Most recent graduates find themselves with a mountain of student loans and feel obligated to accept the first offer that provides them a decent paycheck. With not much prior experience, they tend to change jobs quickly and often while trying to discover what they are good at, enjoy doing, and need to earn to afford living costs while also paying off student loans.
We have grown to accept the 1-3 years of job-hopping after graduation. However, the job-hopping streak also happens to those who feel pressured to make more money, want to change career paths, are looking to relocate, or simply do not get any satisfaction out of what they are doing. Before you take a new job, consider these steps to break your job-hopping streak:
Determine exactly what you would change about your current situation
Before you seek employment outside of your current organization, speak to your boss. If you’re looking for a higher salary and good at your job, you will get a counteroffer when you put in your resignation, which is tempting to take. However, your loyalty will be questioned and nobody wins in that situation. So, have that conversation before you start applying to other jobs. If you want a promotion but feel that there is no room for growth, voice that you would like to be challenged in your role. You may be surprised to find out that the firm already has a promotion lined up for you or even created a new role.
Identify your ideal situation
This can include: salary range, job title, industry, organization size, culture, benefits, long term incentives, working hours, and anything else you think is important to your long-term success. If you’re currently employed, why would you accept a new job that does not address all the items on your wish list? If you are currently unemployed, you are better off taking on temp gigs or freelance until you find the perfect situation.
Invest back with the company who invests into you
Before you look outside of your organization, ask yourself if the firm has invested in you. Have they provided training, mentorship, and all the tools needed for you to succeed? Most companies have rotation programs, succession plans, and continued development but are only willing to do that if they think their investment will pay off. If your background screams “job-hopper,” it’s unlikely that you will find an outside company to invest into you.
Deepen your experience
If you have held 5 jobs in the last 5 years, realize that you do not have 5 years of experience. Instead, you have 1 year of experience 5 different times. It takes a full year to understand the ins and outs of an organization, and it takes another year to be able to make contributions to the organization. Before you jump ship, ask yourself: “What are my major accomplishments with this organization?” If you’re having a hard time coming up with at least 3 quantified accomplishments (for example: you cut down on cost, increased revenue, or streamlined processes), you haven’t given that job enough time.
Ask the right questions
What do you wish you would have known about your current company before you accepted the job? Was is it the hours? Culture? Personalities? Make a list of the things you wish you would have known, and ask these in your next interview. This will prevent you accepting a role with an organization where you don’t see a long-term career path.
Meet your potential colleagues and peers
Most companies will arrange peer and colleague interviews, but if they don’t, ask to be introduced before accepting the job. Don’t always believe the reviews you read online as most of those come from disgruntled former employees. Speak to those who are currently employed with the organization and ask them about the challenges that they face, how long they have been there, what attracted them to come on board, and what keeps them there. If the company that you are interviewing with prevents these conversations, it should raise a red flag. If you notice that most employees have worked less than a year with the organization, realize that this position will probably not help break your job-hopping streak and consider avoiding it.
Avoid making the same mistakes
If you continue to job hop, you will regress in your career. Some people think that by working in a variety of industries and in diversified roles, they gain additional experience that they otherwise wouldn’t. They try to spin their short-term gigs into a positive, but hiring managers see right through it. Before you accept a new role, make sure you are not repeating the same mistakes that you have made in accepting your previous role(s). Don’t make any rash moves and think things through.
How were you able to break the job-hopping streak? We want to hear it so please comment below!