Why are job hoppers not considered the high priests of the economy?
I have a naughty confession: I am a job hopper. As soon as I get a new job, I’m already on the hunt for the next one. A job is an experiment for me. I like to learn “da business,” horse around, meet some cool people, and get the F out of there. Life is too short to stay in one job.
I turn into stale bread with maggots coming out of the side after a year. Shhh … don’t tell my potential futures bosses. Oopsie, too late.
I spent a stupid amount of time over the last few years doing mass recruitment at my last few jobs. You’re not supposed to speak this truth: job hoppers are an illegal species to hiring managers and recruiters. They shouldn’t be.
Job hoppers should be worshipped. Here’s why.
They’re willing to apply for jobs they don’t qualify for
This is a taboo one. I shouldn’t say it. Most of us job hoppers are doing what my former boss calls “trying sh*t on.” Half the time we don’t qualify for the new job we’re trying to get. We just want to see if we can.
Here’s the thing: the internal applicant who has been groomed for the job often doesn’t qualify either. They’re just being groomed by “the boys club’ to take the job. Makes sense.
People who want to break the rules and find ways around traditional career brick walls should be honored. They should have a plaque engraved on the side of the skyscraper they work at. Management should hold a cocktail party for the job hoppers and give them their gold watches 20 years early for being such great sports.
I worked with a guy in a call center. He knew every workaround. People called him dodgy. I called him smart. Why? He could navigate a customer through any problem. He didn’t break the system to steal.
He broke the system to get business done. No wonder customers sang his praises and our boss had to keep giving the employee of the month award. I never got it. But later, after he moved on, I copied his strategy and became the “next best employee of the month.”
Qualifications are a giant guess. Remember that.
Who knows what a person’s potential is in a job if they’re given a chance.
Job hoppers demonstrate they love growth
The reason people like me job hop like Skippy the Bush Kangaroo is because we’re chasing growth.
Plateaus and comfort don’t suit us. We want to be thrown in a swimming pool full of sharks without any floaties. We’re looking for fresh opportunities. A new skill is fun for us to learn. We don’t want to be a team member, project manager or CEO. We want to try all three. Why? To see what it’s like. To live the career dream.
Many of us have had near-death experiences that have warped our perception of time. We think time is running out faster than it is. There’s a temptation to do it all before we cark it and end up in a wooden box in the ground.
Somehow we’ve applied “YOLO” to our careers and we don’t even realize it. Can you really be upset at a person that wants to experience everything before it’s too late? Think about it. It’s not bad for business. Business needs change.
Job hoppers embrace change and bring that philosophy to their everyday work. Job hoppers should be called innovators, or trailblazers, or the wild ones. We shouldn’t be looked down upon because we don’t want to stay in the same job for 50 years and collect a $200 gold watch at the end.
Career growth equals business growth.
The traditional folks have forgotten that. No growth equals mysterious staff turnover caused by a hidden virus no one dares speak of. Screw that.
The curious case of employment blocks
I got to work behind the scenes with a few well-known recruiters. They’re a weird bunch. They assess a resume based on career blocks that are supposed to fit together like lego.
They hope a worker who has been in the workforce for a while has neat career blocks of roughly 5 years each. This demonstrates they can stick at it and be patient. Apparently, they must be doing a good job if the company keeps them doing the same boring thing for 5 years straight. I disagree.
The good employees move on fast because they’re in high demand. They’re not lying around in the foyer drinking cappuccinos and saying “yes, Charles, I’ve been doing this job for 5.5 years now and it’s very stable. Business is good. Shall we meet with the other chaps to discuss future prospects next week?” Nope. These folks are the snoozers. Give me a job hopper over a snoozer any day of the freaking week.
A resume built on 5-year career blocks belongs in the factory worker age. Technology is making many jobs redundant or forcing them to radically shift. Job hoppers are required to meet the constant daily pivots in business needs.
They’re unreasonable enough to think their career could be better
That’s the truth. They want more. They think their family could do better than their career experience. Why not have a mind-blowing career that rips people’s faces off? I’m all for it. Be the cowboy or cowgirl and yell “YEE HAA” like a Texan.
Writer George Bernard Shaw said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
Translation: unreasonable job hoppers generate progress.
Job hopping shows us our true calling
I kept trying to be a loyal corporate servant and spit shine the glossy black shoes of my enslavers. Every time I career hopped I fell down.
That was until I realized I should be skipping to my own beat rather than hopping to someone else’s. Thanks to job hopping I found my true calling: writing and entrepreneurship. I now wake up each day to do my own thing and dream of a Web 3.0 future.
I had to do lots of different jobs to realize what I hated. And what I hate is smothering my creativity to follow rules that often don’t make sense. Job hopping alone isn’t enough. That’s why I recommend a side hustle, so you decide whether you should skip or jump. Some of us are better off as entrepreneurs, but if we don’t try it part-time we’ll never know.
The hidden truth about job hoppers
Job hoppers don’t have a career disability. I learned the hidden truth about job hoppers is they haven’t found what they’re looking for.
Is that a crime?
We should encourage people to job hop so they can find what they’re looking for and get on with the show. That’s why secondments are awesome.
The trouble is many companies don’t like them or bad bosses block them. So often the only way to experiment in your career is to change companies and job hop — rather than stay at one company that wants you to remain right where you are, because what you’re doing is profitable for them. The definition of a job hopper sounds like the traits of a person who is devoted to self-learning. It sounds like confidence. It sounds like courage.
Why the heck would we frown upon job hopper behavior?
Let’s start encourage people to job hop and forget about 5-year career blocks. Job hopping equals career growth. Career growth is good for business.
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