The job for life no longer exists. Modernisation of the world of work means many employees must now work harder to turn their dream career into reality. The old career paths have disappeared and you have to take responsibility for your career and progress.
Perhaps you feel you’ve reached a career ceiling but still have the drive and tenacity to rise further. You want to move on to fresh challenges and higher levels of creativity. Keeping your career afloat may feel like you’re navigating hazardous and murky waters, especially during times of company mergers and acquisitions, downsizing, “right sizing,” and “offshoring.” If you need to reinvent your career then you need to understand your job market.
Even if you’re happy where you are it’s smart to keep an eye on what’s out there. It fosters a healthy sense of possibility and adventure. It’s a good idea to peek your head over your laptop from time to time in case some interesting opportunity is in the offing. Chances are, you’ll change jobs at some point and when you get serious about finding a new role, then being familiar with the market will give you an advantage.
Moving jobs often used to be viewed with suspicion. However, this attitude is changing and the once negative image of job-hopping is now being seen as ambitious. In some industries, if you stayed at the same job for five years, you’d have some explaining to do.
This doesn’t mean the job-hopper stigma has completely vanished. If you’ve got too many jobs on your CV, you may be pigeon-holed as unstable, disloyal, or unable to work as part of a team, especially if these jobs are typically for terms of six months or less. You need to be able to show commitment. A pattern of frequent moves will begin to affect your credibility in the recruitment market. You can make one but not three mistakes.
If your changing roles show a steady career progression, or a series of increasingly challenging assignments, then you should be able to turn it into an asset. If you left a job for a promotion, or a position with greater responsibilities, emphasise that aspect of the transition and how it has provided you with more experience and skills.
Recent graduates sometimes worry about leaving a job after only 10 or 12 months. Will they be thought flaky? Will they get another job? But sometimes things just don’t work out and employers understand that. If you’re moving into a different sector, especially if it’s early in your career, an employer will appreciate your honesty in explaining your position. Take the opportunity to emphasise that you’re taking charge of your career and looking for new challenges. It’s better to look elsewhere to develop your career if you feel your current job is not providing enough scope.