5-6 years to become a senior

Hello,

I work at a small company with 150-200 employees. During the interview, I was informed that it will take about 5-6 years to become a senior analyst because the company size is small. Other companies with 500-1000 employees will usually promote their employees within 3-4 years to a senior title.

Do you think it is a good idea to stay with a company for 5-6 years? (I don't mind staying that long since the current job market is terrible). The only thing I am afraid is that I won't be learning anything new around the 4th year mark and things will get boring.

Comments

  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Do you think it is a good idea to stay with a company for 5-6 years? (I don't mind staying that long since the current job market is terrible). The only thing I am afraid is that I won't be learning anything new around the 4th year mark and things will get boring.
    I've stayed at multiple jobs for 5+ years. Yes, it was a good idea in my case! They provided generous compensation packages for me to stick around, and it makes my resume more attractive.
    The only thing I am afraid is that I won't be learning anything new around the 4th year mark and things will get boring.
    In my estimation, worrying that you may become bored in four years is silly. As long as the job is providing you growth opportunities and appropriate compensation now and for the forseeable future, all is well. If and when you become bored, that is when to jump ship. I wouldn't make career decisions based on promises so many years away, unless they put it in your contract. There's a good chance your original promiser won't even be around by then, and even if he is, what has he really lost if you do stick around for that hope and he breaks his promise?
  • RouteThisWayRouteThisWay Member Posts: 514
    You said the small company told you 5-6 years for promotion in the interview because they were so small and that larger companies can promote faster due to more people. Who told you that? The small company?

    There is no "We have 800 people, so we promote at this rate" rule. It is very specific to individual companies and their organization structure. Some may have many internal departments employees can transfer in and out of, some may have a lot of unhappy employees that leave, etc etc. A companies size is not the only factor that dictates promotional rate. There are a ton of factors to consider.

    I would not consider your stats to reflect promotional rates as a whole.

    And no, there is nothing wrong with 5+ years at a job as long as you are continually learning, staying motivated, involved, etc. When you become bored, stalled out, etc- then I would start looking. I would stop focusing on the "years" and focus more on knowledge, work experience you will receive, etc. Just my opinion.
    "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel
  • healthyboyhealthyboy Banned Posts: 118 ■■□□□□□□□□
    there are so many people in i.t who has being in i.t for 5 to 6 years and they are still juniors.
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,219 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Patience, hard work and dedication always pays off my friend.
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  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I started on at my last job as a "Senior Systems Engineer" with only about four years of total experience. I started at my current job again as a Senior Systems Engineer, this time with just over six years. My previous employer was small (<20 employees) MSP (servicing <1000 systems). From my experience, all these numbers are coming out of left field.

    Generally, job titles are given out based on overall skill level, which is a lot more complicated than years of experience. While experience is probably the most important objective measure, it is far from being an all-encompassing measure of skill.

    Anyway, I will agree with NetworkVeteran that it doesn't make sense to worry about these things. Unless you're already in a "senior" or managerial position, chances are you will not and should not have the same job title or employer four years from now. The overwhelming majority of TE members and successful IT pros I know (myself included) do not stay at any job for more than four years, simply because few employers provide the growth opportunities that switching companies does. I agree with RouteThisWay in that it's ultimately about what you're doing and learning more than any specific amount of time, but I would encourage staying at each job for at least two years, as less can be harmful to future prospects.

    Personally, I go into every new organization thinking I will stay for at least two years, and hoping I have the opportunities available to stay for closer to five. I will say that if an employer told me flat out going from "analyst" to "senior analyst" would take 5+ years, I would already been planning my exodus for around year three.

    Once you get to the "senior" or managerial level, things are a bit different, and it's more about whether you're happy with what you do and what you make. Below that level, it's rare to find an organization that provides a good, feasible promotion path that doesn't take longer to get to than it's worth.
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  • ZorodzaiZorodzai Member Posts: 357 ■■■■■■■□□□
    In September I'll reach my fifth year in this job. I'm still a 'techie' and, based on the size of the company, I don't really see myself being promoted however I have learnt a LOT and am still learning.As others have pointed out I don't think it's so much about a set time frame, it should be about reaching a point where one has outgrown the role\position and needs to take on new challenges.
  • onesaintonesaint Member Posts: 801
    I just left a company at the 5 year mark. My previous 2 IT positions were 1 year and 3 years. I went in as a Jr. SA, then consultant, then SA, and now Unix SA. I feel I stopped learning around the 4 year mark. I stayed to do some certs to validate what I had been learning and look for a new role. The company was roughly 30 employes with some advanced technologies (entertainment).

    All the people I interviewed with at the company I just joined, have been there 10-14 years. It employs more than 50K people world wide. Looking at the LinkedIn profile of some of my new colleagues, they have held 3-5 positions within the company. Glassdoor reports the employes overall as being "satisfied."

    That's my recent experience with company size, title change, and whatnot. Also, bare in mind, I went from Wintel to Linux in my Admin functions and duties. This may have hampered my growth withing the SA role for Win, but has opened up a whole new world in Unix.

    As others have mentioned, promotion is very unique to each company's culture. That said, I think joining an SMB and having the same title for 4-5 years is a common occurrence. You end up wearing many hats in an SMB, advancements aren't always recognized, but rather seen as just another hat. Thus jumping ship after gaining some experience becomes the best way to advance in the SMB world. In larger companies there are more finite roles and to change role often means changing your work description and thus, title. From my understanding title is a lot more serious in the Ent. world vs. the SMB. For instance I knew some aerospace contractors who took a pay hit in order to have better titles.

    Good luck with your endeavors.
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  • ColbyGColbyG Member Posts: 1,264
    I think it depends on the company. In my company, having a Senior title is a very big deal.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I don't think "being there" for 5-6 years qualifies you for a senior position, it is what you do in those 5-6 years is what is most important.
  • The ShadowThe Shadow Member Posts: 78 ■■□□□□□□□□
    tpatt100 wrote: »
    I don't think "being there" for 5-6 years qualifies you for a senior position, it is what you do in those 5-6 years is what is most important.

    Agreed.

    I've got friends who have been with the same company for about 10 years each, and there not at the senior level. Mainly because all they do is help desk tickets. They don't even have a single certification or a resume for that matter. Plus, they only make about $55k a year. Which is really sad being with the same company for so long making so little. There just trapped in a dead end job.
  • RouteThisWayRouteThisWay Member Posts: 514
    I saw 55k/yr for help desk and thought "Wow" and then saw you lived in LA.

    I used a couple of the online cost of living comparison calculators- that is the equivalent of $36k a year here! And in comparison, my $70k here will take me to $104k/yr in LA area.

    So technically if I found an equivalent job in the Los Angeles area I could potentially make 6 figures!!
    "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I've got friends who have been with the same company for about 10 years each, and there not at the senior level. Which is really sad being with the same company for so long making so little.
    It's only sad it they don't like their situation. I know someone in that boat. As soon as they punch out, they're competing in triathlons or volunteering for charities. I don't consider their life "sad" at all. We all choose different values in life and that is fine. :)
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