Do the numbers 8, 18, 48 and 72 mean anything to you? No, we’re not predicting tonight’s lotto numbers.

When it comes to your job search, numbers are important: the number of resumes you send out, the number of times you’re called back for an interview, and finally the numbers presented to you as a salary offer.

But recently, a smart user at Quora answered the  question “how long should you stay at a job?” with the numbers 8, 18, 48 and 72.

Michael O. Church is a programmer and machine learning engineer, and his theory on these numbers as it pertains to employment are pretty spot on.


Holding a job for less than 8 months and including that on your resume may be a big mistake. Perspective employers are going to see that and think you that you cannot stick it out long enough for your 6-month, of even 1-year, review. If you are in this situation, consider leaving that particular job off of your resume; unless it was due to a large company layoff, which was beyond your control.


If you held a position for 18 months, this is a perfectly acceptable amount of time to give a job the ‘ole college try. It shows that you stuck it out, but decided the position was not a good fit and didn’t want to waste anymore of yours or their time.


48 months equals 4 years (for those of you who are not so good with the math) and this shows you put in a good amount of effort and work into a company. Many people will leave a position at this point because the work is not challenging enough or there may not be any room for advancement.


Many people may think 72 months is a good answer to how long should you stay at a job? But they’re wrong. If you’ve been with a company for 6 years and have not moved up the corporate ladder enough – or at all – then a perspective employer may see this as a warning sign. It could show that you were not working on a level where a superior thought to promote you. Of course, there are always circumstances in which this is unavoidable, so it’s best to be clear on your resume and cover letter.

For more help with finding a new job or switching careers in the IT industry, our professional staffing agents at Maxsys Solutions are here to assist you.

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