According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics workers age 18 – 34 on average change jobs every 2.8 years.
The main reasons for leaving given by professionals in this category include:
- No connection to the values of the company
- No career path
- No fun
- No work life balance
- More money
So is it acceptable to frequently change jobs? The answer depends on why you’re changing.
Don’t fit with Culture?
If you’ve tried to make your current company work but you feel like the black sheep all the time, then yes definitely consider making a change to a company where you fit better in the culture. Check out the article Corporate Culture What You Should Know when searching for that next job to help you define the company’s culture before you accept the offer.
Don’t fit with the Boss?
If you are having trouble working with your boss, before you make the decision to change jobs try and work the issue out first. Have a conversation with the Human Resource professional. HR professionals are trained how to handle these situations and will quite possibly be able to resolve the trouble. You can also sit down with your boss and have a direct conversation with them regarding your concerns. Direct conversations often can resolve the trouble as well. There will be many individuals during your career that you will have a challenge working with. It’s best to try and resolve your troubles instead of running from them.
If you’ve had a conversation with your boss that you’re ready to move up AND your boss agrees that you have the skills to move up but she doesn’t have a position to promote you into, then it might be time to consider another job. Changing jobs because you want to continue to keep progressing in your career is an acceptable reason to give when asked during an interview why you left your last employer. Just make sure you have a conversation with your boss first before leaving because there might be other options to continue your learning that you haven’t considered. You might be able to partner with a more experienced professional on a project or pick up some additional education or even transfer to another group within the company.
If you’ve conducted a market value analysis of your skills and have determined that you’re being underpaid, first have a conversation with the HR professional regarding your findings. I’ve seen companies adjust salaries accordingly. But if you’ve given your current company a chance to increase your salary and they are resisting, then it might be time to leave. According to an article in Forbes.com, employees can be paid 50% less if they stay in their jobs longer than two years.
If you’re not having fun at your job then you need to figure out why and make some changes. You spend half of your day at work or driving to work or thinking about work. You should be having fun. However, before you quit your job really do some deep thinking why you’re not having fun. If you just quit your job to go find another one, you’re probably going to end up in the same situation again. Figure out why you’re not having fun first, then look for another job or even change careers all together. Life’s too short for not having fun.
It isn’t bad to continue to change jobs during your career, just be clear on why you’re changing. Remember you’re going to have to give reasons for your job changes each time to seek that new job. You’ll want to make sure that you give good solid reasons so you don’t begin to look like a job hopper searching for greener pastures.