Extreme Job Hopping? What am I referring to?
I’ll use LinkedIn as an example. It’s permanent employees, often in careers such as recruitment, who celebrate and tell the whole world that they have a new job. This I have no issue with. Fair Play. Congratulations. But then you look at their career history…
4 months here, 7 months there, 6 months somewhere else
Seriously? Another job? Again? I know contractors who change job less frequently. I’ve seen dozens and dozens of people celebrating and writing wonderful messages about how well they were treated and how they’re going to miss everyone. Again, very humble and honourable. But they’ve only been there 5 months? And before that 6 months and then before that 8 months. Some of these people have had 3 jobs in a year and did the same the previous year out of choice.
What on earth is going on?
Why does no-one say anything or comment on this? Is this normal? It certainly seems to be considering the daily occurrences I see. I can understand someone getting a new job with a new firm and realising in a couple of days it’s really not what they thought it’d be. It happens. But repeatedly doing so seems crazy.
This is a generation born approximately 1984 to 2000, of which I fit into myself. The only comments or information I can see on this bizarre extreme job hopping phenomenon seem to be concerning millennials who are almost exclusively all of the examples I can sight.
I don’t mean to point the finger at my own generation, but having 3 jobs a year every year is absolutely ridiculous. It’s nuts. But rather than just rant and rave I want to try to make sense of it logically. There must be a legitimate, rational and pragmatic reason behind this. After all it’s not isolated to one or two lunatics as I see daily occurrences across my several thousand connections.
Calm down and think about this logically
Ok. So, I’m in recruitment. I talk to people all day who leave jobs and find out why they leave. It could be more money, progression prospects, they don’t like their boss, there’s no training, travel time, hours etc. They pretty much some up the usual suspects of reasons for leaving.
But there is a strange trend that makes this logical analysis much more complicated.
The Two Part Odd Trend
Part 1: Social media posts and hashtags about how much they love their job, the wonderful people they work with and how great their life is.
Part 2: Thanking everyone for how wonderful they have been and that they’ll miss them all.
The Revised Logic
Let me get this straight. You love your job, your life is great and the people you work with are wonderful. So much so that you can hardly contain yourself to leave them and therefore feel it’s only fair that you tell several thousand strangers about it. Then you resign because you have a new dream job that’s so much better. And then half a year later you repeat the same process almost identically. Am I the only one who has noticed this?
Not to be a tad blunt, but I think a lot of the “how wonderful the job is” and “I will miss everyone so much” seems like bullsh!* to me. If it’s that wonderful why the hell are you leaving? Again?
But People Moving Jobs Helps Recruiters – Why are you moaning about this?
Financially yes. If a client is willing to pay a fee for someone that moves job every six months out of choice, great. Where are these clients though? If any of my clients had my candidates leaving every six months, I’d get the boot. And I wouldn’t blame them.
This brings me on to two things I don’t understand. The first is why are they changing jobs so frequently and yet seem so blasé about it? The second is why are companies hiring people that on paper will be there so little time that they’ll not even get a chance to garner a return on investment?
Let’s take recruitment as an example. Financially if we were to hire a 360 recruitment consultant (a recruitment consultant that wins new business, account manages that businesses and sources candidates for that clients roles) for 30k, it’d typically take 3-6 months to break even on that hire. This is because even if they won new business early on due to hiring process times (2-6 weeks), notice periods (1-3 months) and refund guarantee periods (10-12 weeks), you’d not make your money back until at least a few months later. But if people keep leaving before you make a return on investment on them, you’d be better off not hiring at all.
Why I think extreme job hopping happens
I believe it is down to a combination of career inexperience, flawed marketing strategies and a controversial one, weakness.
Millennial’s are the evidenced examples I see. But I don’t think you can simply point the finger at a group of people born within a 16 year period and just label them. I personally dislike and disregard our obsession with categorising groups of people as outdated thinking with a modern spin put on it. It’s Bollo**s. People are people. Simple. But when you leave university after being told you can get your dream job because you have a degree and you are special because of it, you have expectations.
Unfortunately, and I don’t mean to put a downer on things for new graduates, but you’re just another number of the tens of thousands of grads this year alone. A number and that’s it. As sad as it is, this is how it works.
The issue is that you’ve just worked your socks off in education for how long? All bar 4 years of your entire life have been dedicated to what you have just completed. But it’s just a foot in the door and the real work starts now. Your first job and first few jobs will have a lot more downsides than upsides. You’ll start from the bottom regardless of whatever phony job title they give you.
Flawed Marketing Strategies
Social Media is genius. It is a loosely regulated open platform that has been whole heartedly adopted as a lifestyle necessity by the vast majority of young people. And it has opened up marketing teams to a whole new level of possibilities. In a world where we believe we are more educated than we have ever been, we can be more manipulated than we have ever been before if we are unaware of what is being communicated to us.
Employer Marketing Tactics
I’ve written about this heavily in other posts as I think this is a major problem for good candidates that are being sold fake impressions of companies to work for. For example, how many companies will use various social media platforms to demonstrate that they are a great place to work, that they have a rewarding culture and that they are different from other companies. The next time you see on social media some employment engagement marketing judge for yourself.
The problem is that culpable companies marketing strategies have the same typical themes. They paint the picture of an amazing place to work. But, in reality, this tactic has the same issue that can be seen from any company with a great sales team, but a poor delivery team; it won’t deliver on what it’s selling. Sure, some companies are great but many marketing campaigns of this type bear little relevance to their day to day authenticity.
Finally, the work place can be a hard place to be. Inevitably you will work for, with and meet some right nasty pieces of work in your time. If you can’t deal with those types of people, you’ll be changing jobs regularly. And the problem to exacerbate things is that too many people in management can’t, won’t or don’t want to back up their staff. The best bosses I have ever worked for were more about tough love than niceties. I personally believe that a boss should hold their people accountable, but hold themselves accountable for not only their results, but their staff’s well-being too.
The issue is that sometimes receiving tough love upsets people. But without realising that it’s tough love and not some form of work place bullying, you could be forgiven for getting the wrong idea. Therefore, this type of management is seen as outdated. But if done correctly, fairly and in the best interests of the person on the receiving end, it’s just good leadership.
If I am honest, I do feel for those who keep changing jobs regularly. Because I think that their expectations and understanding of the work place is mislead whether they realise it or not. It makes it difficult for the few great companies out there to stand out and be recognised because there is so much noise that it’s tough to identify the wheat from the chaff.
Don’t believe everything you read and hear on social media, have good expectations but realistic ones and be the stronger person when hard times come
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