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Think Before You Jump

CHANGING jobs regularly, completing short employment stretches, known as ‘job jumping,’ can harm your long-term prospects, especially if you move between different industries. You will send a signal to potential employers that you are not settled in any particular chosen job or career.

As human resource managers review your curriculum vitae, they will easily locate any pattern that causes them to show concern about your long-term viability within their organisation. Hiring an individual is an expensive process and is a potential waste of money when the new employee moves on to a new position with another business after just a few months.

Many candidates fail to realise that jumping between jobs regularly causes such a problem when they prepare their CV.

Equally, employers do realise that many individuals wish to experiment with a range of different careers and in many ways this can be a very good move. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that employers prefer candidates who have specialities in their field and a proven track record.

In the ideal world, every job you take should be part of a long-term career path and milestone to accomplishing your career goals.

There are many reasons why you may have changed jobs in the past, from redundancy to having to work to make a living to keep you and your family. Sometimes it is impossible to choose the job when it is the only job available to you.

The key to overcoming the job jumping picture in your CV is to emphasise the key accomplishments you have achieved when you held those positions. Being able to identify the positives can clearly help your new employer see beyond the difficulties in your CV.

You may be able to identify that you are a fast learner, perhaps a high achiever, or maybe show how you have adapted quickly in each position. Where you have built great relationships with co-workers and achieved high levels of team success you will quickly boost your CV and help the human resources department look beyond the problems.

By showing a future employer why you had to change jobs, it may be easier for them to look at your positive points and put the negative issues aside. Some jobs are for a short set period of time, like Christmas work. In other circumstances you may have travelled overseas to gain other experiences. For individuals on a maternity break between jobs, it is easier to explain away any gaps in your CV. As you emphasise your skills and highlight your achievements, changing jobs gives you the chance to explain why you wish to settle into a role over the long term.

Should you have a lot of jobs on your current CV, it is time to stop and reflect and decide which actions to take that can push you forward. A mixture of positions and industries may have been the culmination of some terrible luck, redundancy or just wonderful opportunities. Thinking forward, where you are quick to move from one position to another, you should analyse why these changes have occurred. When you can reflect upon the reasons behind your previous employment record, it will become easier to progress your career in the future.

Samuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to srosenberg@axcelfinance.com

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