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You Have to Job Hop


Robby

When I speak to employment groups in Indianapolis or talk to individual jobseekers, a common question that comes up is “job hopping.” People are afraid of being perceived as short-time—but ironically, that’s sometimes what you have to do to succeed.

Let’s start with a definition. From quote sourced by an article in Forbes magazine:

“It is usually considered job hopping when you move from one company to the next every one to two years, have done it multiple times, and the reason for each move is due to something other than a layoff or company closing.”

Hopscotch
© Flickr User Dave Parker

That same article features two data points on job hopping from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The average length of time that U.S. workers have been with their current employer: 4.6 years
  • Average tenure of young employees (ages 20 to 34) with their current employer: 2.3 years.

So why do people leave jobs quickly? (And again, this is not because they’ve been laid off or the company closed or they were fired.) You can spin it a million different ways, but it comes back to this: people job hop because they perceive better opportunity elsewhere.

One of the key ironies of our employment system is that the best way to increase your income and to have new opportunities is to find a new job. That’s because it’s very difficult to convince people who already know you that you’re worth significantly more than you were last year, but relatively easy to negotiate with a new employer who has an immediate need.

Consider this: suppose you’re working in a company while going to school nights and weekends. You complete an advanced degree and add it to your resume. Now you can demand significantly more income in the job market, but to your employer, you are still the same person you were yesterday.

How do you solve this problem, especially if you don’t want to job hop? Answer: talk about it openly.

Approach your supervisor and talk about your interest in staying with the organization. Explain that you to dramatically grow and improve so you can provide more value. Ask what they think is reasonably possible. Work together to define written objectives.

Make the economic reality part of the conversation. That way, nobody is surprised.

After all, you don’t want to job hop. You want to do interesting, challenging work and be well compensated. So why not tell people that?

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, January 17 2017 » Career Planning and Goal Setting, Self Development

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