By Barb Miller, Marketing Manager, DRI & DCA
Job hopping is becoming more readily accepted in today’s workforce. The stigma of not staying in one position or at one company for very long, is fading away. According to Mashable, 18 months is now the socially accepted minimum for staying at a job. In the past, staying for only 18 months would trigger a negative reaction and employers would ask for a reasonable explanation such as a company layoff or plant closing.
In May 2014, Career Builder surveyed 2,138 hiring managers and HR professionals and 55% have hired job hoppers and nearly one-third have come to expect workers to job hop. In fact, the stats show that by the age of 35, 25% of workers have held five jobs or more. For workers ages 55 and older, 20% have held ten jobs or more.
As you map out your career strategy that includes stops at several employers, there are a few critical tactics you should think about:
Have a large, resourceful network. Social and professional networks are more active, wide-reaching, and influential than ever before. Networking is vital in today’s competitive market.
Keep your range of skills honed. With each new position comes a new set of challenges. Take full advantage of development opportunities and be willing to learn from other respected professionals in your industry.
Know what you want to get out of every job change. Before making a move, have an explicit understanding of what the new position will add to your experience base, mastery, and personal maturity and satisfaction.
Your next move must be rational. Have a plausible explanation for each move you make. Employers will want to know why you are making a job change. Stay away from saying things like “it sounded like a good idea at the time” or you’ll raise eyebrows.
Be prepared to stay in each job long enough to learn something. This is where 18 months comes into play again. Staying 18 months is considered acceptable and usually the point at which you develop new skills, receive your first formal employee review, and possibly a salary increase.
You are what you were last. Your most recent job and resume reflects your career path and what you want to do with your life. When meeting a potential new employer, don’t veer from your story. Your resume and how you answer interview questions, should be in sync.
If you would like to mention another critical tactic when job hopping, please comment below.
Millennials, also known as GEN Y, were born between the years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s and are notorious job hoppers. Reports suggest they have a short attention span and the majority of this generation does not expect to stay with one employer for more than five years.
Companies are feeling the real costs of these job hoppers. Reported in the Chicago Tribune 30% of companies surveyed lost 15% or more of their Millennial employees in 2013; and 87% said it cost $15,000 to $25,000 to replace a former Millennial employee.
Is there any way to keep Millennials from walking out the door? Yes. But it may mean changing your company culture and/or implementing new and creative ways for employee retention. Here are 5 suggestions:
1) Offer Job Hopping Opportunities Inside Your Company. Give Millennials an opportunity to have a wide range of experiences within your company. The ability to move between departments can lead to greater exposure and job fulfillment.
2) Leadership Development. Millennials pay close attention to whether their workplace offers leadership opportunities for them. Your company should develop and implement a variety of leadership programs that demonstrate a commitment to these young employees.
3) Mentorship Programs. Mentoring is very important to Millennials. Establishing an effective mentoring program is both a cost-effective means of facilitating connections, accelerate learning and send a positive message about their future with the company.
4) Current Technology. Millennials grew up with technology in their hands. They’re very comfortable with smart phones, IPads, Laptops, etc. and are keenly aware of the latest applications and improved mechanics. Make sure your company offers the state-of-the-art technology to help them work more efficiently and increase productivity levels.
5) Work/Life Balance. Millennials will work hard but want flexibility. Offer them remote connectivity and alternative work arrangements for community or family events. Also, offer a relaxed environment. It’s no coincidence that this generation admires the work environments of Google, Yahoo and Amazon. Gone are the days of wearing suits and ties as a more relaxed workplace is in.
If you’re a Millennial and change jobs often, please comment on how job hopping has been a positive for you.