Why Every 20-Something Should Start Job Hopping

millennials are job hopping, so what
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Written by: Greg Rollett | October 05

I have a friend. You probably do too. One day they’re working as a sales rep for an up-and-coming local company and the next they’re at a corporate sales training for another business.

You know them. The 20-something job hopper.

Employers hate them (us).

The media loves to talk about them (us) in a negative light. 

But why?

Let’s look at LeBron James. Great example. Left Cleveland the first time for a better opportunity. Cleveland fans can debate this and hate on this all day long. But Miami was a better job for King James at the time.

Is LeBron leaving Miami any different than our friend who swapped jobs for better pay, a better mentor or team leader and access to bigger and more clients they can leverage?

Let’s Look At What Happened To LeBron When He Job Hopped To Miami

  • 4 Finals
  • 2 Championships
  • MVP Awards

He played for arguably one of the top management teams in the league (Pat Riley), got mentored and became a better player.

Yes, “The Decision” stung, and was tacky, but we got over it — quick.

And now that he’s back in Cleveland, hopping jobs again, he is loved for it and brought them back to the finals with an injury riddled and over-performing team.

Let’s take this back down to 20-somethings (which LeBron was during the time of the first decision, he’s still only 30 right now!).

If you have a better opportunity on the table, why should you feel guilty for taking it?

Athletes do it all the time. Better contract. Better coach. Better opportunity to win.

Entrepreneurs do it all the time. Heck, I’m doing it right now. Hitting pause on a growing and profitable marketing agency to create a media company for ambitious 20-somethings.

If you get that same opportunity, you would actually be foolish not to take it.

If your current employer won’t do the things necessary to help you elevate your career, make you better, give you opportunity, mentor you and take you to the championship, you should be looking elsewhere.

Job Hopping Is Not Always About Money

In a video for Chegg.com, Adam Braun, founder of Pencils Of Promise talks about 3 different forms of compensation during your early years at a job, stating…

“…most people choose jobs based on compensation and I don’t think that’s a bad thing but there are actually three distinct forms of compensation, there’s not just one. So, the first one is what we all think of in terms of money, how many dollars in your bank account at the end of your two week payment cycle, and that is important and it’s valuable, but there are actually two others that I would highly encourage any recent graduate to consider.

So, the second one after money is mastery. It’s actually the skills and just pure learning that you will inherit by virtue of you spending time around the people in whatever job you take on as well as the culture of that company.

And then the third one is meaning. So, what is your connection to your broader whole, what is the sense of purpose that you are filled with by virtue of doing this work and how are you improving the lives of others, specifically general societal benefit or individuals that you are able to connect with and touch and impact and so I always tell people, “Think about those three things as three forms of compensation, money, mastery and meaning and early in your career I think the only one that matters is mastery.

Probably the first ten years of your career, invest in whichever position will set you up to learn the most because what that will provide you with is the opportunity to have greater impact on the money side and on the meaning side later. Probably the next ten years of your career, I think money becomes important because most people start having families and then later in your career is when meaning becomes immensely important, so think through all three forms of compensation and invest in mastery early on.”

Why Work For Someone That Won’t Invest In You?

This is what you need to ask yourself when you are thinking of switching jobs. Employers need to understand that it’s not about patting us on the back, but about making sure that busting our ass actually matters.

That we are making some kind of difference from the work we are doing.

That when we wake up early to come into your office, we are making a difference in the world and in our own lives. We don’t want to sit still.

We want to improve. Grow. Change. Make an impact.

And if someone isn’t allowing you to do that, you need to get the hell out now.

Life is too short to be treated like Milton from Office Space.

Your Boss Needs To Do More Than Sign A Paycheck

Intelligence Group suggests that 79% of millennials want their boss to be a mentor.

If your boss shuts the door on you, go find a new one. Job hop all day long.

This isn’t to say that you need a babysitter or someone looking over your shoulder. If you’re that guy, expect the boss to slam the door on you.

Your boss needs to be pushing you. Challenging you. Making you better so you can lead their company.

Look, if they make you a better worker, they make more money. It’s in their best interest.

I know this, because when my team kicks ass, we all win. And yes, I make more money as a business owner. So I actually want my young stars to get better. It’s in my best interest.

If this isn’t the way your boss thinks, grab a box and start packing. Don’t let people (the media, your family, HR, your friends) trick you into staying at the same place for the rest of your life.

This might seem weird, but I still talk to a majority of former employees who I helped to birth writing and marketing careers. That’s awesome, not something I regret teaching them because they up and left. They reached a point where I could no longer stop them from being the great people they were destined to be.

Your Parents Just Don’t Understand

And they never will. Nor will your boss when you send in that 2 week notice.

You shouldn’t care. At this stage you need to be looking out for you.

Heck, no one else is. Colleges sure as hell aren’t. They are making money at your expense and then trying to get you a job at Starbucks.

It’s time we stopped looking at job hopping as something negative.

Let’s start looking at it as leverage.

Every time you interview for a new position, look for the leverage as to where it’s going to take you. Not just with your salary and the fact that you can finally afford that new IKEA couch for your apartment and move up and outta mom’s house, but look at it from the person you are going to become.

You get to choose where you work in this world. Make it friggin count. You can go win some titles like LeBron or you can keep working for that d-bag boss that doesn’t give a shit about you.

The choice is yours.

Greg Rollett is the founder of Ambitious.com and employs a lot of young people. He actually likes them, answers their questions and makes them work, a lot. He also likes to get them a burrito every once in a while. 

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Greg Rollett

Greg is the CEO of Ambitious.com and writes most of his posts while eating burritos for lunch or drinking Mexican beers or island rum outside with his laptop and a pair of Beats headphones over his ears, listening to good ol 2000's hip-hop like Master P or Jay-Z (before Tidal). Follow his ambitious antics on Twitter, @gregrollett

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