One-Year Job: Will it Hurt You?

Posted By SWatts on Oct 24, 2011 |

Many people consider the minimum acceptable time on any single job to be two years. Therefore, candidates who have a job that lasted only one year might have concerns about whether this will pose a problem in the MBA admissions process. Whether or not a one-year job will hurt you will depend on various factors. First, was the job intended from the beginning to be a one-year job – an internship of sorts? If so, you probably have no reason for concern. If not, and for some reason you left your job after a year, then other questions are relevant.

For example, were you affected by a downsizing? If so, then again, you likely will have less to worry about if you had a fair amount of steady, longer-than-one-year work experience before or after your job that lasted only one year. In this current difficult economy, leaving a job due to a downsizing won’t be seen in an overly harsh light.

If the reason why you stayed at a job for only one year is not related to an internship-type job structure or a downsizing, it still may not pose problems for you, although it will likely raise questions. The admissions committee may want to know why you left the job so soon. The assumption might be that something went wrong. You can lessen any concerns the admissions committee might have if you have steady, longer-than-one-year work experience after the job that lasted only one year. You can lessen any concerns if you get a glowing recommendation from a supervisor at the job that lasted only one year. You can also indirectly address any concerns about the one-year duration of a job if your current supervisors are raving (through your recommendations) about how strong you are professionally, which can make the one-year duration of a job seem less relevant.