As a recruiter, I see the geneses of job dissatisfaction and turnover. You start a job with hopes of being there forever, or at least 10 years, and within a year or two you are back looking at the job market. While the internet has made it easier to search for and find a new job, it also has been responsible for decreasing retention. In the past, before internet and services like Indeed and Zip Recruiter, people had to network using referrals, resumes mailed or faxed to employers or recruiters who advertised in magazines, newspapers, trade publications, or through word of mouth.
Enter the connected age. While Monster.com may have been the first internet job mega site, subsequent additions of Zip Recruiter, Indeed, Glass Door, and Career Builder have made job searching as easy as pulling up a channel guide on your television. You can set automated searches, search for jobs or locations, and compare compensation with a click of your mouse. While this is a leap forward for job seekers, it is also having a darker side.
Every job has its ups and downs, and emotions can go from loving your job to hating your employer in a few seconds, or over time. The solution was to stick it out or start looking for a job. In the past, looking could take weeks or months, which sometimes gave you enough space to realize the problems that had you in tears last week didn’t seem to be that big of a deal today. You could have had a bad day, or your boss could have. Over time, you may have gotten over the problem or maybe your boss was replaced. The key element for resolving many issues was time. Time to think, time to see more good days, and time to let problems work themselves out.
With today’s point and click job applications, many people don’t take time. If the opportunity looks great and your day sucked– click, you have applied. After all, your resume is stored in the website and applying takes one mouse click, maybe two. Now the ball is rolling. Depending upon the number of applications you made, there may be 1–10 or more people now wanting to talk to you and talk you into their opportunity. But tomorrow you may regret it, as your boss may walk in and ask why you are looking.
If you thought that your job search would be a secret, think again. In the past, your boss might walk in with a copy of your resume that he got from a person you sent it to. Now that the internet is the medium, it’s a two-way street. Bosses can set an automated search on Zip Recruiter without placing an ad, which will alert them to the first name, last name initial, and current place of employment of candidates interested in jobs that match their keywords. Now your job may have gotten more uncomfortable even if you don’t leave.
My message is that, if you are looking to find a reason to change jobs and always looking for that perfect job, you may be missing the best opportunity, the one you have. While changing may be the right thing to do, it may also be jumping into another fire, trading the devil you know for the devil you don’t. The normal ups and downs of any job usually sort themselves out over time, sometimes requiring effort, sometimes just having a little patience. But if you are always job surfing, you will eventually convince yourself that you need to change. Hop, hop, hop…