Making the move – does getting fresh beat company loyalty?

According to the Institute of Leadership and Management, the eight reasons British workers wanted to change their job in 2015 were:

  • More opportunity for progression (59 per cent)
  • Better pay (56 per cent)
  • More interesting job (50 per cent)
  • Better management (30 per cent)
  • More opportunity for training/development (27 per cent)
  • More opportunity for flexible working (18 per cent)
  • Nicer people (5 per cent)
  • Better options for parental leave (3 per cent)


ILM chief executive Charles Elvin warned employers that “it’s likely they (employers), will have to work harder to keep their talented employees”.


At Merston Peters, as specialists in agricultural recruitment, our candidates have certainly cited all of the above as reasons to make a career move and we like to keep our ear to the ground and examine whether those reasons are valid; whether moving jobs really does improve your opportunities / salary etc., or whether loyalty to one business is more of an advantage in terms of reward. It is also a fact that due to consolidation within the supply sector many people are working for businesses that may not have the culture that they initially enjoyed.


We all remember when our parents and parents’ parents began life as apprentices and took a ‘job for life’ – life was much more localised, families tended to remain in one place and people moved up the career ladder within one organisation. But, does that happen any more? Do companies promote from within? Is loyalty rewarded? Or, do employers look for candidates with a breadth of experience in different companies and across different industries?


In our opinion, professionals who regularly change jobs are more confident than their counterparts and we have seen countless occasions where loyal staff have seen new, external talent brought in to positions above their own and commonly on better remuneration packages. We appreciate that the farming community do not like change but it would be an unusual customer that would not support an improvement in the lifestyle of their advisor. To us at Merston Peters, a change is definitely as good as a rest; and a change also leads to higher rewards.


Looking specifically at advantages of changing roles:


  • After successful negotiations, professionals join a new company happy with their lot – the pay, their position and their terms of employment
  • A different environment creates different situations and new challenges
  • Often, a new position will give you the opportunity for training and development
  • You join a new business trying your best; proving your worth


With the benefit of our years of experience, we know that employers rate performance over loyalty; performance is what reaps rewards.


Remaining loyal to one company, as a generalisation will attract these disadvantages:


  • Quite often, there is a sense of ‘being taken for granted’
  • Working in the same business, you become ‘institutionalised’ – the longer you remain, the harder it is to picture yourself working in or adapting to a different environment
  • Personal growth is more difficult if you remain with a company for more than five years – there is very little new to learn about the business


In summary, with our experience in the recruitment sector and specifically in the agricultural industry, we would certainly advise candidates that changing jobs is a good thing. Build up as much experience as you can and then look to move between 5-7 years; it is true that

changing jobs too often will raise concern amongst potential new employers but, without doubt, experience across different companies and in different roles, building up knowledge will certainly reap the most reward. We look forward to meeting you when the time is right.