Changing jobs allows Gen Y employees to avoid the ‘dues paying' that can trap workers in a painfully slow ascent up the corporate ladder
A new job every fourth day of the year would be a telling task for a job hopper, Dave Herman has just done that in 2012
100. That’s the number of jobs New York-based Dave Herman switched in 2012. A back of the book calculation shows that he must have had a new job every fourth day of the year. Interestingly, his last job as a correspondent for NBC’s New Year Eve with Carson Daly lasted for just a few seconds (read the story).
Is Dave Herman, a mere exception or is job-hopping the new mantra to climb the corporate ladder? The US Bureau of Labour statistics states that the average worker today stays in a job for 4.4 years. But the expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest workers (called the Millennials) is only half of that. Yet another May 2012 survey conducted by Future Workplace, ‘Multiple Generations @Work’ reveals that 91 percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years. Extrapolating the data implies that over the course of their working lives; Millennials on an average will hop 15-20 jobs.
The question then is, why do Millenials change jobs so often? A research paper from St. Olaf’s Sociology Department, ‘Hiring, Promotion, and Progress: Millennials’ Expectations in the Workplace,’ reasons that changing jobs and getting a promotion in the process allows Gen Y employees to avoid the ‘dues paying’ (gaining experience) that can trap workers in a painfully slow ascent up the corporate ladder. This perhaps explains as to why the new workforce has no qualms about quitting jobs for fatter pay cheques and lucrative positions. It is apparent that sticking to one organization for years together is passé, and even four jobs in less than two years no longer raises eyebrows.
What is the case like in India? The Kelly Global Workforce Index 2012 survey ‘The Autonomous and Empowered Workforce’ reveals that more than half of all workers in India (52 percent), (globally 53 percent) feel it is more important to change jobs. Interestingly 61 percent of Indians consider it to be a viable strategy for career growth and advancement. Only 40 percent Indian workers regard a career-for-life with one employer as relevant in the modern workplace. Says Kamal Karanth, Managing Director, Kelly Services India, “The idea of a career-for-life has certainly waned. At the other extreme, many employees now don’t consider it a taboo to be passively available to other employers, even when they are happy in their current positions.”
So does frequency of switching jobs affect on the resume? Perhaps it didn’t affect Dave. But, not of all of us are Dave. Job-hopping can speed career advancement, lead to greater job satisfaction, and allow the job hopper to try out variety of roles and workplaces while learning new skills along the way. However, prospective employers will for sure raise questions. In the course of the interview, there may be statements such as, “You have scattered experience and a shallow one at that. You probably don’t know what you want to do.” How creatively you defend your case, will define whether you get the job or not.
I am no Dave Herman. I have been working for five years now. This is my second job and I have been here for the last 18 months…