There is hardly an employee who has never felt the urge to quit his or her job right away. Yes, there are really nasty jobs you can’t and shouldn’t stand but changing your job frequently is not regarded as a good sign of your personal and professional skills. HR Managers don’t like people who change their jobs frequently but what does “frequently” mean?
If you are a serial job quitter – i.e. you change your job more often than once a year, this is bad for you because potential employers will look at you with suspicion. You might have good reasons to change your job – i.e. there were external factors, which made you quit but still for employers you look unreliable because the message they get is that you are easily pissed off and if they hire you, you might be gone in a couple of months or so – right after you have became useful for the company.
On the other hand, if you have been working for 5 or 10 years in an unrewarding job, this is also bad because it says that you either are no good and had no any other alternative and that’s why you have spent so much time in a nasty job, or that you have been getting more than you are giving – i.e. you don’t work hard but you are happy to get whatever cash you can for your lazy habits. Of course, this does not mean that people who have worked for 10 years for one company are worthless because if they have hold different positions throughout the years, this is different.
Now you might ask what to do. Changing your job frequently is as bad as changing your job once in a decade. So, as you guess, generally it is best if you change your job once in 2-4 years. To put it simply, 2 years is not a short period of time – i.e. you have done a lot for the company and 4 years is not too much – i.e. you haven’t become useless.