Jul 21, 2010

Some Job Hoppers may not be so bad

A desk in an office.Image via Wikipedia
Penelope Trunk is at it again, writing a counter-intuitive article that is sure to upset a lot of peopleWhy Job Hoppers Make the Best Employees Personally I think she's generalising, and a lot of job-hopping also results from incompetence or people not really knowing what they want to do, rather than the other way around.

It also does not hold true in jobs where the results of a role are long term and not really measurable in months.

And her views will not really be supported by the majority of Indian corporatedom.

Here are the reasons she gives for thinking so:

1. Job hoppers have more intellectually rewarding careers.
If you change jobs often, then you’re always challenged with a lot to learn — your learning curve stays high. This is true for office skills, and industry specific knowledge. It also applies to your emotional intelligence. The more you have to navigate corporate hierarchies and deal with office dramas, the more you learn about people and the better you will become at making people comfortable at work. And that’s a great skill to have.

2. Job hoppers have more stable careers.
The way you do that is through networking. Because you can be sure you’ll need to find many jobs in your lifetime, you want network as efficiently as you can. After all, the most efficient way to find a job is through a network. It’s how most people land jobs. People who work for lots of companies have a larger network than people who stay in one place for long periods of time. Which is why job-hopping creates stability.

3. Job hoppers are higher performers.
You can’t job hop if don’t add value each place you go. That’s why job hoppers are usually overachievers on projects they are involved in; they want something good to put on their resume. So from employers’ perspective, this is a good thing. Companies benefit more from having a strong performer for 18 months than a mediocre employee for 20 years. (And don’t tell me people can’t get up to speed fast enough to contribute. Fix that. It’s an outdated model and won’t attract good employees.)

4. Job hoppers are more loyal.
Loyalty is caring about the people you’re with, right? Job hoppers are generally great team players because that’s all they have. Job hoppers don’t identify with a company’s long-term performance, they identify with their work group’s short-term performance.

5. Job hoppers are more emotionally mature.
It takes a good deal of self-knowledge to know what you want to do next, and to choose to go get it rather than stay someplace that for the moment seems safe. It takes commitment to personal growth to give up career complacency and embrace a challenging learning curve throughout your career — over and over. And it’s a brave person who can tell someone, “I know I’ve only been working here for a month, but it’s not right for me, so I’m leaving.”

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