Humans are not only creatures of habit, but burrowing creatures as well.
It is fun to soar like eagles, but most of us want a cozy burrow to crawl into, too!
We crave security more than most of us will admit. We look for security in all the wrong places — like the fact that we’ve held the same job for years.
There is less than no security in long-term employment these days. I say “less than no security” because your only opportunity to get better at job-hunting (or finding consulting work) is when you actually do it.
The longer you spend locked up inside any organization, the softer your muscles become. You will need those muscles down the road — can you really afford to let them get soft and flabby?
You can rationalize any decision, including the decision to give your current employer another year of your life because it’s too much trouble to job-hunt.
You can rationalize your decision to keep doing what you’ve been doing for several years already through any of these arguments, or a combination of them:
1. I’ll keep my general labour jobs for another year because I love the people I work with!
2. I’ll keep my engineering job because I’m going to learn something new at work in 2017.
3. I’ll stay at my accounting job another year because I have a lot going on in my personal life and a job search would be too much trouble.
4. I’ll keep my part-time job because it might be risky to change jobs.
Most people don’t think much about their careers. They don’t change jobs unless they get laid off. People fall asleep on their careers. They forget that if they don’t drive the bus, no one else will!
Here are 10 good reasons to change jobs every three to five years not because you have to, but because you want to:
1. People who change jobs more often get very good at the internal consulting skills that all of us need in this new-millennium workplace. Every time you walk into a new company and learn a new job, you get stronger in a way you couldn’t at your old job.
2. People who change jobs more often get good at spotting healthy vs. toxic workplaces — and avoiding the toxic ones.
3. More frequent job changes give you more powerful Dragon-Slaying Stories for the inevitable day when you’ll be job-hunting again.
4. When you keep the same job for years on end (or even different jobs in the same organization) the network of people you know well outside the company frays and falls apart.
5. When you job-hunt more often, you become very good at branding yourself. You know what the market wants because you are in the market more frequently!
6. When you fall asleep on your career and focus all your professional energy on doing a good job for one employer, your focus turns to internal politics. Nobody outside your building cares about whether your stock is up or down on your company’s internal index. You don’t have time to care about that, either! Job-hunting every few years keeps you attuned to the world outside your cubicle walls.
7. When you job-hunt every three to five years, you know your market value.
8. When you move from company to company every few years, you get used to picking up new protocols, procedures, strategies and practices quickly. You learn to meet new people and work with them productively without a lot of ramp-up time. All of these are invaluable talents!
9. When you get stuck in place at one job, you fall out of practice interviewing — and that’s a very bad fate to befall anyone.
10. When you change jobs more often, you realize that there are a lot of people in the world and not all of them need to approve of you. That’s okay. You don’t need the whole world to love you. You only need to find the people who get you — and thus deserve your talents!
It’s a new day.
Every one of us is an entrepreneur, even if we work for one client full-time and get paid through its Payroll department.
Our careers are ours to run and nobody else will ever run them as well as we can.
Does your job really deserve another year of your life and countless more barrels of your precious mojo? That is a good question to ponder as the end of 2016 approaches!