Why It's Okay For This Generation To Job-Hop In Today's Economy
I had nine different jobs by the time I was 23. I didn't know if I was doing something wrong and I could not stand the stigma that surrounds being a Millennial job hopper.
I never left a job because I was lazy, gave up or would rather spend more time socializing and partying; I left because I wasn't interested or I didn’t love what I was doing.
Young kids are told they can be great, and I vividly remember being told time after time that I should follow my dreams. I’m 23 and I haven’t found that yet, but I haven’t stopped believing.
When I apply to jobs, I don’t put every job I have on my résumé because I know employers will get scared by my ability to commit. I’m sorry Mr. Hiring Manager, but I won’t settle, so if your job ends up being boring, I am going to quit even if I am good at it and getting paid a nice salary.
I have one life on this planet and I intend to find what I love even if it means getting paid three times less and being broke.
Working 40 to 50 hours a week doing something you do not love is demoralizing; you lose your sanity and your purpose. Do not be that person.
I'd rather be in the boat of uncertainty with no shoreline in sight than jump into the boat that’s headed back to shore because I gave up the unknown for safety and routine.
I think this is why I have always admired musicians. In college, half of my friends played instruments and I would just stare in wonder at how much they loved what they did and how they could play an instrument for endless hours. I'm searching for something that gives me that same feeling.
Finding a job you don’t love is just as amazing as finding one you do love. I have done an exceptional job in every position I have held and with each new opportunity, I have learned a little bit more about myself, even if I have quit.
I know what I don’t want to do and that enables me to cross one more possibility off the list of what I might love.
What’s also great about job-hopping is that it has opened my eyes to a world of experiences. I have done a good amount of traveling and met many different people from unique backgrounds. From working in real estate to a startup with former Google employees, I have been constantly put in situations where I have had to adapt and learn to stay successful, and I loved every minute of it.
From meeting so many people, I have developed great interpersonal skills, and from being put in so many uncomfortable situations, I have learned what I need to improve and what I can accomplish when my back is against the wall.
However, job-hopping is not all flowers and smiles. It’s an art form, and if there is one thing that enough job-hopping teaches you, it's how to do it effectively.
When job-hopping, always leave on good terms, and never piss off your boss before you dip out. This will more than likely come back to bite you in the ass, whether it’s with a recommendation or just something else you might need in the future.
Most importantly, make sure you have another job lined up. This is common sense, but if I had a dollar for every time I saw my friends not line up a job before they quit and then be screwed, I would be a very rich man.
Lastly, remain in contact with the people you meet. Connections are invaluable, whether it’s the intern at the office you just left or the couple of friends you made at the local bar.
Your network is a powerful tool to exercise, so don’t act like a ghost... that smart intern could be the next founder of a successful company.
You could have a problem with patience or you could be job-hopping because it’s a sign of your willingness not to give up on finding your passion. Don’t be scared to face the unknown, embrace it and be ready to learn more about yourself than you would have ever thought.
I ask you to question where you are now. Do you love what you do? Would rather do something you love and get paid less? The hope your parents and older generations instilled in you was to find what love is still there.
Look at the ones that didn't take their own advice; they’re all unhappy. I’m just asking you to dig deep and find it, remind yourself that settling will only lead to regret, especially in a world in which possibilities are endless.
I don’t know what I am chasing and I’m OK with that. I know I am closer than where I was yesterday and that is what’s important. As long as I still look at the stars and believe anything is possible, I know I’m on the right track.
P.S. While you’re at it, feel free to join me.
Photo Courtesy: Tumblr