I get it. You see that I’ve had several jobs within a short time and think I obviously must be a job hopper. The thing is, the job hopper label usually defines a person that is flaky, unstable, directionless and an impetuous decision maker. While I recognize that on the surface my unconventional background may give that impression, I’m one of the most reliable, responsible and stable people you may ever meet. With an analytical mindset, I’m known to be quite prudent and logical when evaluating choices and truly weigh matters of consequence thoroughly before making a move. Regardless of how long I worked with or for someone, I’ve been repeatedly admired for my integrity, hardcore work-ethic and perseverance to get the job done the right way. In other words, the type of person that demonstrates dedication, personal accountability and always follows through on commitments.
My expectation with each job I’ve held was for it to be long-term
I realize that may seem like a far-fetched claim if examining the short tenure of some of my positions. While I don’t believe there is any such thing as job security, it would never occur to me to take a position without fully committing to it (and vice-versa) for the foreseeable future. Because it was a while ago and most of the work there was unrelated to my more recent path, I don’t show the full length on my resume or LinkedIn profile from earlier in my career that I spent a VERY long time at the same company. Ironically, that was the one place that I didn’t expect to stay so long. All others since then (even the shortest jobs held) I actually did plan to plant roots and stick around indefinitely. And, I still feel the same about any next company I may join.
There are no skeletons in my closets
I know you must do your due diligence and probe for flaws in my career history. You dig and delve into each and every job change decision I’ve ever made with the expectation that a “gotcha” moment of scandal will appear. Sorry to disappoint, but there really isn’t anything too titillating about any of the moves I’ve made. Of the changes I initiated, most were driven by ambition to learn, quest for broader challenges and desire to continuously grow through exposure to new industries, environments and experiences. Primarily, I’ve always had high performance standards for myself and sought ways to continuously improve and add value to my employers. Stagnation and settling for the status quo is not my style. Each voluntary departure followed careful analysis to ensure valid and justifiable rationale for that step at that time. The changes initiated by others essentially boil down to “being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Boring stuff like budget cuts, consolidation of roles and reductions in force (RIFs). That’s all. I promise no skeletons whatsoever. While that might sound like a breezy description, I’m always willing to elaborate on specific situational details and add color commentary in the appropriate context.
I have no intention to bolt from my next job at the first chance I get
Naturally, when you see a profile of someone with shorter stints at their jobs, you worry that they are a flight risk. That is understandable. And, you absolutely should consider all factors when evaluating any candidates for hire. However, it is a myth that past actions always predict future patterns. In fact research has shown minimal relationship between prior work history and tenure on future jobs. So rest assured, I’m not planning my exit the minute I earn my first paycheck. Nope. But, because I have first-hand experience with job loss, it’s an automatic reflex that I keep my eyes and ears wide open. You see, this isn’t to be impulsive or disloyal, it is about being a practical and proactive career planner. Along with continuously developing my capacity to contribute at any current employer, I feel obligated to remain alert to the fact that uncertainty is reality.
My request for you
If you encounter me (or someone like me) as an applicant for a job at your company, there’s a few things I’d like you to consider. First, please don’t immediately judge or label me as a job hopper and place me in the NO WAY pile. Second, please try to imagine the best possible reasons that a person might make a job change (or several) versus viewing them as not worth the investment. Third, please keep in mind that sometimes bad things happen to good people through no fault of their own. Next, if you are still skeptical, please briefly set your opinions aside and keep an open mind while you evaluate my knowledge, skills and abilities with as much objectivity that you would want someone to provide to you in that situation. Finally, please do check my references – as many of them as you like! Aside from building a more diverse and expansive set of competencies than I may have otherwise had, another outcome of multiple jobs is gaining a larger pool of people that relish the chance to endorse, praise, recommend and refer me. I welcome you to find out why.