Recently, I was talking to someone about job-hopping, which I wrote about the other day. Some people job hop to raise their salaries, which some might think ignoble. I don´t think so; I think in many industries, such as publishing, that is the only way to make more money. On the other hand, if you jump around too much, no matter how big an increase in salary, someone, somewhere sitting across that interview desk is going to want to know why and you better have a good answer.
I was talking to someone recently, a seasoned someone who´s been in the workforce for many years and has actually stayed with the same company for nearly 21 years. He was telling me about a colleague whose stepdaughter is in her fourth job as a lawyer. She just can´t seem to find happiness in her work. I don´t think she´s even 30. I´m not suggesting that one stays put merely to put in the time. Some jobs really do feel like a prison sentence, but in many cases you need to find your happiness, because as much as we´d like it to happen, that happiness, especially on the job, isn´t going to find you.
I wonder, though, if it´s incumbent upon an employer to take some responsibility. People, especially those just entering the workforce, need to be not just patient but strategic in their outlook. Again, I´m not recommending that someone stay in a job just for the sake of staying. Well, hmm, maybe I am. Sometimes you need to show a little history somewhere just so you can demonstrate an ability to stick to something. On the other hand, if you are going to leave an employer after a relatively short time, then you need to have a plan. But getting back to the employer-it´s true that companies must do certain things and have certain programs in place to retain their star employees, but these firms must also show their people how to find happiness on their own. That means not giving up so fast when a job looks bleak or learning how to stand up for yourself (in a smart and strategic way of course) instead of backing down before a bully colleague or boss. But all of that takes practice and maybe you´ve got some colleagues down the hall who have a word or two about developing a layer of thick skin or honing your language skills so that you can "talk a bully down," letting him or her know that you´re not going to be affected (read: intimidated) by his or her actions.
I know it´s not as easy as it sounds. In most cases, it takes years really to develop your own strong voice in a company, but very often we don´t have that much time. So what do you do? Sometimes, for better or worse, you need to fake it. That´s right; do the "act as if" routine and make believe you´re stronger than you might be at that particular moment when someone or something is causing dissatisfaction at work. In fact, that should be part of your strategy for sticking it out somewhere so that you don´t begin the process of job-hopping. Again, I´m not suggesting that people make themselves miserable by staying in a job they hate. Been there, done that. But before you hop to another job (that could very well be worse than what you have now) consider ways that could make your stay more bearable and even fruitful