Are job-hopping and career success related to each other? What is the effect of one on the other? How long is too long to stay at a company?
I must admit, the resumes that pass by my desk make me conclude that job-hopping is far too common.
Job-hoppers hop for various reasons. More often than not, they don't know what they are getting into. Sometimes it's because they don't know what they want, and therefore they are not ready for the challenges that lie ahead of them.
In my opinion, changing jobs often affects your career in a negative manner. Consider this: What signals are you sending to your potential employer if you are job-hopping too often?
Here are four effective steps to break your job-hopping habit:
1. Follow The Two-Year Rule
I have a two-year rule I tell my staff and potential employees. The two-year rule is this: You must be willing to mentally commit to spending at least two years in the company before you quit.
The reason? You need to deal with the learning curve. If you're job-hopping too often, you learn nothing substantial. In my opinion, it takes you at least a year to know the ins and outs of the company. Then another year before you can be truly productive in adding value to the company.
To see the true results of your contribution to the company, for me, it takes at least two years. So, if you are prone to changing jobs and career success is on your mind, then it is time to rethink.
2. Learn To Be Stable
Many well-established companies have training programs. They are willing to invest in recent college graduates and newbies. However, in order for them to make that decision, they need to look at past track records.
Ask yourself, if you are a manager, who are you more likely to invest training time and money on: someone who's known for job-hopping, or someone who is stable?
Companies are more likely to invest in people who are stable. The reason is simple: they are able to contribute back to the company. Everybody wins. If you are constantly moving from one job to another, you send a signal that you are not ready to commit.
Companies like to invest in people who see their career goals align with their corporate goals. Job-hoppers usually cannot see their career path beyond the next year.
3. Know What You Want
Of course, it is understandable that, as a fresh graduate or newbie at work, it is tough to know where you want your career to go. You may be interested in some other industries. If there are other fields that you are interested in, then make a plan to find out about them.
Start with the internet and then ask friends who may know people in those fields. Speak to them. Ask them about the expectations of the company and the position you are interested in. You may not get all the answers, but at least you'll have some idea.
This will decrease the chances of you job-hopping later on.
4. Make Learning A Key Objective
If you are new in the workforce and have been job-hopping quite a bit, my advice to you is this: truly find out what you want.
Once you know that, find a company that is willing to train their employees and willing to commit to their employees' careers in the long term. If they have structured training programs, join them. Make learning the relevant skills and knowledge in that industry your key objective.
The skills and knowledge that you learn will contribute to your career success in the long run. It is something that you can bring with you for the rest of your life.
Once you see the benefits of committing to a company that is willing to train you for more than two years, you, hopefully, won't be job-hopping often anymore.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.