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Swiping Right on Your Career: How Job Hoppers Are the Tinder Generation of the Workforce

By Emily Small on 11 July 2019

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Disclaimer: This article is not so much about being “single and ready to mingle” as it is about workforce trends and changes in the Australian Defence Industry. If that’s not what you were expecting, we’re sorry to disappoint, but we think you’ll find it super interesting anyway!

We are living in the “Tinder Generation” of workforces.

It might sound like a strange analogy, but it works. As a society, we have a stronger sense of entitlement and choice than ever before – thanks to the rise of technology, and the sense of instant gratification that comes with it. Everyone always has one eye open for the next opportunity. Will the next swipe be better? Could another job be better?

WHY SHOULD THE DEFENCE INDUSTRY CARE ABOUT JOB HOPPING?

The term “job hopping” has been thrown around for a while now, usually with negative connotations. But as we see the market changing rapidly and people becoming more and more addicted to change and agility, it’s not seen as such a bad thing anymore. In fact, job hopping is becoming more accepted, and even in some cases desired, by employers. 71% of Australian employers are more open to hiring a job hopper than they were five years ago. And the Defence Industry should be paying close attention.

Job hopping is becoming way more common in the Defence Industry than you might have thought. Just for one example, LinkedIn reports that the median tenure of Engineers in the Defence Industry is 2 years. As specialist recruiters for Australian Defence companies, we’re seeing these changes across all of Industry. This is largely due to the pervasive gig economy and the increasing number of contractor workers.

Because of the project-driven nature of the Defence Industry, this kind of change is something we can’t ignore. It’s more critical than ever before to be aware of emerging trends and workforce advantages across all of Industry, so that we can better navigate the job market of the future.

SO, WHY IS THE TREND PICKING UP?

First of all, job satisfaction is more crucial now than ever – and it’s no longer just about the work or the money. Kinexus’ own research into the Australian Defence Industry shows that workplace culture and flexible working arrangements are two of the highest factors to attract and retain employees. You can read more about it in our Defence Industry Insights – Fifth Edition. People are expecting employers to offer more flexibility and be more open to change. Working 9 – 5, 5 days a week is becoming a thing of the past.

Another key reason is access to opportunity. Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected and fast-paced, meaning even the most introverted of us can find a massive network for job scouting through platforms like LinkedIn.

Further, the Defence Industry is unique to other sectors because people really care about the work they’re doing; they can develop a sense of mission to their type of work. Attaching this attitude to their daily slog makes them more likely to follow the work itself, as opposed to creating an allegiance to one company.

THE UPSIDES TO CAREER SWIPING 

There are a couple of unique benefits to being a job hopper – or a serial swiper – that make you valuable to a potential employer. It can be super enriching to your career path and work-life balance.

Firstly, you can have flexibility in choosing the right role to suit your needs. You can stay relaxed in your choices, and assess your options with a collected head. Understanding the huge amount of opportunities available in a candidate-short market means that you have the freedom to job hop with a selective eye. You’ll also have less need to worry about the inferences someone might make from your resumé.

Further, you rack up a wealth of varied experience. The multitude of skills and worldly awareness you can gain from working at a number of different employers will make for an extremely impressive resumé. After all, what is an affinity for ambition if not the #wanderlust of career progression?

You can also build your confidence in leveraging things like salary expectations by moving vertically through different companies. Indeed, this can go both ways, but if done carefully it could be very lucrative to an aspiring manager.

WORDS TO THE WISE

Remember, although this article does laud the pros of being a career-hopping bunny, it is not necessarily always the way to go. It’s had negative connotations in the past – and in some circumstances, it can still denote some undesirable traits for an employer. But there are a few ways to spin your varied experience to your advantage – especially if you have been job hopping with purpose.

You need a good reason for your multiple changes and have it prepared to explain to any recruiter or interviewer. Wanting to learn a variety of new skills is a good reason. Getting bored of your manager’s droning is not.

Play the skills shortage card – ensure you strategically venture into industries or companies where your skillset is a genuine asset. People will pay a premium for a hard-to-find skill, and if you play your cards right, you can use this to your advantage to leverage better pay, more education and training, and a very good reason to job hop.

Ultimately, building a career path is all about finding the perfect match; just like Tinder 

It comes down to making sure that you don’t just float around with no progression in mind. You don’t want to entrench your skills in one place for the rest of your life when there so many amazing opportunities out there.

So, happy swiping!

By Emily Small

Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

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