Last week we discussed the topic of job hopping—voluntary, lateral career movement characterized by multiple jobs in a short period of time. And we touched on the negative consequences (financial and career-related) associated with job hopping.
If your recent work history has been marked by restlessness, disinterest and lack of fulfillment, leading to several job changes in a short period of time, consider the following alternatives to job hopping.
Temping as a Career Choice
Increased hiring around the San Francisco Bay Area has created a demand for workers. Openings are filled quickly and new ones are posted regularly. This is true not only for full-time, “permanent” positions, but also for contract and temporary jobs. Instead of beginning another new position, only to see your interest and engagement wane, consider targeting temporary and contract work as your first choice.
Staffing agencies and recruiters are excellent resources to help you find fixed term-work. Assignments can range in length from two weeks up to 12 months. Your next assignment may be covering for an employee on medical leave, or it may be at a company that needs extra help during a major product launch. When working with a recruiter, indicate your preferred assignment length: “Please look for positions that are at least three months long.” Or simply say, “Run jobs by me,” in which the recruiter(s) will contact you for any position for which you are qualified. This is a great way to find out about opportunities you may not have considered for yourself.
Working as a contract or temporary employee offers many advantages. You be exposed to the inner workings of Silicon Valley companies of different sizes, gaining experience in multiple industries. You may also learn new software skills and processes for working more effectively and efficiently. In between assignments you will have time for travel and personal projects.
Finally, a successful temporary position may lead to a job opportunity at the company where you have been assigned. Be open to the possibilities!
In the 21st century, freelancing is increasingly common—both as an alternative to traditional employment, as well as to supplement regular income. Popular sites including Elance and oDesk allow clients and freelancers to work together across time zones and geographic boundaries.
If you have a talent that is currently underutilized at your job, consider seeking freelance opportunities to utilize this gift and earn income. Even a few hours a week doing what you do best can dramatically improve your satisfaction level with work and life. It’s also possible that your success as a freelancer will expand until it becomes your primary source of income!
Reflect and Explore
If you are still struggling to find meaningful work that sustains and fulfills you, dig deeper to achieve greater self-understanding. Here are three resources to get you started:
- Fish! by Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul and John Christensen. A short and insightful read into making a positive experience out of any work situation.
- What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson. Real-life stories of people who pursued traditional and non-traditional employment in search of their true calling.
- TED Talk by Dan Ariely: “What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?” A video lecture that investigates motivations and what gives work meaning.
The End of Job Hopping?
For additional input and guidance regarding job hopping and how to avoid it, contact the recruiting staff at Menlo Partners.
The talent acquisition team at Menlo Partners Staffing is happy to answer your questions about recruiting, temporary staffing, and workforce management. Contact our office today, Menlo Partners Staffing, a Redwood City based temp agency at (650)752-6193.