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Millennials Job-Hopping: Good Reasons to Stay at Your Job for Longer Than One Year

Millennials have caused many trends to become popular over the last 10 years – including changing jobs
often without remorse, or “job-hopping.”

In July 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living adult population and made up more than one-third of the U.S. workforce. However, the most re-occurring topic about the rise of millennials and their arrival into workplaces across the country is that they do not stay around for long once hired before moving on to greener pastures at a different company. Per a 2012 Forbes report, “Ninety-one percent of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years. That means they would have 15 – 20 jobs over the course of their working lives!”

Millennials have also answered to study after study about their willingness to “switch jobs within a year.” In its “Millennials: The Job-Hopping Generation” report, Gallup found six in 10 millennials were open to new job opportunities, while millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually.

On the flip side, more recent reports have explored reasons why millennials choose to leave (not getting promoted, not feeling engaged at work, taking jobs that are the wrong fit, etc.) and reasons they would stay (long-term job security, flexible work hours, companies that emphasize personal growth, etc.).

This 2021 CNBC report also goes on the contrary by proclaiming that millennials and Generation Z are not job-hopping enough.

As a millennial, I too have been on the move since starting my career almost six years ago. Currently, I work for the Detroit Regional Chamber in downtown Detroit. My first mission was switching from broadcast news to the marketing communications field. After accomplishing that I decided to focus on landing a job with a company I’d be content with for a period of time. Fortunately, it happened for me, but that’s not to say it’s a one-size fit for all. While I enjoy my current employer’s positive culture and teamwork, I still witness new co-workers my age or younger come and go after six months to one year.

This has caused me to reflect on reasons why I’ve chosen to resist a job search, instead choosing to stay put and celebrate my one-year anniversary, which turned into a two-year, and will likely lead to a third. Staying is a conscious decision I made several times since being hired by my current employer. As it turns out, it has been about professional and personal growth for me, as well as rising to new challenges.

Here’s four good reasons I’ve decided to remain with my current employer and how it has shaped me for the better.

Taking time to pick up new skills and perfect my knowledge
Several studies found millennial job-hopping can be attributed to a desire to pick up new skills through experiences with different companies. But how much can one learn during a six-month to one-year tenure? And what is the quality of your knowledge or skill set? For me, I have acquired new skills while with my current employer. But I’ve found that by remaining in my role, I’ve had time and opportunity to use my new skills under changing circumstances, in turning adding to and perfecting my knowledge.

Evolving in my role to become a more recognized asset
As the saying goes, “nothing stays the same.” When I was hired by current employer in late 2018, my job was to focus on improving one thing. But after my first six months to a year, I was on a trajectory towards evolving in my role because I had done well with exceeding management’s initial expectations. My skill set and better understanding of my employer has led me to gain work opportunities that changes up my focus, fits my interests, and allows me to generate good results on higher-level projects.

Learning how to address work-related challenges (rather than running away)
Do you want something about your job to change or improve? Maybe you are seeking a new challenge, anew project, and more recognition for your work. While with my current employer, I’ve wanted to evolve my role to better utilize my skill set. I had two options: Find my “dream job” at a different company or stay with my current employer and advocate for myself by speaking up. Always do what is best for you. And keep in mind that running away from issues or problems is a decision, not a solution.

Seeing what my company has to offer me next
If I had resigned from my current employer after reaching my one-year anniversary, I would have missed out on the promotion I earned a year and half into my tenure. Patience and a willingness to have dedication worked for me. I believe if I landed a new position elsewhere, the role would be similar to my promotion – but without the accomplishments, reputation, and recognition I’ve earned so far.

Alicia McClendon of Let’s Detroit

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