Why Job Hopping Works and How to do it like a Boss
Summer has been fun, back to focus & ….Shop Talk. Let’s talk about why we Job hop and how to do it like a boss!
The itch to bounce always happens around the three-year mark, doesn’t it? By this time you have gotten a true sense of your career path at your company and it’s time to decide if you are going to dig in deeper or leave. Honestly, unless the company has a great development and growth plan in place (not in development, because it’s ALWAYS in development) you should really be evaluating your future. No one is going to look out for you…like you.
Long gone are the days of getting a job at 22 and retiring with a pension and Rolex at 65. As much as companies complain about “millennials” (I hate this word ) not having loyalty, loyalty does not serve our skill set or our pockets.
How it hurts your skill set? As a Marketer, technology rules so much of our work life. If you park yourself long term at a job where you are not exposed to the new programs or methods, you are screwed. Think about it like this… you are going to lose your job at some point, that is just facts, but what happens when you are suddenly dumped into a job market after 12 years, competing against people who can do all the latest and greatest. No one is going to look at your resume and say ” she cannot do any of the duties but that loyalty deserves an interview”. It does not happen – make sure you are growing and learning in your expertise.
It hurts us financially as well. A recent study by The HBR group, says that if employees stay at a job more than 2 years they are likely making 50% less over time than the incoming employees. That is insane but think about it, the average raise is 2k or 3k… but a good strategic move can yield you a lot more than that coming in the door.
No matter what the data says lots of hiring managers consider job hopping a bad thing but it does not have to be. How can we get in, get what we need and leave on a high note (with glowing references)?
Step 1: Interviewing around the stigma
Wow, them with value. Before you interview with a company, do some research on the company. Bring a few ideas and tie them to your catalog of success. The beauty of a job hopper is you have a ton of different experiences and hopefully you have been able to interact with your industry from lots of angles. Tell them all of the stuff you have done and the results you achieved.
How to overcome questions like “well why did you leave your last job?” – I am an advocate for honesty but not the kind where you tell them “my boss was a jerk, so I left”. Choose the other brand of honesty where you say “ I left for growth and a new opportunity to broaden my skillset” *Smile*. If you are a marketer like me, they should get it. If you have been sending direct mail letters and the rest of the world has gone digital …you have to grow or be left in the dust.
Step 2: How to get the growth you were seeking in your new company.
Come in the door blazing. What I mean is come into the job armed with ideas and a critical eye for the improvements you can make to processes and procedures. And be ready to showcase the value you can add. In the first 90 days, you should be proving your rock star status, signally that you can do more. Then asking to do more – a great boss should see this as a positive.
Don’t skip opportunities to learn for free. If your company allows to you to go conferences, workshop or classes that can help you expand your expertise – DO IT. These are typically very expensive for individuals, so doing them later is not going to happen.
Step 3: How to leave on a high note
Be classy. People leave for all kinds of reasons, it could be just growth or it can be that your boss has just tried your patience for the last time. But, you want to leave in a way that makes your boss want to leave you a good recommendation. Do things like, give a full 2-week notice or more, offered to support the incoming person, and continue to do your best work – finish strong.
The rules of the game are changing and while companies are slow to turn the corner, often times we can not afford to be slow in our approach. The key to job hopping is being measured. If your company has solved for stagnation and is making sure you are trained on the best ways to do your job in today’s world, lucky for you. But, if you think you are not getting the growth you need, it may be time to think about the next step.