Author: Lavie Margolin, Career Coach
The nomadic trend of changing jobs every few years is partly due to the abundance of information available today. At any moment, you can stay up to date on the jobs available within your industry and apply in just a few moments. In the past, one had to fax or mail a resume and regularly check newspaper listings for appropriate vacancies. Additionally, you can connect with other professionals and network your way into a job with resources like Linkedin.com.
It tends to be younger employees that move around more than older workers. Professionals in their twenties and thirties are less grounded than those who are older. They are still determining exactly what type of job they would like to do and are unlikely to have moved beyond a mid level position. Many workers in their 50’s and beyond already have a good sense of their career direction and there are fewer opportunities for change available higher up on the ladder. Older workers are more familiar with the idea of a ‘stable’ job as they, and very likely their parents, worked in only a handful of jobs and fully expected to retire there. This is one of the reasons that job loss is especially difficult on the older worker.
I am not sure if fault should be assigned as it is mainly a sign of the times. In order for companies to survive (if not thrive), they must remain lean and only retain workers that bring them revenue instead of a focus on loyalty to long time employees. Employees must be on the lookout for career growth in order to advance in their careers. Loyalty is a two way street and it is a bit shaky on both sides at the moment.
A person may work for a company for five years but at what cost? Having a track record is important but only if they can advance their careers. The next great opportunity may come in 2, 3, 5 or even 7 years and one has to stay on top of the market in order to seize that opportunity.
I am a Career Coach but can also reflect on my own career as well. My first opportunity was with a large workforce development agency. I worked there for three and a half years. It was an excellent opportunity to learn how to help others find work. After a few years, I was still seen as a newbie (young kid/ recent college graduate) and needed to move on in order to spread my wings. I made somewhat of a lateral move into a not for profit, learned some more skills and stayed for one and a half years. When the opportunity to move into the field of education and teach career development courses became available, I made the move and stayed for two years.
About the Author: Lavie Margolin is a New York-based Career Coach and the author of Lion Cub Job Search: Practical Job Search Assistance for Practical Job Seekers. To learn more, go to Lavie’s website, Lion Cub Job Search:www.Lioncubjobsearch.com