The Job Jumping Dilemma

Note: The following post is a guest post written by a gentleman named Mike. Please enjoy Mike’s post below.

Throughout high school, we were promised that going to college would get us a good job. That we shouldn’t worry about student loans, as our job will allow us to pay those back quickly. That by going to school, we were making something of ourselves, and would excel in life. Are we REALLY sure that any of that is true?

I sit here myself only one year removed from graduation, yet like many people in my position, I feel helpless. I have student loan debt, with the need to repay it. More than that, I know it’s the right thing to do, and while it’s never easy, it’s something that must be done. However, the opportunities our elders promised us seem to be few and far between. We sit here, tucked away in our cubicles in the corner, still faced with the problem of being “the new guy” and feeling like it’s impossible to get ahead.

For many of us, we had to take the first job offer presented to us after graduating. It felt like an impossible challenge, to step away from campus and the college life style, and into the real world where real expectations and real problems exist. No longer was our hardest choice which bars to hit up, which cheap beer to drink this weekend, which flavor of Ramen noodles to eat. Our choices now impact real people and real lives, and often come with bullshit TPS reports and printers that say paper jam when there is no paper jam.

When those jobs get tiring, exhausting, depressing, and mentally draining, what are we supposed to do then? Do we risk looking like job jumpers, as we yearn for a new opportunity? What if we make the wrong choice and end up in the wrong field? What if we’re already in the wrong field?

You see, for me, this is a choice I’ve been struggling with lately. I know that I’m not alone, and also recognize the weight a decision like this could carry. For some of us, we were forced to sign contracts that ran up to a few years. Once those contracts near the end, and there’s no guarantee of tomorrow, we are put in an awkward position both personally and professionally.

For those of us who hate what we do, it can become draining on all aspects of life. Work depression can trickle over into our personal lives, affecting our relationships with our partners, friends and parents. The mental toll on those stuck in cubicles in front of a computer screen for 8 to 9 hours a day becomes increasingly difficult. The constant wondering about what other jobs and careers are out there becomes a pounding drum of war in our heads. We dream to move forward, to make a difference, to get that promotion or that raise. We feel like our jobs are literally holding us back from our future.

That’s why I’m here to say, stop it. This message goes out to not only me, my friends, but to all of those in my generation, and in my position. Worrying will only do so much for our situation, until we take the leap of faith and follow our dreams. Who cares if you have multiple jobs on your resume in just the last few years? Competent employers would see a student who was trying to get ahead in school. Employers who scoff at it are likely terrible companies whose work environment would crush your soul even harder. So take that risk. Apply for that job. Change careers if you want. Ultimately, do what makes you happy, and as long as you’re not harming anyone, don’t regret it. It’s become pretty clear from any news story about government and business for the last..decade or so that these people are out for their interests only. So screw them, it’s time to look out for our interests too. Maybe one of us will be the next major CEO, board member, or president of a company. Maybe one of us will be the Governor or Senator that shakes the whole system up. None of us will ever find that out unless we go and do it.

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5 thoughts on “The Job Jumping Dilemma

  1. I left my first adult/full-time job after only 9 months and felt pretty bad about it for a while. But after a year at my new position I know it was the right thing to do- definitely less stressful (and a little more money- win win)! So much of the standard job rules that have been around for our parents/grandparents really just don’t apply anymore.

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    1. Most people consider the call center I worked at in grad school to be my first “adult” job. That said, I’m fully of the opinion that in order to be considered an adult job, an employer has to treat its employees like people. I’m not sure the first “adult” job I had really qualifies as being adult.

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  2. I’m working my first “adult” job now and it’s a job that isn’t in my field. In fact, it’s in a field I kind of hate — insurance.

    It’s extremely draining, but it was the first job that actually paid me enough to live on my own and I got kind of stuck there. I’m kind of excited to see where I end up after our building closes next year, but the job search thus far has proved far from fruitful..

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    1. That sounds similar to why I took the job at the first call center I worked at. When I graduated in 2008, all I had was that job opportunity and badly needed any job just to be able to pay bills. It was a terribly soul draining job, but it allowed me to be able to make what little money I needed to survive at the time.

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  3. As someone doing interviews, having short employment stints in your history scares me less than long gaps in employment. Someone who jumps between jobs still has the motivation and drive to look for other jobs. That trait is a bit harder to tell for certain if someone has long gaps in employment. While not everyone fall into those two categories, it’s still something that comes to mind.

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