Sunday, October 26, 2014

How to identify yourself as a Job Hopper

Someone mention to me that the average work span of a young Graduate is 2 years. Youth is on their side. What they need most is experiences and this involves getting practical hands-on application in the early days. After they have acquired certain exposure, they will apply for another job in a different firm if things are getting mundane, does not fit what they seek for or other personal reasons. To most, it’s perfectly alright to try on various roles since this is the exploratory stage. However, the process of updating their resumes with many jobs could be causes for concern.

Questions arise such as “why do you quit your last job”, “Looks like you apply for several jobs and thus not sure what you will like to do?”, “why do you apply for more than 5 jobs within a year, with each lasting less than 6 months?”

Certainly, you do not want to look like a serial Job Hopper without any target in mind. One can’t gather a wealth of knowledge and a robust corporate network within a short span of time.

So, how do we identify such tendencies?

1. Today is my first day of work. After my probation period, I am out of here

You make an end objective before warming up your seat. You have this mindset that the company pays you for the grace period only. When the clock strikes the final hour, it’s time for you to pack up, regardless of how your work turns out. Gosh....don’t you feel lethargic saying goodbyes and hellos and pressing the start button again.

2. I can quit my job anytime. I study in the best school, the highest educational pathway and have grades which are superbly excellent.

Education forms a great platform. No doubt about this. It gives you a stepping stone because you acquire essential knowhow which gives you a good heads up. Hence, I am right here in the job market, 24/7 available. Please don’t naively think in this direction. If you do, your career stands frozen in limbo. Your school does not equip you with real-time corporate communication skills. Workplace internships are just launch pads only. Neither putting you through School of Hard Knocks where you learn the industry nutty-gritties. People-to-people relationships are also essential. Don’t ever think you are highly marketable just because of paper certificates. Without solid corporate achievements and network, you have lesser marketability. And this takes time to build up. You must also learn how to sell your profile when the time arrives.

3. I am 90% confident the grass is always greener on the other side. The grass never turns blue. Never!

Of course the colours of the grass remain. After all, we live in Singapore. But the grass has numerous insects living in between the forages. Can you see with your naked eye?

Similarly, can you confirm your next job be able to match what you expect? You are basing on probabilities. It’s like a spinning roulette. You are simply running around with the betting chips. If you hate your boss now, you may hate the working environment in your next job. And you start the blame game without evaluating your own first. A way to get around is to start planning your career path

4. I can earn more by switching jobs regularly. My credentials are well sought after by the industry

Let’s do a reality check here. If a current employee works in his job for a year, depending on his assigned role and the industry technicalities, how likely will his portfolio be highly recognised? Imagine this same employee mention to a potential Recruiter that he has amazing work experiences, thus he ask for a higher expected salary.

Here is what I’ll do. I will throw him a test. Simply put - a work scenario. I will ask him to specifically explain the nuts and bolts. Chances are, he will find it hard to explain since he has little experiences to offer. Unless there is a little genius inbuilt in his brain. Don’t have this wild dream of asking for a higher pay cheque without a measurable profile. You need a considerable amount of time to grow and gain something out from your hands. In addition, you need the people around you to help construct your successes. This includes me as a Career Coach.

Ask yourself....do you fall into the above categorisation? It’s dangerous for you to think alongside this enclosed space, for you may not find satisfaction and fulfillment. Switch you job when necessary but don’t hop constantly till you forget that your feet must be rooted to the ground. Not just scratching the surface, but planting your toes FIRMLY. Then, you will be marketable and well respected.

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