Hannah is the Association Sales Executive for Convention Edinburgh - but comes from a totally different background. She writes about the stigma of job-hopping, as well as the many under-considered positives! Happy reading!
It is a truth universally acknowledged that job-hopping gives employers a bad impression. But, with 70% of millennials moving on from jobs within two years, job-hopping – the phenomenon of an employee swapping roles every 12 to 36 months – is on the rise in the UK. And given that by 2025, us millennials will make up 75% of the workplace, it looks like it will be here to stay.
I am a prime example of a job-hopper, with a resume which could seem a little erratic. A graduate in Ancient and Medieval History, I went on to work in the food and beverage sector after university before taking on my current role with Marketing Edinburgh. For some, working for three different companies in as many years, would set alarm bells ringing – and to an extent I can understand why. Yet, the more I am in the work place, the more I have come to realise that my varied experience is a pro, not a con, and has taught more than I might have gained by staying in one place for the three and half years I’ve been working.
Whilst I am not for a minute recommending we all change jobs just for the sake of it, I think it is time to recognise that there are plenty of positives to be had if that is the way things fall. The very definition of ‘millennial’ means that our age group has grown up during the economic crisis, a rapidly changing workplace thanks to technology and the hiking of tuition fees. It is a time of increased job uncertainty. It really shouldn’t be a surprise that we’re moving around in our jobs more than ever before – whether or not by choice.
Whilst I recognise there are always going to be negative aspects to job hopping, I don’t think this millennial trend should be tainted with the same brush. For those whose job moves were out of their control, let’s start to recognise the potential in varied experience and realise that this is our USP. After all, it means we each have a unique skillset. I didn’t think my medieval history degree would be too relevant at a convention bureau, but it came in handy on a recent fam trip to Edinburgh when I was able to answer a client’s questions about the city’s past; broadening knowledge can never be a bad thing.
And for those who actively choose to move on every 18 months, I think it’s time different questions start to be asked. Are employees leaving to gain more experience in a different field? Are they looking for a company with a good culture fit? Are they hoping to find a different role with more chances of progression? I see these all as positive points, and think employers should too. To have the determination and courage to take these moves proves that we are driven and ambitious; we’ll put our all in to a role and take any opportunity you can throw at us.
Job-hopping essentially opens the doors to more experience. It provides opportunities to explore different management styles, workplaces and even industries, and to collect huge amounts of knowledge and skills along the way. It also enables making new connections and contacts. From an employer’s point of view, a millennial job-hopper is likely to be innovative, connected and disruptive – full of new ideas and perspectives. Some companies have already recognised this potential and are actively seeking out job-hoppers for the benefits a fresh pair of young eyes might bring.
But even if you’re not looking to be disruptive, job-hopping allows you to explore career opportunities and to work out what you’re looking for from a role and what you enjoy. All of which means that when you do find a job you enjoy and a company you like working for, you may be more likely to stick around for longer.
All I’m asking is that we stop seeing colourful CVs as a negative and start to recognise the huge potential job-hopping can bring. It allows us create our own experience and put our own spin on things. Also, as an added bonus, when we do find a job we like, we will have a sense of place and purpose which we wouldn’t have achieved without all of the job-hopping along the way. The time has come for millennials to stop being ashamed of our chequered pasts, and start to embrace our unique skillsets.