In my last post, I touched a bit on loyalty to yourself over the company when it comes to career progression. This topic deserves a follow up post.
There are obviously dangers of job hopping. Nobody wants a here today, gone tomorrow candidate. Onboarding costs companies money and consistently training new employees can hamper productivity. For the job hopper, there are drawbacks that extend beyond being seen as someone that can’t hold down a commitment. As a 2012 Forbes article notes:
“Economic instability has erased, especially for younger workers, the stigma that has accompanied leaving a job early. That’s because strategic hopping been all but necessary for as long as they can remember. Workers today know they could be laid off at any time – after all, they saw it happen to their parents – so they plan defensively and essentially consider themselves “free agents.
“If that freedom seems an undue privilege, think again. The downside to the freedom they enjoy is financial insecurity worse than any other generation in the past half-century. That’s a sufficient price to pay.”
A significant price indeed. The reality is that the loyalty extended to companies and the undue reverence given to the idea that one need to stay at a job for X years before moving on is rubbish. Never have I once heard HR reps or a CEO say, “We’ll give these guys/ladies X more years before we cut them loose.” I’ve seen people try to give a decent period of time before moving on from one job to the next and be walked out of the office the same day. I’ve seen people who worked at a company for years given 30 day layoff notices – often without warning that one was coming.
In plain English: Your. Employer. Does. Not. Care. About. You.
And if they do, congrats! You are in the minority. For the rest of us (and the rich and independently wealthy), there are some pretty good reasons to job hop:
Sometimes, you have to go to grow. There are no shortages of entry level jobs that contain an entry level ceiling. When you’ve outgrown your position and can’t move up, move out. A supportive supervisor will understand. One that doesn’t isn’t one you want to work for. If you’re not getting increased responsibility, there’s no reason to slave away extra months or years at an unsatisfying job.
Just like our careers progress, so do our lives outside of work. Maybe money isn’t everything for you like it used to be. Maybe you want more flexibility. There’s nothing wrong with not staying at a job that doesn’t mesh with your life goals. However, in cases like these, it helps to try and address the issue(s) with your supervisor before taking your ball and going home.
Change of terms
Let’s be 100 percent honest: Sometimes, things just aren’t as advertised. The work/life balance you were promised during the negotiation is an oasis in a desert of misery. Work place culture is important. If things aren’t as advertised after you start a job, you have every right to leave. Put it like this, if you aren’t as advertised, your employer will relieve you of your duties.
I say all of these with the caveat that you should –when possible – honor your verbal or contractual agreements. One of my mentors asked me for a minimum commitment of one year. This wasn’t in my contract, but the verbal agreement was enough of my bond. I fulfilled those terms and stayed until it was crystal clear that I was slamming my head against a concrete ceiling.
Never feel bad about bettering yourself. Your employer will not feel bad about letting you go if it suits the company.