Career risk-takers are becoming more frequent, forcing a different perspective on job prospects.
The recent Covid-19 pandemic urged many individuals to make drastic changes to their working lifestyle or forgo their jobs altogether. In the past, job hopping negatively impacted first impressions in making one appear as though their career journey was unstable.
However, millennials and gen-z are ridden with choice regarding career prospects, allowing people from these generations to actualise their dream occupations, no matter how they get there. Joining job instability that came with Covid-19 alongside a general change supporting job hopping, is a workplace trend expected to increase in the next coming years. But it will not carry its traditional negative stigma with it.
Can millennials and gen-z take all the credit?
The criteria that qualify as job hopping is leaving an in-office or remote job, typically less than a year of employment. The negative connotation that ensued was that someone who job hopped couldn’t land a job long enough to gather valuable experience. It fears employers and hiring managers when they notice an individual’s CV includes a long but short employment history, because they assume that a prospective employee will continue their pattern of short stays and waste their time as an organisation.
Although the above illustrates worthy concerns, such assumptions are not necessarily generalisable to millennials and gen-z. In a report conducted by IBM (2021) one in five employees voluntarily changed employment, with these two generations making up most of the statistic, though perhaps not for the reasons we’d expect.
In exploring why this was the case, the report showed that many individuals wanted a job they can work from home (a flexible arrangement that boomed in the wake of a pandemic) and jobs they found purposeful to pursue. One in four participants also reported the want for better wellbeing support and increased salary compensation. Reasons such as these shed light on an important organisational consideration: how to retain younger talent and prevent them from moving on so quickly.
Other factors worth noting are that younger generations are more likely to take risks than older generations when it comes to career prospects. Some employees are still uncertain of what they want to do for a career and are searching for the right fit that aligns their values and wants in a job. It may be premature to blame changes in job hopping trends on millennials and gen-z, for the simple reason that they are representative of the younger generation for today’s workplace trends.
It’s time to invest in upskilling and employee wellbeing
Whilst it is true that the want for increased salaries amidst today’s workers are not unheard of, compensation is not enough to retain young talent. These employees are knowledgeable about the negative impact’s organisations can have on their health and wellbeing, further understanding the necessity in flexible work arrangements. Additionally, the pandemic has highlighted the drastic need for work-life wellness and employer support. Employees are seeking to grow within a company, where learning does not remit as soon as they’re employed.
With the above in mind, advice for employers are as follows:
Listen to the needs and aspirations of your employees: speaking directly with employees and questioning their current needs will help you be proactive as an employer. You will address employee concerns, understand how you can better support them generally, and ask what their long-term goals are. As a manager, you pave the way for an employee’s growth, remaining an important responsibility in retaining great talent.
Construct a workplace culture that prioritises ongoing employee development: nowadays, employees want a career that helps them develop personally and professionally. Organisations that offer training initiatives and other workshops to upskill their workers caters for in-office and remote jobs that actively supports employee skills development.
Establish clear ways to support employees: the pandemic has wrought havoc on many lives, creating personal and financial burdens and heightened mental health instability. Managers and leaders should be empathic to individual circumstances and accommodate employee needs where possible.
Additionally, the pandemic forced the working society to adapt and learn technological software previously ignored due to the prevalence of in-office meetings. Albeit technology has caused widespread concerns and stress due to a digital skills divide, it has also provided learning opportunities that can take place from home through e-learning platforms. These can be used in multiple industries, including for finance, banking, IT jobs in Malta, generating incentives to support and prioritise skills training.
A paradigm shift from long-term employment
An uncertain economy makes for a higher likelihood in job hopping as individuals feel less stable within their current roles. Financial stressors are a leading factor in seeking new employment and will further destigmatise job hopping. Indeed, a once considered bad move from an employer’s perspective is shifting to accommodate and understand employee circumstances.
Further, numerous benefits support the notion of job hopping, including:
Immediate promotion: many individuals leave their current jobs in Malta and abroad in order to receive a higher pay or title.
Experience in diverse industries: employers are beginning to appreciate an employee’s choice to learn novel skill sets in different industries as they learn the operations of multiple workplaces and grow more knowledgeable about businesses generally.
Increased social capital: working in diverse industries means a greater social network as employees meet and work with many individuals. This is especially useful when it comes to recommending clients and other resources.
Job security: ironically, job hopping assists in job security as there are more chances of continuous employment and career development. Further, a greater social network will support additional opportunities in a wide array of industries such as banking, finance, and IT jobs.
Greater workplace exposure helps job hoppers successfully find employment that is the right fit for them. In diversifying your experience, you will not only learn what your wishes are in a career, but also know when you’ve found a job you’re prepared to settle for.
The trending shift toward short-term employment attests to the differences in career priorities between generations. Technological advances have created widespread opportunities for younger generations to even choose between what country they’d prefer to work in or work a remote job altogether. There is also an increase in gig workers, leaving further opportunities to expand their social network through a freelance economy.
The role of job hopping today
Job hopping is certainly considered the workplace norm, and employer’s waiting for a long-term, loyal employee might lose against organisations willing to hire at a sooner rate. That being said, understanding why younger generations job hop can be used to retain talent by adhering to their needs. Supporting fair salary compensation, room for career development, and a positive workplace culture are all means to increase the likelihood of employee retention.
For those companies willing to hire job hoppers, you will actually find certain benefits that support your organisation. This is because due to diverse experiences, these employees will bring a certain level of quality to enrich current workplace practices. They will be exposed to multiple business situations and will be able to provide solutions and flexible arrangements that contribute to the success of your company. Whatever the perspective, keeping an open mind to workplace trends and changes will foster positive employment that will be the right fit for both employer and employee.
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