Job-hopping. For most employers it’s the scariest phrase there is. Most companies are trying frantically to understand how to retain and engage with you, their apparently mysterious millennial employees. But perhaps what they fail to understand is that we just have different priorities.
We’re not saying you should jump ship every six months. That would probably lead to some serious migraine-inducing life admin, and some very puzzled HR managers trying to make sense of your CV. What we are trying to say is staying in one place for decades isn’t the norm any longer. Here’s why millennials should forget about job loyalty, and start thinking about loyalty to their own careers:
1. We live in a completely different financial context
Baby boomers need to get off our back, because they had it easy. The Institute of Financial Studies revealed that those born in the early 1980s and later have significantly less wealth, are less likely to own homes, and do not have access to generous private sector pension schemes. Yikes.
It’s therefore natural for us to want different things. Millennials live in a harsher financial environment, literally forcing us to keep jumping from opportunity to opportunity to find the one best suited to us.
2. Getting too comfortable results in you learning a lot less
Sure, when you start a new job you’ll be challenged daily. But as you ease into it, your office chair soon feels like it was moulded for you. Your desktop has a personalised wallpaper. And you’ve been executing the same tasks for the same people for longer than you care to admit.
Challenging yourself is the only way to keep growing. If there aren’t opportunities to do so in your current position, either ask for an evaluation or start looking elsewhere. It isn’t about them, it’s about you.
3. Climbing the corporate ladder is exhausting
Office politics can turn the nicest of people into unrecognisable power players. Observe your work environment and assess whether progression is as straightforward as doing really well at what you do.
If it isn’t, and it involves complicated maneuvering, perhaps it’s right to consider a move to a different place. Moving jobs makes it more likely for you to progress anyway.
4. Switching jobs gives you new frames of reference
Shake things up a little. Changing careers or moving to a different job forces you to not only look at yourself in a different light, but your industry.
Now would be the best time to ask yourself some fundamental questions. How are you perceived by your colleagues? Are there issues in your field of work only you can solve? How can you make a difference? Staying in a single place often scuppers your points of view. Open your eyes.
5. You’ll make more important connections
Sure, good impressions where you currently are is also important to focus on. However, bring that charm to a new place and open your network up to new people.
Staying in the same place your whole career will close you off. You never know what kind of creative collisions you’ll make, but you won’t even experience them unless you make the jump.
Top tip: If you do decide to move, make sure to stay in contact with the people who championed you in your old job.References are gold dust, after all.
6. The gig economy is on the rise
Hey, it’s a fact. The Telegraph reported a whopping 4.8 million self-employed people in the United Kingdom, with numbers expected to increase further.
‘Job-hopping’ isn’t just about moving to a different company. Going freelance and getting ‘gigs’ as a consultant or a creative could actually be more financially lucrative. Sure, you have to be responsible for all of your taxes, but you’d be your own boss.
7. Your chances of finding meaningful work are higher
If you’re completely happy with your first job ever, we applaud you, because that’s a rare thing. Often the rush to find a graduate job forces us to accept an opportunity without really thinking about it. This may leave us feeling like our jobs lack meaning.
Don’t squander the opportunity to find meaningful work. Keep exploring until you find the role that fulfills your purpose of being. Don’t know what that is yet? You won’t know until you try finding it.
8. There will be more opportunities to succeed
The numbers game means the more you search for chances to show off your skills and abilities, the more likely you’ll find those chances. Hustle for that valuable CV experience.
9. There will be more opportunities to fail
We didn’t say the numbers game will always go your way. However, mistakes are only bad if you don’t learn from them. Being afraid of failure is only natural, but it’ll offer you so many chances to learn and grow.
10. You can always come back to a company if you have a good relationship
Apparently, big companies call these kinds of candidates ‘boomerangs’. Burning bridges with your first job isn’t a wise thing to do. As much as you can, keep those relationships warm, and perhaps, when you’re ready, you’ll be able to return to a company who you used to work for.
11. You’ll regret not seeing what’s on the other side of the fence
And life’s just too short for that kind of regret. Keep searching. Stay hungry.
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