The education system lied to us.
We were promised that if we went to school, worked hard, and earned a college degree, an excellent job would be the reward of our efforts. As many of us have found out, though, that’s far from the truth. Fulfilling, well-paying careers are few and far between these days. In fact, unless you attended a top school, it’s challenging to find a good job at all after college.
It gets worse: College graduates are left out to dry with an average college debt of $35,000. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 7 in 10 Americans across generations say that Millennials face tougher economic challenges than previous generations did at the same age.
Many of us don’t have a choice but to job hop because, frankly, we’re flat broke and we need to get paid more. Moreover, not all of us know what we want to do when we graduate. By working different jobs, we can find our passion sooner. And even better, by finding a position at a new company you can make 10%-20% more than you do at your current job.
It happened to me. I landed in jobs where I was stuck – no room for growth, negative coworkers, and work I wasn’t interested in. I jumped around eight times in three years looking for a company that fit. Now I get paid much more, have the best coworkers, and I wake up excited to see my boss.
It wasn’t always easy to job hop. But through honing my skills, I continued landing jobs using these 13 epic techniques:
1. Don’t quit before you find another job
Sounds like common sense, right? I’m surprised at how many people don’t follow this advice. The job searching process has many ups and downs. You might get swamped with interview requests one month, and then not hear back from anyone for the next two. Don’t trick yourself into thinking there will opportunities waiting for you once you’ve left your job. Nail down a new position before leaving your current one.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve saved; you’ll find that it disappears quickly when you’re not making any.
2. Create a standout online portfolio
Having a great portfolio that exemplifies your expertise in a particular field can do wonders. Job titles can often undermine the work you’ve accomplished, so it’s important to have another channel besides a resume where employers can see your actual worth.
I suggest a simple WordPress theme or Squarespace to get your portfolio up without having to write a single line of code. Also, make sure to link to your portfolio in your email signature, on LinkedIn, Facebook, and your other social media sites, and especially at the top of your resume.
3. Expert job hoppers walk in with value propositions
This easiest way to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of resumes collecting dust on an employer’s desk is to create a value proposition. Research the top companies you want to work for and write three to thirteen pages of how you can improve the company immediately.
Now, walk into the company on a slow day, preferably a Thursday or Friday afternoon, and hand your value proposition to whoever has the most leverage in getting you a job. Four of the jobs I landed resulted from creating value propositions and walking into a company to hand it to someone of authority.
4. Act surprised when they call you a job hopper
If someone calls you a job hopper, don’t start defending yourself. The worst thing you can do is act like you’ve heard the accusation before. So, take it with a grain of salt and move on. The more you linger on the topic of job hopping, the deeper the hole you’re digging for yourself.
If the employer persists on the topic, then subvert their accusation of job hopping into how you created huge value for each company in such a short period.
5. Outsource company leads
If you’re spending countless hours searching for businesses to submit applications to, stop. Use an outsourcing site like Upwork or Elance to gather the contact info of all the companies you should apply to.
Sometimes a simple Google search of the top companies in your favored industries will yield you countless results you can forward to your freelancer. Keep in mind that if you spend too much time looking for a job, you’ll lose some of the most valuable skills you’ve worked hard to maintain.
6. Tell employers you’re looking for more growth
If your interviewer asks you why you change jobs so frequently, then be honest and tell them that you’re in search of more growth. Stay clear and concise with your message that you’re ambitious, learn incredibly fast, and always exceed expectations. If they don’t respect what you have to say, then you shouldn’t work there.
7. Complete projects worthy of showcasing
Job hoppers can’t depend on a resume to speak for them. They need projects that garner attention – from Kickstarter campaigns to organizing an industry event.
Any time you put yourself in the position of accomplishing something big, chances are you will meet people in your industry who can make career moves for you. These people are unlikely to dig into your job history because they’ve seen what you can accomplish first-hand.
8. Focus on making great friends
Staying connected with others will give you inside access to tons of unseen opportunities. These will allow you move around within an industry without the extra hassle of breaking into a new career. The quicker you can move into new positions, the easier it will be to job hop.
9. Start working at companies part-time
An excellent way to get your foot in the door at a company as a job hopper is by asking for part-time employment. This strategy eliminates all the risk that employers take on by giving you a salaried position. By quickly establishing deeper relationships with your coworkers and showing that you’re worth a salary, you’ll most likely move up to full-time work quickly.
10. Guest post on well-known niche publications
A great way to establish credibility is to go to the source – industry publications. If you can position yourself as someone who has enough authority to write for these news sources, then employers are more likely to skip over the job hopping stigma during interviews.
11. Look for companies with a long-term vision
In a fast-paced technological world, companies are failing to compete with giants such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google. It’s important to find a company that’s willing to take a huge risk on a long-term vision, and not just focused on monthly sales.
With so many companies going out of date mere months after turning a profit, you’ll continue to job hop until you find one that’s looking to revolutionize an industry. The truth is that in today’s competitive landscape, there’s more risk in not taking risks.
12. Don’t tie yourself down to a particular location or industry
As a job hopper, it’s important to explore all of your options. Giving up the search for a new job because you can’t find one in a certain city or industry will not help you move forward. Keep your options open, because you never know where the most appealing work will come from.
Moreover, life is about jumping into new experiences. The more you limit yourself, the less potential you have to further your career.
13. Stay persistent
The quickest way to fail at job hopping is to simply give up. Every moment counts, whether it’s an hour, a day, or even a week. When you let discouragement get the best of you, your chances of landing job shrink dramatically. Persistence is always your strongest ally in times of uncertainty.
Think you’re ready to start job hopping?