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13 Epic Techniques To Job Hop Like A Pro

13 Epic Techniques To Job Hop Like A Pro

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

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