To Hop or Not to Hop?
I have a confession to make. Early in my career I was a bit of a job hopper. If I did not like how things were going or I felt it was time for a bigger raise, off I went. Of course that was a much different time and lucky for me, jobs were plentiful. I was also new enough to the field that each move did guarantee me a 10% or even greater salary increase.
By the way if you are still wondering what is the big confession? The admission that I was a job hopper is it; sorry if you were looking for something more scandalous or dramatic.
At the time my friends and family probably did not understand why I could not just stay put. To many people my behavior seemed very flakey. This was at a time where people who had been in the workplace longer still believed in job security and staying with one company until you retired. Today I don’t think anyone would bat an eye over someone who changes jobs, unless they changed jobs every month. But once a year or every two years is becoming more and more common.
I have absolutely no regrets over my job hopping. It gave me excellent exposure to different companies, different roles, different management styles and cultures, all kinds of good experience that helps me to this day. Yet, I don’t recommend this path to everyone.
One of the most difficult conflicts you might face in today’s workplace is to hop or not to hop? Should you stay with the devil you know or take a risk on the devil you don’t know? One of the biggest concerns is job security. It’s this question “What if I make a move and get laid off from the new company? At least at this company if I am let go I will get a better severance package.” You know logically that making decisions from a place of fear is not productive, but you are human and you don’t want to be laid off.
What should you do? Consider your decision carefully and then act firmly and confidently. Here are some questions to help you:
- What is the worst thing that can happen if I change jobs and am I prepared to face it?
- What is the best thing that can happen if I change jobs and am I prepared to face it?
- Why do I want to change jobs? To improve your salary, your commute, your role, your environment?
- Am I making this decision out of anger (mad at your boss)?
- Am I making this decision out of fear?
- What am I giving up when I leave this company and position?
- What will I gain in my new position?
- What do I expect from the new job or company, are these expectations realistic? (In other words, do your expectations map to a job offer that has been made in writing?)
I know you can think of more things to consider and you should! But don’t agonize, once you have given yourself time think about your job hop – make a move (or don’t) and do not look back!
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