Changing jobs regularly is a good thing, right? It’s a sign of ambition and drive, an indication that you want to improve your skills and experience. Or is it a sign of an inability to commit to a role, of someone who struggles to settle? If you are thinking about making a career move, you might want to consider what a frequent variation in direction might say about you.
Many things prompt us to want to change employers – some are out of our power, so in an effort to retake control of our lives, we place ourselves on the job market and some of us do it more often than others!
So, how often is too often? With social media seeming to constantly announce new roles for our friends and acquaintances, it might appear that nowadays, people job hop more often now than ever before.
Whether you are feeling overworked …
… bored …
… the time will no doubt come when you have the urge to change jobs. These itchy feet seem to be most common amongst millennials, so let’s look at what tempts them away from one job into another with such frequency.
A Job For Life?
In the 1950s and 1960s, it was common to secure a job in a company at a young age where you would remain working until retirement. These ‘lifers’ enjoyed security, knowing that every few years, as long as they didn’t greatly offend the boss, they would be deemed to have gained enough knowledge of the business to be promoted another level. It was predictable but safe.
If someone switched jobs, it was because the business had failed or they had been sacked. As a result, many found themselves in careers that failed to light their passion because it was a good, secure job or they were following in their father’s footsteps. When recession hit in the 80s and 90s, some people were made redundant, others saw their colleagues lose their jobs and decided to jump before they were pushed – the job market became more mobile and the ‘job for life’ started to become a thing of the past.
Onwards And Upwards
No longer was it frowned upon to move jobs. In fact, the savvy employee knew when it was time to head in a new direction to a bigger company or more successful competitor. By 1996, only half of the UK workforce had been working for the same employer for more than five years. Five years later, the same number could only claim to have been in continuous employment for more than four years.
With increased access to career development courses at weekends and evenings, as well as grants that allowed workers to completely retrain, no one had to put up with a less than stimulating career. Opportunity was definitely knocking, all over the UK.
And so the trend has continued, all the way through to those embarking upon their employment lives at the beginning of this new millennium when new factors have come into play.
Live Fast, Work Fast, Play Faster
Unlike older generations, millennials have grown up with technology. They don’t remember a time without mobile phones and social media; being familiar with a 24-hour lifestyle, they learn fast and play even faster!
So, they don’t have time to waste in a job that doesn’t satisfy them and employee loyalty is all but gone. Far from being bored in their work, millennial job hoppers are ambitious and eager to find their place in life – one that fits around their social commitments and, in time, their family life.
The increase in part-time and flexible working opportunities means that this is entirely possible and as technology advances, new roles are invented almost daily, allowing professionals to apply their skills in different ways that were unimaginable just a decade ago.
So much so that in 2015 we were looking at just a fraction over half of the UK job market intending to stay in their jobs for three years or more. In fact, only 17% could envisage remaining with their current employer for the rest of their working life.
The Pay Off
Does it? Pay off to move around, we mean. Although salary isn’t the main reason for many to switch jobs, it would appear that the answer is yes, but only for millennials! From 2007 – 2014, 18-29 year old ‘job switchers’ averaged an 11.8% pay rise while ‘job stayers’ of the same age only managed a 4.4% increase. Older ‘job switchers’ fared less well, experiencing an average 6.1% pay increase. This could be due to more experienced workers having less room for progression, many already being at the top of their payscale.
It would also seem that in their recognition that millennials do tend to switch jobs more often, employers are attempting to keep hold of their young talent by increasing their pay at a greater rate than older employees, who are perhaps set in their ways and come with greater family obligations and lesser confidence than their youthful counterparts. Better the devil you know…
A Real Jobsworth?
What do employers think of this new-found job mobility? Research shows that while they see a two-year stint in any employment as acceptable, businesses do like to see a return on any investment that they have made in nurturing and training young talent. They also hate to see their skilled people leave – hence what appears to be their excessive investment in many millennials.
So, if you’re a millennial who has decided to job hop onto the recruitment train, you need to let future employers know that you aren’t a fly-by-night candidate. Demonstrate in your CV the reasons for every job move, whether it be to expand your knowledge, challenge your brain or even to be nearer family. And the reasons for your next step.
Whether you’re a millennial or not, and keen to progress along your career path, get in touch with Benchmark Recruit now. We can help you put together your CV to highlight your experience and communicate the direction you want to take.