Job Hopping (was Re: Certification--a new concept. Discuss)

Subject: Job Hopping (was Re: Certification--a new concept. Discuss)
From: "T.W. Smith" <techwordsmith -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2005 14:59:26 -0400


Job hopping.

I, too, have been asked "why so many jobs." I like the way you thought
to turn it around, "what do you do to keep talent here."

I have previously said, "ell, through the many jobs I've been exposed
to more aspects of my profession and more technologies to document
than I would have were I to have been at one company. In addition, one
company was bought, sold, merged, with resulting layoffs and I left
before the third round of those, and another company shrank and
relocated its offices from here to the Midwest, etc." And those things
are truthful. I would love to have a career at just one place.

But, there are other truths. Many--most in my experience--don't try to
keep you.

One company enticed me with promises of being family friendly,
offering flex-time, work-from-home connections, and inclusive, with
opportunities to spread my wings, with only occasional overtime needed
at the close of projects, only to find out you were expected to work
60 hours a week all the time, even if you had nothing to work on you
were expected to do that extra unpaid 20 as face time, one quote in
email from my boss, a VP, was: "I fully support flex time before 8 and
after 5," and another, "work from home is encouraged on the weekends."
If a project was on time, it was my experience that target dates were
moved closer so people had to work more to meet the new deadline.
Seriously, I am actually not exaggerating.

And, there's the issue of pay. In an era when companies like Adobe and
GM outsource to reduce costs, prices seem not to be getting lower. The
only way I have found to get a reasonable pay raise, say above 2.5%,
is to get a new job and the pay raise is built in to the new salary.
For, you work hard for a company but the funds available for raises
are split across an entire department. Some manager has one pool of
money to raise the salaries of tech writers, programmers, engineers;
some do better than others, but very few, if anyone, outsrips the
increase in costs of heating oil, gas, cigarettes, etc. So, while
Petroleum companies are making record profits, while prices are going
up, salaries are not keeping up and that 2.5% raise becomes a pay

And so it goes.

Why do I have so many jobs, well, such a question really does ignore
what companies are and are not doing to keep their employees, doesn't

On 7/29/05, David Locke <dave480000 -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> I had an interview a few weeks ago. The first question was why I had so many
> jobs. I didn't feel like I could construct a win-win around the question.
> Actually, the first question was "You don't say much." This after the
> interviewer failed to establish raport.
> A few days later I found myself reading an HR book. It talked about traits
> and trait-based questions like the ones I was asked.
> As for the job hopping being a trait-based question, it boils down to
> trait-based questions not being an indicator of future performance. Instead,
> the are indicators of the organization. So now I know how to answer that
> question, turn it around and ask them what they would do to keep you from
> feeling you had to leave, or from laying you off, or....
> The only other thing to add is that statistic that says 83% of the people
> who leave jobs leave over conflicts with their boss. Why is it these same
> bosses ask their prospective employees about this.
> I would have been happier if the hiring manager upon finding that she would
> classify me as a job hopper just threw my resume in the trash. Instead, it
> cost me $250+ to go talk to someone who was never going to hire me. This
> required diving 140 miles.
> David Locke
> "T.W. Smith" <techwordsmith -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Is it job hopping? Or is it employers who are uninterested in
> retention of employees and don't care about retraining new guys? I
> mean, do technical writers job hop because they want to job hop, or is
> job hopping a result of business practices?



Remember, this is online. Take everything with a mine of salt and a grin.


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