Careers can be more forgiving than they seem, but at the same time, they’re not at all. Stories of applicants not getting hired because they have new positions annually on their résumés aren’t exactly rare these days.
Navigating the waters reveals that, sometimes, careers can be squiggly lines, running in circles and bell curves on a page until one day, they take roots.
Does success come in a finite stair-step fashion for most people? No. Accomplishment isn't linear for everyone and many people spend a fair amount of time wallowing in jobs that aren’t right, until they discover what is right before the progression eventually becomes clear.
The hard part is to discover where your aptitude lies and then having the confidence to make it happen.
Millennials have been called disloyal at work – hopping jobs without what managers would see as good reason. And yet, many of these managers have very little understanding of the technology-enabled worlds in which we live and the incredible intelligence and expertise it gives employees at young ages.
They don’t always see values that shape our worlds, where knowledge is king, self-discovery is a goal and speediness is non-negotiable.
But, a PwC Study of around 4,300 Millennials with college degrees revealed that 54 percent expect to work for two to five employers during their duration of their entire careers. If anything, our minds are in the right place.
Obviously, for those on a career path, job-hopping has some serious pluses and minuses that need evaluation. Here are three reasons to breathe easily if you have a few job-hops early in your career:
Finding The Right Career Requires Trial And Error:
Few things ring more true in the mind than personal experience, especially bad experiences. Everyone remembers that awful boss, that obnoxious co-worker or those quotas that made you sweat blood and tears at night.
There is a lot of web chatter about “falling in love with your job,” as if jobs are like dates, meant to be wined and dined and written perfumed notes and in return, we get prestige, success and happiness. In the long run, yes, hopefully every person reading this gets this kind of gratification from his or her job.
But, fresh out of school, trying to figure out the difference between a career and a job is more like a round robin chance rather than a wine and dine opportunity. You finally get picked and given an opportunity and then you have to prove yourself worthy, learn the ropes of survival and, eventually, turn surviving into thriving.
In this process, there is a lot of trial and error. It can take awhile to know what coworkers drive you absolutely insane and if that trade you picked straight out of school really is what you enjoy doing most.
There are must-haves that a career needs to provide. You must make money. You must work with people you can stand. You must do work that you can accomplish. It might take a few different experiences to define what works for you.
Try new things because there's a risk of getting pigeonholed into your trade for the duration of your career. This is great if you love what you do, but problematic if you don’t.
Broad Experiences Round Out Skill Sets
When a manager looks at a résumé, he or she wants to see longevity, rootedness and general job stay.
But, in today’s workforce, where tech savvy is very necessary to the workplace, some Millennials are hired for their specific skill sets or to use technology the management might not even understand. Employer loyalty isn’t important, but intelligence and ability can be equally, if not more, important.
Unlike our parents, Millenials have grown up with the Internet. Like the computer changed the game of yesteryear, the Internet has morphed the workforce, allowing many to work from home, make money at the click of a mouse and transfer data and information in seconds. Forbes recently recognized in an article that
With the entrance of the Internet came a previously nonexistent pipeline of information that functioned as a massive catalyst for change in the employment market… The skill sets necessary to keep up with this change must be diverse, dynamic and ever-evolving. In most cases, the environment necessary to foster this growth can’t be found under a single roof.
Gaining technical skills in life is like gaining knowledge in college — it’s greatly increased by different influences and as much collaboration possible. What happens if your company refuses to keep up with technical changes to stay cutting edge in your given career? Moving on and learning can't hurt.
Life Is Too Short To Follow A Path Because You “Should” Or Only For Money
Depending on your values, no amount of guilt or money is worth sacrificing your soul. There are times when we all must learn perseverance, persistence and how to work with difficult people — and then there are times to be less resolute.
There are times when throwing in the towel isn’t giving up, but rather knowing when to move on. There are situations that suck life from your bones, where you can’t see some overarching purpose and which aren't always worth "putting in the time."
Falling in love with a job might take additional effort, but a career should always fulfill a purpose, a sense of financial sustenance, accomplishment and meaning of some kind.
Former General Electric CEO Jack Welsh said,
This is not a matter to be over-brained. Does the prospect of going in each day excite you or fill you with dread? Does the work feel interesting and meaningful or are you just going through motions to pull a paycheck? Are you still learning and growing?
Discontentment pervades from time to time, but never discount the painful “proving yourself” job that starts many careers. These situations develop a tough skin and a certain know-how that’s required.
But, if day after day, year after year, you walk into an office and perform a task without a good reason in your brain as to why and are only staying out of fear of change, why not re-evaluate?
Time and career options in your 20s are too precious to waste.
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