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What if I don't want to be a lifer?
July 26, 2014 7:17 AM   Subscribe

How do I find a new job when I've only worked one place for the decade-plus since finishing college?

I've been working at the same company for 12 years - I started here about a year after graduating college. In that time I have made 2 major position changes in my time here - both diagonal, moving to a totally different area of the company as well as up in terms of pay & responsibilities. But now I've been in the same position for about 7 years, with pretty much no chance of further advancement in the foreseeable future (very few positions above my level, all filled with people who have been here longer than I have and don't seem likely to leave until they retire.) I'm ready for new challenges. My commute also got significantly longer a few years back and I am thoroughly sick of it, so I'm thinking it's time to move on.

I'd love to hear any tips for finding a new position/employer in this situation, and also answers to these specific questions:

  • Should I split the three positions into 3 separate entries on my resume? I've had them all as one entry as it's all the same employer, but it looks kind of odd to have the duties from such different positions all in the same list.

  • Do I bother keeping any of the jobs I had before I started here on my resume? I had a couple of insignificant temp positions during the year between college and starting, which I've already eliminated from my resume, but what about the jobs I had while in college? Does anyone care about my time as an RA or camp director this many years later? If I leave them off will it look strange to have only the one employer on my resume at all?

  • I keep hearing that LinkedIn is THE thing for finding jobs these days, but my account has languished virtually untouched for years. I'm also connected to various coworkers, including the CEO, on it. I'm pretty sure that a sudden rush of notifications that I'm making my ghost-town of a profile current would signal to them that I'm looking elsewhere, and there are people here who take that sort of thing weirdly personally. Is there a way I can start sprucing up my profile without the activity getting spammed to everyone I work with?
  • posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
     
    I would definitely split out the three positions at your current job into three entries, probably with a heading for the company that indicates your full tenure there, and then subheadings for each of the three positions. I'd leave off the prior jobs as well, since presumably none of them are related to the type of work you're seeking.

    If I were reviewing your resume, I wouldn't think it was super-weird you'd only been at the one company. However, in the interview, we'd be trying to make sure that you realized that the way your old company did things isn't the One True Way!
    posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:22 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


    Put your one company on your resume, with your three positions on it.

    Don't bother with any small, temp jobs. The last 10 years is sufficient, so just the one job is fine.

    Don't worry about sudden activity on LinkedIn. It's not Facebook. Start keeping it up to date, and add folks. We all do it. It won't trigger anyone's radar.

    Good luck!
    posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:23 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


    Should I split the three positions into 3 separate entries on my resume?
    Yes, definitely. Like Blue Jello Elf, I suggest you put them all under the same main heading for the org itself, and then break out the positions, time frames, and duties separately from there.

    Do I bother keeping any of the jobs I had before I started here on my resume?
    No.

    Does anyone care about my time as an RA or camp director this many years later?

    Nope, not at all. Definitely remove this.
    posted by schroedingersgirl at 7:25 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


    Go to privacy settings on LinkedIn. You can turn off your activity broadcasts, so people won't see notifications that you have updated your profile.
    posted by J. Wilson at 7:26 AM on July 26 [12 favorites]


    Should I split the three positions into 3 separate entries on my resume?

    Absolutely. My resume right now consists of 3 companies. I worked for the three of them for about 15 years combined, but inside of those companies, I held 7 positions (most promotions with new titles). It shows flexibility and progression, and that's what employers tend to look for.
    posted by xingcat at 7:39 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


    Absolutely break the positions out and make sure your descriptions of your responsibilities indicate the increased sophistication of the work. But make the overall header for the company indicate your entire tenure; and then for each role also put its dates.
    posted by fingersandtoes at 8:50 AM on July 26


    Go to privacy settings on LinkedIn. You can turn off your activity broadcasts, so people won't see notifications that you have updated your profile.

    This is how to do it. Definitely fill out your LinkedIn profile. In a lot of cases (i.e., unless you have a pretty notable and substantial web presence and/or a very common name) it is the first thing that shows up in google searches.
    posted by jeoc at 5:34 PM on July 26


    Privacy settings on LinkedIn. I had a coworker ask if I was looking because of linkedin activity.
    posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:39 PM on July 26


    I recently got a new job after working in the same job for 8 years. I put a bunch of my older jobs on my profile because they showcased a different set of skills all related to the field I was looking to get into (so my appraisal assistant jobs were on there but my barista and warehouse monkey jobs were not.)

    And yes, my new employers totally looked up (and printed out!) my linkedin profile so I recommend beefing that up for sure!
    posted by vespabelle at 6:45 PM on July 26


    Hi! I just got a new job after working for 12 years at my first and only job out of college. Twins!! I had two different positions while I was at my previous job, and I separated them out on my resume. I didn't include any previous work, but I did include freelance. Good luck!
    posted by orangek8 at 1:35 PM on July 30


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