In Guest Posts on
January 12, 2017

Why I’m Proud to Be A Job-Hopping Millennial

By Emily Rodgers


“Wow, you’ve done a lot since graduating!” a colleague exclaimed, after I explained how I’d spent the last few years. 


7 jobs in 3 years. 


At a recent interview, (aka applying for my 8th), I was asked why I’d changed jobs so often. Like a rehearsed answer at a call centre, I reeled off my logical reasons for leaving each one. They nodded understandingly, but seemed uncertain. Of course, I see how it could look bad to a potential employer. Or could it?


In a survey conducted by Future Workplace, 91% of millennials expected to stay in their jobs for less than 3 years. I’ve already surpassed that… seven-foldBut my mentality matches that of many millennials, and that is this: 


If I ever lose passion, or motivation behind a job, or if I stop caring, I’ll question it. And if those questions only have negative answers, I’ll start to look for a change. 


Our attention spans, need for instant gratification and craving to make a difference are starting to become more and more apparent in our working life – and I am a living, breathing testament to this.


My mantra has changed from ‘it’s just a job’ to ‘I will not be underappreciated; I will never be a cog in the machine.’


I’m confronted with people every day who have no idea what they’re doing in work or in life


I may be none the wiser, but at least I’m trying to figure it out instead of staying hidden behind a good salary and a free gym membership. I’m exploring what I like and don’t like, and I’m happy to take a pay cut if it means my mental health is in check and I’m staying true to my principles.


I see people that have had the soul sucked out of them because of their jobs. They’re soulless, because they settled. They dread the weekdays and live for the weekends. 


That will not be me. That will never be me. 


I recently turned down the chance to move back to London (I’m currently marooned on the island of Jersey and itching to get back) for a lot (and I mean A LOT) more money than my current salary. Why? Because the company wasn’t right for me – I wouldn’t have known that if it hadn’t spent the last 3 years trying things out. 


Having job-hopped several times, I now want to work for something I actually care about, instead of grabbing anything I can get. It’s no longer about the money. I need fulfillment. 


The 7 jobs I’ve done so far have shown me scope, a myriad of roles, hierarchies, and inspired a list of things I want in my career. While the jobs may have been within similar industries, with not too dissimilar tasks, the responsibilities have upped each time and, little by little, I’m getting to where I need to be.


Yes, I’ve quit too soon, or ended something without realizing how good I’ve had it. But I’ve learnt from that and, in turn, figured out what I want. Each job has come with its own learning curve. Even cleaning toilets and making beds taught me a thing or two. 


My pay grade might have plateaued from time to time, but now the jobs I’m applying for are above it, and employers often comment that I’ve got a wealth and range of experience. Who would have thought?!


I see the articles trying to justify sub-par employment with ‘your job shouldn’t define you. Well, there are two types of people: those who work for money and those who seek to find happiness from their career. If you are the latter then yes, your job should definitely define you. Your job should be what you think your happiness is worth. If it doesn’t, you can’t value your happiness too highly.


A job is like buying a house. I’m investing, but instead of high ceilings and big front garden, I’m investing time in myself. And that’s worth shopping around for.


Oh, but you’re just hard to please,” I hear you cry at the back. Well, yes, and so I should be, and so should you. If you value your work, yourself and what you deserve, then you should want to be as picky and pedantic as possible in striving for your goals.


It’s why so many of us are now freelancing, because we’re putting our dreams into our own hands, so we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves.

And maybe I’ll freelance one day, because I’m sick of blaming companies for not giving me what I need. 


Right now, job-hopping it is, for me and a generation who are changing the future of work. We won’t take any shit


Welcome to employment 2.0. 


Follow Emily on Twitter and check out more of her writing!


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  • Kayla

    I’ve had a super similar experience and wrote a blog post with a similar title:
    Fresh out of college with a BFA in Theater and no interest in acting anymore I was like WTF do I do now. I chased dream job after dream job but soon realized that maybe working for someone else is not the answer. I’m now in grad school with the intention of running my own business and freelancing. Who knows if that’s still where I’ll want to be in 10 years, but I’m going with it for now.

    January 13, 2017 at 3:45 pm Reply
  • Yaya @Randomly Yaya

    I saw the title of this and it totally caught me. While I’ve been blessed to have great opportunities at each company I have worked at, I understand your reasoning for leaving. My suggestion would be to thoroughly interview the interviewer. Ask questions about the job, company culture, what they like best about the company, etc. I am grateful to love what I do and work for decent companies, so I haven’t had to change jobs so often.

    January 13, 2017 at 5:17 pm Reply
  • Kate

    I love this post! Such an inspiration and it’s refreshing to read this completely different perspective than from those who try and encourage the opposite. I think finding the right job for what you want and what fulfills you and makes you passionate about it is something definitely worth striving for and looking around for 🙂


    January 15, 2017 at 1:36 pm Reply
  • Gordon Craig

    What I find interesting with this approach is how different attitudes have become in a couple of generations. My parents’ generation, war babies, expected a career for life. It was the norm for many people to spend their entire lives with one company, indeed not unusual for people to do broadly the same job for the entire working career. It would definitely be frowned upon to switch job more than every few years. Economic expediency, globalisation, automation and the dismantling of traditional manufacturing changed the ball game for my, the baby boomer, generation. We often found that we were forced into career changes, redundencies became common place with employers often showing less concern for the workforce than in previous generations. That change in attitude is I think part of millennials oeuvre, why show concern for an employer when they will drop you at a moments notice. Alongside the reality that as a generation you will be expected to work a far greater length of time than the preceding generations why not spend time finding your niche or travelling the world or both.

    January 16, 2017 at 3:22 pm Reply
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    Great information. Lucky me I recently found your site by chance (stumbleupon).
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    January 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm Reply
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    Good article. I am facing a few of these issues as well..

    February 8, 2017 at 11:12 am Reply
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