Are You a Job Hopper?

ID-100217256You’ve worked hard, you’ve gained a lot of experience, but when you lay it all out on your resume, you just look like a job hopper.  Instead of making you look experienced, your long list of previous jobs is making you appear like you are not the type of person who sticks with things.  Here are some tips that will help you overcome this barrier and find a job that you will want to keep for a long time:

Ask yourself why.  There are lots of different reasons why people jump from job to job.  It could be that you are just starting out in your career and you are only being offered contract positions, it could be that you have a problem getting along with your coworkers, it could be that you find it difficult to get up and go to work each day, or it could that these are the types of jobs that are available in your industry.  It is important that you be honest with yourself and identify why you find it difficult to stay in jobs so that you can determine whether there is a problem and what steps you need to take to address it.

Identify consistency in your resume.  Even if you’ve held a lot of jobs over the past few years, there may be some areas of your life where you have remained consistent.  For example, if you have been in school full-time, then you aren’t really a job hopper because you have just been focusing on your education.  Also, if you have held a lot of different jobs but have been consistent with your volunteer work, that also shows a level of commitment.  It is important that you look at your whole resume, not just your work experience, to get the complete picture.

Have a story for interviews.  Once you have a better understanding of why you haven’t stayed in positions for a long time, you need to find a way to communicate it to interviewers.  Holding a lot of different positions for a short period of time is a red flag for employers.  However, if you can provide them with an honest explanation that shows that it is not a reflection of your work ethic, they may be willing to overlook it.

Only make commitments that you can honour.  Once you have dealt with this challenge, you need to focus on the future.  What can you do now to ensure that you do not find yourself in the same position three to five years down the road.  Now that you know that this is a problem, you will already be conscious of it when you are making decisions.  As much as possible, try to only accept positions that you would be willing and able to keep for at least two years.  When there is a problem at work, instead of quitting right away, see if you can find another solution.

(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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