This is my 7th job in 10 years. When my mom tells people about what I do for a living she always makes sure to say that I can’t stay in the same place for too long and jump around a lot. That’s hard to argue with, although I was in my last job for five years, which I think is a solid stretch of time. (It was about three years too long, but that’s another story.)
For the most part I’ve changed jobs because I wasn’t entirely into what I was doing and I pursued my idealistic belief that I can make money and do something I enjoy at the same time. The jury is definitely still out on this one because so far, I made the most money at a job I enjoyed second to last, if I think of all the places I’ve worked. I have a friend who works at a hedge fund and makes what we both call silly money (that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars, in case you weren’t familiar with the precise definition of silly money). She doesn’t really like what she does but she doesn’t hate it either — and as she once put it, the money-satisfaction equation works out pretty well for her.
I was reading about a recent survey probing why people change jobs and was happy to see that I am not a total nut — 30% of people who answered said they change jobs to look for new opportunities and challenges. (I was pretty surprised to see that only 21% cited work-life balance as the reason, but perhaps they didn’t survey too many working moms!) I am not sure I would recommend my career path to too many people because it’s been changing jobs frequently is definitely stressful and adds a lot of uncertainty. One thing I can say is that I have learned a lot about what I don’t like to do and what doesn’t work for me — and I figure that’s worth quite a bit.
What about you — what was the reason you left your last job? How many jobs have you had in you working life? Are you someone who prefers to stay in one place for a while or try different things?