a more desirable candidate down the road.

Holding too many jobs in rapid succession and without signs of professional advancement can be a red flag. According to a recent Robert Half International survey, 87 percent of chief financial officers polled said that the length of time an applicant has spent with a previous employer is a major consideration in determining whether to hire that person.

It is not just a candidate's loyalty to his or her company that makes a good impression on hiring managers. Because it can be difficult to replace top performers, businesses want to feel confident that employees will remain committed to their jobs and the organization.

This does not mean that you have to put your career aspirations on hold, however. When you feel you are ready for a new challenge and think the grass may be greener in a new role, look within your own company first.  Many firms provide a variety of opportunities for employees who want to push themselves to the next level. First establish your contributions to the organization and then let your manager know when you're ready to take on additional responsibilities. When the time comes for you to move on and find an opportunity elsewhere, your commitment to your previous job will speak volumes to your potential employer about your value and reliability.

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ACCOUNTEMPS is a specialized temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps provides support throughout an accounting department. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., Accountemps and has more than 270 offices in North America, Europe and Australia. Accountemps' Career Counselor column, a SmartPros staple for over four years, is refreshed twice a month.

2007 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

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