Job Hopping and Career Changes - The New Normal

Millennials are changing jobs at a faster rate than previous generations: According to a study on LinkedIn, Millennials move companies an average of four times before reaching 32. The study uncovered that “Over the last 20 years, the number of companies people worked for in the five years after they graduated has nearly doubled. ¹”
Of course, job hopping extends beyond millennials -- the average worker of all ages changing jobs every three years with an average of five to seven career changes in a lifetime². Workers can no longer expect to start and end their working lives with one employer. It is now more important than ever to build a different skill set for job success.

Why Frequent Job and Career Changes Are the New Normal. The Cost:
There are many theories about why Millennials regularly move to a new occupation and why older generations are now finding it necessary to work in multiple industries and careers during their lifetime. Some estimates have this increased level of mobility costing businesses upwards of $30.5 billion, according to a recent Gallop Poll³.

A few of the most common reasons include the following:

A Search for Work-Life Balance. Job satisfaction has increased in importance over the years and can sometimes replace money as the top consideration when looking for the “perfect” job. Companies have responded by placing pool tables and video gaming devices in break rooms. Trends such as the Tiny House movement, fewer belongings and mobile homes, indicate more people favor freedom and independence over high paying jobs with the accompanying lifestyle. Experiences are replacing the accumulation of things changing the definition of aa good work-life balance.

The Great Recession. The financial collapse of 2008 caused disruption for millions of Millennials who graduated from college and tried to enter the workforce. The result was vast amounts on unemployment and underemployment, combined with high levels of student loans. A high percentage returned home to live with parents with a significant percentage still relying on parental support to make ends meet.

Boredom with Current Job. Underemployment can lead to unfulfilling work which can create a sense of itchiness. Lack of challengeand the repetitive nature of many jobs can lead to boredom. Even higher skill level jobs often have large components that result in redundant work, giving Millennials a bad reputation for having no work ethic.

Work Frustration can come from many sources. Today everything moves faster, and employees are expected to adjust to things happening at lightning speed. However, tre reality that job promotions and income increases come at a slower pace, workers become restless and move on to the next opportunity.

Frustration with management or co-workers also factors into job frustration. Relationships are an important part of the work environment. A bad manager or conflict with co-workers can quickly lead to a search for a new place to work. It is difficult to be happy in a job when surrounded by conflict or difficult situations for over 2000 hours a year.

Disengagement. More than previous generations, Millennials are the least engaged in the workforce. They feel a very little connection, emotionally or behaviorally, with their employer. Nearly 60% are open to new job opportunities and feel little loyalty to the current job. Based on new Gallop Poll research³, A whopping 71% consider themselves disengaged or strongly disengaged with their work environment,. The result is quickly exiting a job when things do not go as planned.

More Money. Staying with an employer typically leads to small annual raises. Switching jobs and even fields can increase that number to 8 or 10% a year, leading to higher income faster. Workers who start out with a higher education and lower wages will make up for lost time quicker my moving up in job responsibility with multiple employers, rather than remaining in the same place for an extended time.

Lack of Alignment with Needs and Values. Job satisfaction means different things at different ages: The needs of someone in their 20’s is not the same as in their 30’s and 40’s. The job and lifestyle need changes with the purchase of a home, starting a family or other significant changes life brings. When work values are not consistent with home values, it creates a desire to find a new job or career that aligns those values more succinctly.

Fight for Independence. The Internet has revolutionized the job market bringing remote workers into the fold and changing the face of business. Now a company can hire staff from India, China or other countries for call centers, email support and many other jobs Americans once held. American workers can work from home, anywhere in the world, with a reliable internet connection. There has been a steady movement towards solo-preneurs working around the world on a contract basis.

The Desire to Move. Current employers are less likely to pay for a move to another city. New employers, on the other hand, frequently pay to move talent to a new location. Workers who want to transfer to another city, state, or country, often find it financially beneficial to change employers as a way to finance the move.

Changes in Job Markets. In-demand job skills today are different than a decade ago. Today, jobs like cyber security, identity theft protection, and personal security have grown into billion dollar industries, as manufacturing and factory labor declines. Keeping up with new technology also means additional and ongoing education along with new career opportunities that were not available a decade ago. Over the course of a 40-year career, this can result in multiple shifts in both jobs and industries.

Both workers and employers must adjust to new business models and find ways to engage with each other differently than the past. Expectations have moved in a different direction which has caused everyone to rethink how they see employment and what that will offer the upcoming generations as far as financial stability and job security.

Changes in the employee/employer relationship have altered the financial picture for everyone. Employers now pay higher costs for recruiting and retention to remain fully staffed. Employees have gained more job mobility, but the price requires them to fund retirement themselves, cover many of their insurance costs, and self-finance periods between jobs.