20th Century Fox

Why You Should Never Feel Guilty About Job-Hopping In Your 20s


I am newly 24 years old (yay Leo birthdays), so I don't claim to know everything. That would be ridiculous, especially if you know me.

However, I did come to a pretty interesting realization recently.

On one hand, I know many people my age who have always known the career path ahead of them. By the time they entered college, they were prepared and excited to become engineers, lawyers and businessmen and women, which is great.

But on the other hand, there's me. And maybe you?

If you're like me, you've always had a variety of interests. Your passions may have shifted in the years between high school and college, and as you graduated college, you couldn't really see your future quite yet.

Having a job is important (necessary even, if you feel like paying your bills), but just because you graduated with a certain degree and accepted your first post-grad job offer doesn't mean the company you're with now is where you need to stay forever.

In fact, I'd even say that because it is where you are starting your professional life, it shouldn't be where you end it.

I am all for brand/company loyalty, so don't misunderstand that. If you can move up from entry level to executive, then by all means stay with your current employer.

However, your 20s is when you have a unique opportunity that you don't want to miss.

You're at the point where you're old enough to have an idea of what you want in your career, but maybe you don't know exactly what job will lead you to true success in that endeavor.

If you're in grad school, then this doesn't necessarily apply to you in the same manner, unfortunately. But the general idea should still be considered.

When entering grad school, you start off with a field of study you know you'll be pursuing. But within that field, there are specializations.

And you probably don't know which specialization you're going to end up pursuing right away. You may have one in mind, but when it comes down to it, the odds of you choosing an alternative are high.

Our plans never work out as they were originally planned. And that's OK. As we change and grow, our plans for our lives should change along with us.

Throughout our 20s, this line of thinking should always apply: Try as many different subjects as you can leading up to your final decision.

You won't regret "wasting" a little bit of time in a field you don't end up liking because now you know for certain that you're not meant for that path.

That's why your 20s are pivotal.

Take the time to learn about the many opportunities that are out there in your field (or a new field, if you're so inclined).

If you love your company but your current job doesn't satisfy a certain career need, then maybe talk to your boss about looking at a new department.

If you wake up one day and realize you'd rather have a traveling position, then it's the right time to try it. The moment you feel the need to change is the exact moment you're ready for a change.

Do you hate sitting in the office? Then try something different. You may end up appreciating your 9-to-5 much more, or you'll realize you're much happier with the change.

The point is this: At age 24, you can change your job after starting at your entry level position right after college. And in another year, you can do it again.

As you grow older, you'll be able to see how each unique opportunity changed you or your perspective. I'm not saying you should quit your job tomorrow to look for something better just for the hell of it, but hey, you can do that too.

Experience is the education the world provides for you.

Go live and learn so that in the years to follow, you know you're exactly where you should be.