Stats on Average Time at Full Time Job

I wonder does Core77 have any stats on the typical average time an industrial designer spends at a job at “xyz” company before moving on to “abc” co.

My guess is this “average stay” is getting shorter but I have no facts on this. I’ve got a friend who’s been at the same company for the past 15+yrs which I think is an anomaly, while I’ve been at co’s for 6 and 7 years and 1 yrs. I wonder is it more like 2 or 3 yrs on average in the past 10 yr period? I am asking because I wonder if design firms and company design departments expect shorter stints from members of their design staff and “run” people expecting that they’ll leave in 2yrs. Does anyone else think there is any value in looking at this?

My guess is that faster-paced, bigger consulting firms don’t expect their designers to stay longer than 2 years or so. In some corporate jobs, two years barely gets you through a definition phase, let alone seeing your product to market!

I have a friend who worked for Frog a couple of years back, and said they threw her a party when she made two years, “because hardly anyone lasted two years”.

wow - churn 'n burn. Yeah I worked on one project that took 4years, lots of issues pre and post, I was so glad when it was over.

I would say 2 years is the minimum to leave in good standing, 3 is more average. I was at my first fulltime gig for 4.5 years (consulting firm, Evo) then at my second for 7.5 (corporate, Nike, though I had 3 distinct positions within that employer with totally different business units). I left both in very good standing (just had lunch back at Nike a few days ago and chatted with some of the VPs to check in) and I think putting in those kinds of numbers helps with that. I plan to be at frog for a good amount of time and I feel that I’m having an impact already… Experiences like your friend’s Slippyfish should be less common, at least in our group (its a big place…)

That said, it you have to go where it is right for you.

if you were at a place less than a year - like 10months, would you put that on your resume?

I would at first, but later would probably leave it off. I did a few months freelance at a small firm before I went to Evo, I didn’t like it, it wasn’t a good fit, so I left abruptly. I put it on my resume for a few years after until I got the job at Nike… now I leave it off.

It is understandable if your first position isn’t a great fit. Your not sure what to look for yet, what to look out for, where your strengths are. The important thing is to get into a role where you can have a real impact, find a good mentor to help you grow, and do some good work, and stay in that for a bit. It might be a bit squirly leading up to that position though…