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Changing jobs too often

Marc Wentink
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Joined: May 18, 2007
Posts: 142
How bad does it look on your CV if you change jobs within a year? What would be the reaction of a future employer if you had 3 jobs in 4 years?

I have work experience since 1994. From 1994 until 1999 I had my first job. Then from janunari 1999 until october 2001 my second. Then from 2001 until 2005 my third.

Then it goes wrong. From 2005 until 2006 a job which I left for a salary conflict (I did not like to have a lease car, rather just had more money). But from 2006 until 2007 I had a job I did not like and left diplomatically but it was clear the employer was not totally satisfied about me, and I just hated it there. (I did pass SCJP in that year, so that was the only positive thing.) Now I have a nice job, but the only thing is, it's just for 36 hours. That's 10% less then the normal hours in the Netherlands, hence it also pays 10% less.

I am trying to change my contract to 40 hours. People are happy with me here. But if that might not succeed, I might think of finishing my project in a good manner, and find something else, more hours, more cash. I am single dad of a teenage girl. I really need the money.

Hence if I might do that, I do have 3 jobs in the last 3 and a half year. And I am 43 already. So, do you think that would be a problem?
[ August 07, 2008: Message edited by: Marc Wentink ]

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arulk pillai
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Joined: May 31, 2007
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It can be looked unfavourably unless those assignements are contract based. Also depends on the market conditions. When there is a demand for quality developers, it can be overlooked by some.


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Sunit Gupta
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Joined: Jul 21, 2008
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Originally posted by arulk pillai:
It can be looked unfavorably unless those assignments are contract based. Also depends on the market conditions. When there is a demand for quality developers, it can be overlooked by some.


Agree with this. In contract positions it should not be a problem, and even in permanent positions, you can always justify the changes saying that they were forced and not intentional. I believe after 14 yrs of experience, it should not be too big a concern.

However do choose your next assignment carefully where you can stay put for 2-3 yrs.
Ulf Dittmer
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Joined: Mar 22, 2005
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  27
There was an extensive discussion on this in Switching job in less than 2 months?.


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Marc Wentink
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Joined: May 18, 2007
Posts: 142
Ok. I can see that having more then 3 jobs in 5 years looks bad. I think I'll try to finish the project here in good terms. Then at the moment this project is finished, and I cannot work 40 hours, I can suggest my present employer too leave as my job is done.

The thing is also, I have run into extra expenses I had not forseen at the moment I took this job. My employer know about them. Things like increased alimony and stuff I will not eleborate about. Since he knows my situation, if there are no possibilities to work more hours here, he can explain as a reference that I am not leaving his company because I have not been a good employee or something.

But I still feel lousy having more then 3 jobs in 5 years, though.

Henry Wong
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
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  39

IMO, I think, instead of looking to see if changing jobs is an issue, I think you should look into why you took the jobs in the first place.

Didn't you know that the job was for 36 houts per week, and at a certain compensation? Didn't you know that compensation included a leased car? Did these positions changed the compensation, when you started? Or are these cases of renegotiating your salary after you accepted?

Henry


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Marc Wentink
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Like I have written already my expenses are changed in a way I could not have forseen.
Henry Wong
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  39

Originally posted by Marc Wentink:
Like I have written already my expenses are changed in a way I could not have forseen.



I know that you probably don't want to hear this, so feel free to ignore. The relationship between you and your employer is a professional one. And there are lines that should not be crossed.

Renegotiating your salary when you just started is not professional. Letting your "change of expenses" leak into your work environment is not professional. And based on how your status went bad with one of your jobs, I am guessing that you also let it affect the quality of your work too.


Regardless, to answer your question... considering that you probably have crossed many lines already, IMHO, I don't think that "changing jobs too often" is a major problem. You probably have larger problems with your work reputation than simply that you changed jobs too often.

IOWs, if you need to find another job, I say go for it. But worry less about changing jobs too often, and worry more about leaving the reputation at your previous job in a somewhat good state. It sounds like you have been leaving a trail of "drama" behind you.

Sorry for being so blunt,
Henry
Michael Ernest
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

I do agree with Henry that maintaining a professional relationship is extremely important, and making sure that the terms you agreed to with your employer are respect is what makes your credibility what it is.

That said, sometimes your circumstances do change. It's when a pattern emerges that you have to start looking more closely at what's happening to you.

I have one friend whose ex takes her court every time she gets a pay raise, pleading personal indigence and effectively milking her at every turn of good fortune coming her way. I've asked her to stop telling me about it until she starts respecting herself well enough to fight back. At which point she hated my guts as yet another insensitive man in a world chock full of them, but she did it.

I have another friend whose "frequently changing circumstances" proved to be trouble with the IRS. He'd managed to stay ahead of tax collection by switching employers often enough that the IRS' garnishments and lien notices arrived a bit after his last paycheck was cut.

Much more of the time, it's a matter of failing to appreciate the demands one has and therefore failing to account for them. In my experience as an employer, no one has needed less money than they make. There are simply people who make do with the deals they strike, those who worry they left money on the table, and a rather select few for whom changing circumstances means they need more money, and so the easiest solution is to try and get more from their established sources.

My first job in this profession lasted 14 months. The next one lasted 10 months. Then three years, then about a year. I've also held a full-time job for two months. In quite recent times I cut short a year-long contract to seven months. It's truly stressful to run like that, but if you don't like what you're doing or can't tolerate the system or people you work for, you move on. In each case, I've justified my departures on terms I thought were quite reasonable: "My job responsibilities kept expanding, my opportunities for promotion or to increase my salary didn't keep or never got closer than six months away. I would love to exceed the expectations of my next employer. I would also love it if my employer would exceed my expectations, but I would certainly be happy if my next employer simply met them."

I don't know how much this helps, but I hope the idea is clear. If you want more, what are you bringing to the table to justify it? A suddenly greater personal need isn't likely to cut it.


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fred rosenberger
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
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  12

Originally posted by Marc Wentink:
How bad does it look on your CV if you change jobs within a year? What would be the reaction of a future employer if you had 3 jobs in 4 years?
[ August 07, 2008: Message edited by: Marc Wentink ]


If I were the employer, I would think long and hard before hiring someone with this track record - unless he/she was an independent contractor. Why would I hire someone who by all indications is going to leave me in a year or two? I personally would lean towards someone who shows they will be around for a while.

If the market is strong in your area, you might get away with it a few times, but it WILL catch up to you at some point.


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frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Sunit Gupta:


Agree with this. In contract positions it should not be a problem,...


Have your next job be a contract position and then while interviewing for the next non-contract job it will often be assumed that all or most of your prior jobs were contract jobs. I've seen people make that assumption lots of times.
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Joined: May 26, 2003
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140

Another option is to do work on the side (evenings/weekends) to earn more money. Such as creating websites for people. That gives you more $ without having to leave your current job.


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arulk pillai
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Choose your jobs carefully so that you can grow within the company and establish a good rapport. Also build a good rapport with your past employers and fellow professionals.
Marc Wentink
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Joined: May 18, 2007
Posts: 142
Michael Ernest wrote:I do agree with Henry that maintaining a professional relationship is extremely important, and making sure that the terms you agreed to with your employer are respect is what makes your credibility what it is..


Ah well, the solution was very unexpected perhaps. I now already have an extra job at the TNT mail service on Saturday for a year, and I am still with the same employer. It pays crap being a postbode, but I just think I combine exercise (walking) with an extra buck, that is sufficient to pay my mortgage..
 
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