YOUR NEXT CAREER MOVE
To develop a career portfolio, changing jobs used to be considered the exception. Now, it’s become the rule, one where staying in a single gig for too long is more hindrance than help. If you’ve hit a dead-end in terms of progress and you’re surrounded by colleagues who you hate, or who seem to have signed on for life, it’s time to pull the ripcord and land elsewhere. After all, you can now do so with impunity, according to Tracy Cashman, senior vice president at Winterwyman international recruitment firm. “Job hopping is less frowned upon than it used to be,” states Cashman, “though companies may still be suspicious of people who have too many stints of one year or less”. Like so much in life (except for sex), it’s about moderation – as hiring types and managers, when confronted with a CV cluttered with different company names, think along these lines: a) Do they get bored easily? b) Are they the first to be benched in a layoff because they’re not an ‘A team’ player? c) Do they have a contractor’s mentality? On the flip side, don’t plant your roots too deep. Ten years in a role used to show career loyalty and dedication. While that’s still true, Cashman says “more companies are reluctant to hire people who’ve been at one place their whole work history”. You want a résumé to show smatterings of a little life and movement. If you’ve hunched over the one desk for more than five years, a potential new employer might raise an eyebrow, knowing how people can become set in their ways. According to Cashman, companies may feel that those people aren’t motivated in their career progression or, worse, are so ingrained in a particular way of thinking and approach to work that they can’t adapt to a new environment. If you’re fortunate enough to move often (but not too often), you can point to experience in a number of different industries, and exposure to a variety of challenges, which can lead a prospective employer to feel you’re flexible and a quick learner. Often, those who move frequently are recruited by people they’ve previously worked for, or with, and who’ve moved on themselves. This can be another gold star on a track record, a firm sign that people want to work with you again.
“If you’ve hunched over the one desk for more than five years, a potential new employer might raise an eyebrow...”