job-hopping

I must confess that I’ve never been taken in by my generation’s slang, like ‘lol’ or ‘YOLO’. Phrases come and go so fast, but one of these two really seems to stick.

If YOLO is true and you only live once, why not live on your terms, not someone else’s?

That’s why I look on changing jobs with a kind of empathy. In a time where we can change jobs more easily—we often do, especially if a raise or promotion aren’t on the cards after some time. PR manager Jessica Kleiman notes on Forbes:

When I look at resumes and see that someone has jumped from job to job, spending less than a year or two at each place, it gives me pause. But more and more these days, young people get antsy after six months to a year (sometimes even less).[1]

Now the reasons for job-hopping aren’t necessarily bad ones, and changing of jobs isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes there really is a cause for leaving after a short period—such as a fatter pay check, a toxic work environment or lack of opportunities. More often than not, it’s the ability to choose your next step, than to rely on your boss’ ability to see and reward your hard work. And with the sheer number of passionate and capable people available, loyalty also isn’t as rewarded as it used to be.

But remember—YOLO. Life’s already short enough, and a year you spend in a job that doesn’t get you closer to your goals is a year you’ll never get back. Frequently changing jobs means that you’ll have to rebuild your performance ratings, please new people and learn entirely new skills and workplace cultures.

In the limited time that you have, it’s a gamble—one that many people lose. According to recruitment firm Randstad, Singapore workers are often deeply unhappy, and keep their jobs largely as a means of survival.[2]

 

There’s got to be a better way to get in the driver’s seat of your life, and steer it towards fulfilling your calling.

[INSERT EVENT CAPTION]Image credits to izola.com

There are too any young executives struggling just to prove their worth at their first jobs, and their goal? To cross the one-year mark. But there is one red flag that one should really leave behind, and that’s toxic environment. We don’t need to elaborate on what this constitutes.

While we’re not saying to jump every time an opportunity arises, but we do encourage setting goals, and focusing only on actions that help you achieve them. Are you chasing the dollar, or is it work-life balance? Most people forget that they can’t get both. Knowing what you want makes sticking it out in a tough job become a lot more worthwhile.

Director and Founder of Giants Learning Technologies adds:

“I’ve been told that certain species of fish will grow according to the size of their environment. Put them in a tiny aquarium, and they remain small even at adulthood. Release them into a huge natural body of water, and they grow into their intended size.

People are similar. If they live in a harsh and limiting environment, they stay small. But put them someplace that encourages growth, and they will expand to reach their potential.

Is your environment conducive to your growth, or are you stunted and limited?”

The potential for greatness lies within each of us. But the single most important part of unlocking that potential is understanding the work you were meant to do, and that your personality and nature suit you for. Do that and you’ll be far more certain of the road you’re taking, and more understanding of those around you.

 

Frequently changing jobs isn’t a problem in itself—it’s a symptom of a deeper dissatisfaction with what we’re doing day in and out.

There are several errors we can fall into:

  • First, we can ignore our life’s purpose and chase the next thrill or the next dollar. Other people’s preferences and demands take precedence over our own, and our dreams die as the daily grind saps our time and willpower.
  • Second, we can delay our life’s purpose. We might understand and even articulate it, but put it aside “till later”. But before we know it, it’s too late.
  • Finally, we can obsess over our life’s purpose, and ruthlessly pursue it. But it comes at a terrible cost—the alienation of the people in our lives, and failure to help others achieve success as well. Many famous people are known for great legacies in sports, technology and other fields, but have troubled family and home lives.

Whether you articulate a purpose for your life or not, you will always get the results that you work for.

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I’m not going to repeat tired clichés like “adjust your expectations,” “upgrade yourself” or “send out 10 resumes every day.” Instead, in the next article we’ll go over a better way—one that combines the best of career loyalty and job mobility, and helps you find the work you were born to do.

 

If you could work anywhere you wished, what would you do? Let us know in the comments!

 

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[1] Jessica Kleiman, “8 Pros and Cons of Job Hopping,” Forbes, 6 August 2012, at http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2012/08/06/8-pros-and-cons-of-job-hopping/#33bf708d682f.

[2] Fiona Chan, “Singapore workers ‘among least satisfied in Asia-Pacific’: Survey,” AsiaOne, 17 June 2014, at: http://business.asiaone.com/career/news/singapore-workers-among-least-satisfied-asia-pacific-survey#sthash.s9VhMQeP.dpuf.