I often feel like I’m still young, hip, and in-the-know.
I work in advertising. Digital advertising, no less.
I follow trends, still listen to bad pop music, and love perusing the cover of “Us Weekly” in line at the grocery store….
Then, SnapChat or Instagram make a change and I turn into my mother….”I don’t know how to use this sh*t!”
That’s how I feel about today’s career climate. The second part. The part where I think “man, I am glad I’m not just starting my career today.” I know, it’s different out there. The market is different, the job titles are different, the expectations are different.
What hasn’t changed?
Employers. Big business. Colleges and universities.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of amazing companies out there that have “caught up” and have great benefits, flexible work schedules, unlimited PTO, and *gasp* maternity AND paternity leave.
However, a lot of companies are still offering two weeks paid time off, no flexibility in your work schedule, and are allowing women to use short-term disability for their maternity leave.
In my “day job” I work with a lot of young professionals. I’ve interviewed dozens and dozens of entry and mid-level candidates and attended a handful of job fairs. It’s obvious that the university system hasn’t caught up with preparing professionals for today’s work world either.
Where does that leave you?
A smart, dedicated, ambitious young professional searching for the right career fit? Looking for a job that leaves you fulfilled, challenged, and excited.
That’s a great question, and fortunately, there is still hope for finding the right job for you, for now!
Let’s tackle that first – there’s a vicious rumor that “millennials are job hoppers” and no one sticks around anymore and “if they don’t like it they just leave…” You know you’ve heard all of that and more about today’s up and coming (extremely educated and talented) workforce.
How long do you stay at a job you don’t love? How soon is too soon to jump ship?
It depends on who you ask. As an employer, I like to see between 12-18 months with a single employer (I am okay with multiple positions). Anything less than that can be a red flag. UNLESS, that’s only happened once. I think we’re all entitled to a “mulligan” and sometimes a job just isn’t the right fit. I’ve also seen brilliant people get recruited away from organizations after a short tenure, too.
I was told early on in my career (I graduated college in 2004) that three years was the expectation. When resumes came across with more than one or two jobs with less than three years, there were considered “job-hoppers.”
Truth be told – I think it’s all in how you spin it. I’ve had quite a few jobs for my age. I’ve averaged about 14-18 months at each job in my career. As I’ve progressed in my career, the time gets longer and longer at each job.
Each time I started looking for a new job, I made a deal with myself…I would NOT take a lateral move. I wouldn’t take a job making the same or less money. I wouldn’t take a job with fewer benefits or perks. I wouldn’t take a job that wasn’t for a better company with a better reputation. As long as companies continued to want to pay me more, help me advance my career, and let me a part of their awesome-ness – it was the right time to switch jobs.
I was also great at telling the story. I left this job because of this great opportunity. And then this company recruited me to go work for them. Then, I fell in love with start-ups and got a great opportunity to get in at the ground floor. After that, I wanted to travel and train. And so on.
Today, I love my job. I’ve been there for about a year and a half to date. Do I think I’ll retire here….no. Do I think I’ll stay at long as they’ll have me…for now!
Every single day a new company, idea, or culture is born. Your dream company may not exist yet. And most new, up and coming, cutting edge companies tend to be pretty forward thinking.
In addition to new companies, companies that have heavy recruiting needs, especially for entry to mid-level employees, are coming around to what today’s job seekers are asking for. Flexibility. Trust. Perks.
We all know that with today’s technology advancements there are more and more opportunities to work remotely. All you need is Wi-Fi and a laptop. This can give you access to jobs and opportunities that weren’t available to you before due to your geographic location.
More good news – it never hurts to ask for what’s important to you. Right now, I work in an office Monday-Friday. I have a ton of flexibility, but at the end of the day, my work is in my office. If and when I ever find myself interviewing companies again (see what I did there….) – I will likely ask for the opportunity to work from home part-time. Worst case, they say no. Best case, they say yes. If a company doesn’t want to hire me because flexibility is important to me, they probably aren’t the right fit anyway.
Change is good
Here’s the long and short of it….today’s career climate has changed. However, companies that want to hire young, brilliant, talented professionals are going to have to change, too. Some of them are realizing that faster than others.
The change in the career climate has also created an amazing opportunity for new skills, new job titles, and the opportunity to flex your creative muscles in finding the career, and the life, that you want.
If you need some help getting clear on what that job is and what that career path might look like – let’s chat.