A Decade and the many moves: Why Quick Job Hopping is ‘Not All That Bad’

In a span of a decade, I worked for more companies than usual. In a typical white collared job, it makes sense to give exit interviews in not less than 3 or 4 years. You come. You work. You grow somewhat and then wait for the burn-out. Now that’s not the tough part. That happens when you must answer with all satisfaction and honesty on why you moved quickly while you were still happy? Why did you not wait till you could take it no more? Did you not like your work? Was it the boss? Was it mundane? Was it smart route to quick raise? The ‘was it’ part has more presumptions to it than a real curiosity to listen and understand on part of person asking that question. And believe you must, mostly it is none of these. If you have an eye for it, you know what I mean.

While in my case, I was mostly fortunate to choose and work for people who put my knowledge and skills on priority while hiring me than worrying about how long would I stick, I realize most often it doesn’t happen. I know talented and smart people who have struggled to get an opportunity and prove they are worth the task but have failed just because they moved ‘early than expected’ with previous employers. If you’re a woman, the chances get bleaker because your marital status becomes a ‘constant’ to let the company assume how soon you would leave for your new responsibilities. It doesn’t end there. If you’re expecting or have just had a baby, it is clear you are the costlier cost to company.

This hard embedded mind set of most employers, of ensuring number of years a prospective employee would spend with them not only prevents great people from getting hired but also saves the company to explore extremely creative people who can do more benefit in short spans than when they stay put for salaries and damage your growth culture obtrusively. It is a bias that naturally is created by ‘conforming’. Why take to a point when you are totally and literally burnt-out? And pretend all’s well. Let’s be blunt. It happens. We don’t say or accept it for political and financial correctness. Now, in no way I am implying that people who choose to hang on longer aren’t happy and talented. But there is a small category that loves to work for the sheer joy of it, without being pinned down. So don’t lose them for nature treks only.

Break your myth. If you see a person who has potential to make a difference in a shorter time, well – take him. And before you criticize me of ignoring the cons like lack of trust, please remember trust at work is doing your job well. If you are in a business of new ideas and continuous growth, it is very likely you would find a long ‘racehorse’ in one of these. Try it.

Here are some of the benefits I think quick job changers bring:
1. They are creative, excited, PLUS talented. You get energetic, happy, and keen workers.
2. They have continuously and ‘purposely’ diversified their expertise – work skills, soft skills, and people skills. Can that be bad?
3. They don’t move for quick monetary gains but experience. To learn. To observe. To contribute positives. Why make it a 5-year plan?
4. Because of their diverse backgrounds and profiles, they are always idea-rich. Why get stuck in endless meetings?
5. Ultimately it’s about happiness. And freshness on both sides just adds to it. The world is too big to restrict it to only a few. (For monogamy, we have marriage.)

Next time you are surfing such resumes, call them. If not anything that you find yourselves hiring them for, I bet you will have more interesting tales to hear! Life is too good to stay boring.

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