Can Job-hopping Leapfrog Your Career?
It’s hard to strike the right balance between loyalty and ambition, but job-hopping can boost your career – if you do it right! Here’s how…
There’s no such thing as a job for life in the 21st Century. Nobody expects a pocket watch or a monogrammed fountain pen in return for a life of service these days. On the face of it, that might not sound like progress, but it’s your career that will progress as a result of taking full advantage of every opportunity that presents itself in the modern marketplace.
WHY PLUG AWAY AT THE DAY TO DAY?
Why do so many of us stay on the treadmill, when there are plenty of pavements out there to pound? Laziness, familiarity and a sense of safety are the most common reasons for ‘making do’.
So what are the most common reasons why people choose change? The most frequent reasons we hear are pay, working conditions, or career progression. Change means personal growth, whether you change industries, location or responsibilities – and what professional doesn’t want to grow?
According to a PayScale report in 2012, most millennial employees stayed in a position for just two years. But even in today’s fluid market, a history of job-hopping can make you look like a risk to a potential employer. So how do you make the most of your opportunities without coming across as fast-and-loose?
CHANGE FOR CHANGE’S SAKE ISN’T GOOD
Make sure that you move for the right reasons. Who could argue if a new position exposes you to new challenges, ensures your development as a professional, or advances your career?
One of the biggest benefits to working for a range of different companies, from start-ups to mega-corps, is that you’ll get to experience different ways of working. Not everybody does things the same way and the lessons you learn with one company could be valuable to the next. Employers love ambitious individuals who want to make the most of themselves.
MONEY FOR NOTHING
Sorry, but it doesn’t happen outside of MTV. Your career shouldn’t be all about ‘more money now’. If that’s your only motivation for changing roles, then think again.
You should look at what you want to get out of your work life and how you see your career developing. A side-step today can lead to a step forward tomorrow. Think about prospects for progression, company growth, shares and performance related pay that adds financial value to your professional worth.
AIM TWICE, FIRE ONCE
When you consider that your career could span 40+ years, it makes no sense to rush into a short-term fix. It’s only after doing a job for some time that you can truly understand the value of your skills and how an employer can align with your values and interests.
If you’re staying in the same field, then find out who does what how – and where you can make a contribution. Or if you want to change tack entirely and move into another sector, read industry publications, attend conferences and speak with a recruiter. Get feedback on your performance from employers, colleagues and peers for inspiration, so you can understand where they see the value in your contribution. They don’t have to know why you’re asking!
BE ON TREND
Yesterday’s movement might hold an appeal, but you need to target tomorrow’s cutting edge to ensure career progression. For maximum impact on your career, identify a growth sector that builds on your experience and abilities, and appeals to you – then go all-in!
DON’T BURN YOUR BRIDGES
However tempting it might be, never part company with your present employer on bad terms. Not only do you need their reference now, but you never know what tomorrow holds. However unlikely it seems, there may come a time when you want to return to the fold.
The ideal would be not to leave for a competitor, but if you do, fulfil your standing obligations and behave in a professional manner throughout your contract. While some employers may see your departure as a betrayal, the professional ones will respect your drive for personal and professional growth. Take the time to emphasise your appreciation for the opportunities your existing employer has given you and what you’ve learnt in your time with them. That way, you’ll be free to return if the new role doesn’t work out, or your present employer presents a better option in the future – it could happen!
TALK TO US
If you want to explore your potential for career progression, call Kingston Barnes today on 0117 325 2233 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org