When the actor Peter Capaldi revealed that he was quitting Dr Who, he declared that three years was the maximum length of time anyone should remain in a role.
In an interview with Radio 2, he explained why he was stepping down from the part that he’d played for four years: “I’ve never done one job for three years,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve done this, and I feel it’s time for me to move on to different challenges.”
Even when you can transcend time zones as a Time Lord, it seems, a role can run out of challenge and there is a lesson in this episode for all business leaders.
Too many leaders remain in a role for too long, preferring to stay in their comfort zone rather than proactively seek new challenges. To be fair, for Baby Boomers and Generation X, this is down to conditioning and what has gone before to some extent.
In the days of a job for life, more than a handful of positions on a CV would have earned a person the label “job hopper” and raised some concerns in a future employer’s mind about commitment as well as questions as to precisely why they had moved around so much.
But job tenures are becoming shorter and having half a dozen positions under your belt by the time you reach your 30s will soon be the norm. According to a recent study from Deloitte, 43 per cent of Millennials think they will leave their current organisation within two years while for Generation Z this figure soars to 61 per cent.
Seeking the help of an experienced career transition expert can help career nomads to take a step back and ensure they are equipping themselves with the right skills and experience to lead today
Indeed, business is witnessing the rise of “career nomads”, individuals who want to move into new roles to quickly acquire skills and experience that will assist them in their next move. Their attitude and agility align with the fast-paced and ever-changing environment in which businesses find themselves operating.
Career nomads relish new challenges and opportunities, are curious and have a permanent desire to learn and a willingness to develop themselves. Typically, they are also self-motivated, self-aware and highly driven.
For those in leadership positions, this approach to careers also means a smaller window to build relationships, trust and an understanding of the workforce and other stakeholders. This means they must ensure they find time and opportunities to develop and hone core leadership and interpersonal skills so they can unite and align people behind their vision and deliver on their goals and objectives.
Seeking the help of an experienced executive career transition expert or executive coach can help career nomads to take a step back and ensure they are equipping themselves with the right skills and experience to lead today as well as informed about their next best move.
Specifically, an executive career transition coach can also help to build and expand networks, provide insight and intelligence into new markets, advise on personal brand and benchmark skills and experience against competitors.
Any leader is only ever as good as their last set of achievements in a position. And the critical point to bear in mind with shorter job stints is that there is far less time to deliver on objectives and goals. Enlisting the support of someone who has overseen countless career transitions, therefore, can mean the difference between success and failure for career nomads.
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