I entered the professional world last November 2011. I’ve been working for more than 3 years already and I’ve had 4 jobs during that time span. While it looks pretty bad and intentional on paper, everything just happened coincidentally.
I lasted a few months to almost a year in the jobs that I had previously, but I just got past the 2 year mark with my current job. I felt like collecting my thoughts here and make a couple of points about what I’ve learned after all that has happened:
How culturally fit you are to the company is very important
I cannot stress this enough and this is the most important point here. Culture fit is probably the biggest factor when it comes to staying or leaving your employer. Does your coworkers’ lifestyles match with your own lifestyle? Are the working hours and conditions working for you?
I realized that I like where I am right now because of my coworkers and how stress-free the working environment is. Also, most of them have their own families already, so they tend to leave early, if not on time, everyday. In my previous jobs, everyone likes to hang out after work. While I think it’s nice that everyone is friendly with each other, I don’t particularly like thinking or talking about work after I stepped out of the office. I already have my own set of friends who I grew up with, so I like to keep my work relationships inside of the office.
Rushing to leave your current job in favor of a new one because the grass looks greener on the other side is probably a bad idea
Most, if not all, of my job hopping scenarios happened the same way: I become a little unhappy about my current job, another company coincidentally offers me an opportunity to work at their company, I rationalize and exaggerate all the bad things I find about my current job while I exaggerate the good things that I’m hoping for the offered job, I leave current job for said offered job, I somehow regret the choices that I made afterwards.
This happens to everyone more often than not. When people are given the opportunity to move on to something new, they tend to forget about the good things and only focus on the bad which leads to bad choices that they will regret later on. It’s important to stop yourself and think about the pros and cons of what each choice will entail. While I kind of regret about moving to where I am right now at first, I’m fortunate enough to realize that I still ended up where I think I should be.
It’s all about the money
Let’s face it - the only way to get ahead of the game quickly is to switch jobs as soon as you can. It’s pretty rare to find a company that gives substantial raises frequently, so the only way to give yourself a raise is by taking that offer from that other company who’s been trying to poach you out of your current one.
Job hopping gets stale after you’ve done it a couple of times. I actually like the fact that I’ve been working for the same company for more than 2 years now because I like the sense of stability. I like doing the same routine everyday, I like seeing and interacting with the same people everyday. Working on long term projects where you’ll see and participate in a lot of changes down the road also sounds very nice.
If you’re ever on the fence about switching jobs, I suggest you try and appreciate all of the good things about your current job, so you’ll know what you’ll be missing if you leave. That actually helps a lot when deciding if you’ll make the switch or not.