Is Job-hop­ping a Good Thing For the Young?

Beijing Review - - FORUM -

In China, young peo­ple quit­ting their jobs within three months, or even three days, af­ter start­ing is a rel­a­tively new phe­nom­e­non. A re­port re­leased by so­cial plat­form Linkedin showed that on av­er­age, peo­ple born in the early 1990s gen­er­ally choose to quit their first job 19 months af­ter start­ing, while those born in the late half of the 1990s quit af­ter seven months. This was very dif­fer­ent from the four and a half years for the gen­er­a­tion born in the 1970s, and the three years for the 1980s group.

In re­cent years, more and more peo­ple born in the late 1990s have en­tered the la­bor mar­ket, in­creas­ing cases of job-hop­ping. Will this kind of be­hav­ior cre­ate a neg­a­tive im­pact on the young? How can they find a job that matches their ca­pa­bil­i­ties within a short pe­riod of time so as to re­duce quit­ting and min­i­mize the costs of job-hop­ping? These ques­tions are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant.

Some blame the young for their im­petu­ous­ness and un­re­al­is­tic and in­flated as­sess­ment of their own ca­pa­bil­i­ties, ar­gu­ing that this be­hav­ior will not only di­min­ish the chances for them to learn new skills and ac­cu­mu­late work ex­pe­ri­ence, but will also af­fect the sta­bil­ity of com­pany staff. Yet oth­ers think it’s not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing for the young to fre­quently change jobs, since some­times they find a job can’t bring them any use­ful ex­pe­ri­ence or may even hin­der their ef­forts to re­al­ize self-ful­fill­ment. They ar­gue that job-hop­ping is some­what a re­sult of eco­nomic re­stric­tion and so­cial trans­for­ma­tion, so young peo­ple should not be the tar­get of crit­i­cism.

Bet­ter in the long run Wang Zhongdi (

Guang­ming Daily): Cur­rently, the changes tak­ing place in eco­nomic mod­els are be­yond the pub­lic’s com­pre­hen­sion. Take some so-called unicorn en­ter­prises for ex­am­ple. Yes­ter­day, they were at­tract­ing huge in­vest­ments and pros­per­ing, but to­mor­row they may be ac­quired by other com­pa­nies. When even emerg­ing busi­nesses face such un­sta­ble con­di­tions, how can we ex­pect young peo­ple to al­ways stay at the same job?

Of course, en­ter­prises hope to see a stable staff base, but la­bor con­tracts are two-way. While en­ter­prises have the right to se­lect their pre­ferred can­di­dates, work­ers also have the right to choose their em­ploy­ers. To­day, the young are more likely to use their right to choose not only by the gen­eral treat­ment a com­pany of­fers but also by the of­fice at­mos­phere and the prospects of fu­ture de­vel­op­ment, among other things.

This change is closely re­lated to the en­vi­ron­ment in which they are grow­ing up. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, the gen­er­a­tion born in the 1990s has grown un­der rel­a­tively wealthy con­di­tions. Their fam­i­lies of­fer them suf­fi­cient sup­port in var­i­ous as­pects and some of them de­pend on their fam­i­lies for ba­sic liv­ing needs even af­ter be­com­ing adults. Un­der these cir­cum­stances, they do not have to worry about a liveli­hood af­ter quit­ting a job.

Fre­quent job-hop­ping in the early years af­ter grad­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent from such be­hav­ior through­out one’s en­tire ca­reer. In the for­mer case, young peo­ple are mostly ex­plor­ing a suit­able way of liv­ing and are de­sign­ing their ca­reer. Some of them may ul­ti­mately lo­cate a suit­able and sat­is­fac­tory job and then set­tle down. No one can be guar­an­teed that their first job is the one they will re­ally love.

Su­per­fi­cially, fre­quent job-hop­ping among the young is push­ing up com­pa­nies’ costs of em­ploy­ing staff. But a deeper anal­y­sis re­veals that tal­ent’s mo­bil­ity is an im­por­tant chan­nel to un­leash their po­ten­tial, which can also ben­e­fit em­ploy­ers in the long run. When they are en­gaged in a job they are re­ally in­ter­ested in, young peo­ple will ded­i­cate them­selves to the work in­stead of idling away their valu­able time. This will more likely lead to a ra­tio­nal dis­tri­bu­tion of hu­man re­sources.

Zhang Wei (com­ment.scol.com.cn):

In the past, Chi­nese peo­ple fa­vored stable jobs and sel­dom quit jobs. To­day, the young gen­er­a­tion faces a new work en­vi­ron­ment. Maybe they have a job that is great in other peo­ple’s eyes, but they are not sat­is­fied with it and quit shortly af­ter tak­ing it.

Although it might af­fect staff sta­bil­ity at the com­pany, to some ex­tent it ac­tu­ally re­flects the vi­tal­ity of so­ci­ety and the econ­omy. Em­ploy­ment is a two-way choice. It is meant to best dis­trib­ute hu­man re­sources. It is a win-win de­sign for both em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees.

For young job hunters, as long as they are not strug­gling un­der eco­nomic pres­sures, they have enough time and en­ergy to se­cure a job they are re­ally in­ter­ested in. If some­one wants to be among the best in a cer­tain area, they must fol­low their true in­ter­ests. As for em­ploy­ers, a stable and de­voted staff is un­doubt­edly a bless­ing for them.

It’s bet­ter to give the young more free­dom to choose a sat­is­fy­ing job in­stead of ty­ing them to a job they dis­like. Only in a place that re­ally suits and in­ter­ests them can their po­ten­tial be fully brought into play.

Los­ing out on ex­pe­ri­ence Wu Xue’an (

Procu­ra­to­rial Daily): Through fre­quent job-hop­ping, some young peo­ple hope to get higher wages. Some job-hop be­fore they have a clear plan for their ca­reer.

Com­pared to pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions, those born in the 1990s pay more at­ten­tion to per­sonal de­vel­op­ment over team­work. They stress the re­al­iza­tion of per­sonal val­ues more than other gen­er­a­tions. Their job-hop­ping should not be sim­ply at­trib­uted to ma­te­rial rea­sons or per­sonal tem­per­a­ment. To a large ex­tent, it’s a re­sult of an ex­ten­sive and mas­sive so­cial trans­for­ma­tion. On­go­ing eco­nomic re­stric­tion leads to var­i­ous changes in work po­si­tions. Some­times the young have to change jobs to

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