I’ve written about this topic recently, and the title of this article explains why. The title of another recent article also tells the tale: “It’s Official: Being a ‘Job Hopper’ is GOOD for Your Career!”
For quite a while, there was a certain stigma associated with changing jobs frequently. That is no longer the case. While that has “opened the doors,” so to speak, for professionals to explore more opportunities and consider other career paths, not every professional is embracing their new-found freedom.
The fact of the matter is that in today’s employment environment, changing jobs more frequently is not only no longer viewed in a negative manner, but it can also greatly benefit your career. And keep in mind that this is NOT just a Millennial phenomenon.
Many studies and reports have documented that the Millennial Generation is the generation most likely to changes jobs frequently. However, the benefits of doing so do not apply just to Millennials. Any top professional working, regardless of the generation to which they belong, can reap the same benefits associated with this type of career strategy.
But before we address all of the positive aspects of changing jobs on a consistent basis, let’s look at some of the reasons that some professionals are NOT embracing this trend.
5 factors holding people back
Below are five reasons that professionals do not view changing jobs frequently as a positive option for their career.
#1—The lingering stigma
Just because the stigma is gone doesn’t mean that it still doesn’t exist in the minds of some professionals. The older you are, the more persistent the stigma probably is. That’s because you’ve been in the job market longer and you’ve seen the stigma operating within the workplace.
#2—Force of habit
People are creatures of habit, both personally and professionally. The longer a habit goes on, the tougher it is to break. Once you get into a job routine, it becomes a habit. You wake up at the same time, you get ready the same way, and you drive the same distance to the same location. The human brain is hard-wired for habits.
#3—Loyalty to the status quo
Some people just don’t like change. They prefer what they have as opposed to what they might have, even if what they have is not everything they would like to have. Allegiance to the status quo, no matter if it’s pledged consciously or unconsciously, can be a detriment to career growth and satisfaction.
#4—Illusions of security
If there’s another thing for which human beings are wired, it’s feelings of security. Funny thing about feelings of security, though. Not all of them are based in reality. Some feelings of security are founded, but some of them are not . . . especially in the world of employment. I will unequivocally say that job security is a myth.
#5—Fear of the unknown
This is the big one. People fear the unknown, plain and simple. Even if the stigma associated with doing something is gone, some professionals will still not do it because they fear the act that was associated with the stigma. More specifically, they fear the possible consequences of the act. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that changing jobs leads to disastrous consequences. But some people fear the possibility of such consequences.
5 benefits of going forward
Now that we’ve explored the reasons that many professionals do not consider changing jobs more frequently, let’s look at the benefits of doing so. Because there are benefits, and below are five of the main ones:
#1—Acquisition of more “hard skills”
Hard skills are teachable skills. That means you can learn them. You can either teach yourself, other people can teach you, or both. They’re also quantifiable, which means they can be evaluated more easily. With exposure to more employers and work environments, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more of these types of skills.
#2—Acquisition of more “soft skills”
Soft skills refer to skills that involve the way you interact with other people. Soft skills are also referred to in other ways, one of which is “people skills,” which you’ve probably heard before. They’re also more intangible than hard skills, which means they’re more difficult to measure quantitatively. However, they’re just as important as hard skills, and for some positions, they’re even more important.
#3—An expanded professional network
When you work for more organizations, you work for and with more people. When that’s the case, you have almost no choice but to grow your network. And when you grow your network, it opens up more in the way of professional opportunities. Those opportunities could take the form of new experiences, additional expertise, or even a new position.
#4—Better marketing and branding skills
So you say you’re not a marketer or brander? Not so! You’re a marketer and brander of yourself. Either you’re adept at promoting yourself in the employment marketplace or you’re not. Those who are more adept at doing so position themselves better for more success in the long run.
#5—More compensation and benefits
I’ve addressed this before, but those professionals who change jobs every three to five years often earn more compensation and benefits than people who stay at the same employer for 10 to 15 years. That’s because employers must entice professionals they want to hire with more money, compensation, and other benefits.
This all boils down to the fact that it is okay to change jobs frequently. Changing them as often as every three to five years is definitely an accepted pace in today’s marketplace, and there are some professionals who are doing it as often as every two years.
Now I’m not suggesting to change jobs just to do it. However, if it’s a move for a better opportunity than the one you currently have and it makes sense for your career, then it’s the right move to make. There are plenty of benefits awaiting those who are willing to give up their allegiance to the status quo and their illusions of security and be open to considering new opportunities.
Are you ready to take the next step in your career?
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