Going for That Gold Watch

In today’s hot job market, how do companies prevent their executives from jumping ship? Drawn from a survey by Fortune Personnel Consultants, the chart suggests one answer: They keep people working such long hours that the poor souls don’t have time to look for new jobs. Whatever the reason, the study finds far more job stability than one might have expected. Among the poll’s respondent pool of college-educated executives making $50,000 or more, 49 percent had been with the same company for more than 10 years—including 19 percent who’d stayed put for more than 20 years. Just 29 percent had been at their current company less than four years. This pattern of longevity masks a degree of change, as 52 percent of respondents have had more than one job with their current employer. What factors encourage someone to stay put? The reasons atop respondents’ lists were “challenging work” (25 percent) and the “ability to balance work and family” (24 percent). And apart from the obvious incentive of money, what would prompt these executives to look elsewhere? The factors most often cited by respondents were “changes in personal life” (41 percent) and “different life stages” (32 percent).