To Hop or Not To Hop?

With nearly 13 years spent in the same profession (my first out of college by the by), I am fascinated by the ever increasing rate at which individuals are job hopping.  Maybe it’s a case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) that makes me wonder how they keep being lured by greener pastures.  Or perhaps, like more and more trends these days (looking at you snapchat), I just can’t relate to the impulse felt by my younger colleagues.  I was recently asked by a habitual “job hopper”, how I could possibly have stayed so long with the same organization.  Upon reflection, I gave three reasons:

1. I do what I love – I often don’t love what I’m doing in a given moment, but I certainly am passionate for the work and impact that I make through my organization.  But a worthy mission or cause will only sustain you so long.  Every day, I schedule time to do things within my role that I truly enjoy.  And I strive to make each moment valuable for those around me.  An early mentor of mine told me to “be the best part of someone else’s day”, and I’ve greatly benefitted from that advice.  You have to find a career that you can be (and stay) passionate about, and that allows you to operate in a way in which you thrive.

2. I’m good at it – I’m not always great at it, but my job is extremely well suited for my God given talents.  If there wasn’t a match between my abilities and my responsibilities, I likely would have jumped myself.  A large part of job satisfaction is derived from goal achievement and subsequent recognition.  Either find something that you can excel at, or invest the time to gain the skills and become excellent where you are.  The latter requires a commitment to stay though…

3. I hop jobs too – Every 2-3 years I’ve hopped to a new job, but they’ve all been within the same organization.  This was only possible because of 1 and 2 above: doing what I love + being good at it = bigger opportunities.  Be willing to bite off more than you can chew, step out of the boat, lean in, (insert cliche of choice) and commit to do the work.

Is today’s rising workforce all that different than previous generations?  Yes and no.  Each of my parents have only had one career, which is arguably the largest influence on my own career path.  I’m confident that they would share similar reasons above for why they chose not to hop.  Turns out that boomers, x-ers, and millennial (-ers?) all have the same hopes and dreams as well as desires for their careers.  Perhaps the youngest of us are simply braver.  Whatever the motivations, if job hopping ultimately gets more people in the right seat on the right bus, won’t the world be a better place?

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