The End to Job­ Hopping: How to Avoid a Short­-Term Career Fix

While many job seekers are looking for a promotion, sometimes non-career pressures causes us to hunt for a new job. You might need more income to support your financial goals, or face a toxic environment at your current workplace or be completely sick of your current commute.

These are fine reasons to change jobs, but the more pressure you feel to fix these situations, the more likely you are to leap into a new job for the sake of a new job. This can lead to a job that is more of a short-term fix than a long-term opportunity, leaving you needing a new job again in short order.

Don’t get sucked into the cycle of the perpetual job hunt. Here’s how to carefully evaluate a job offer to double-check if it’s a long-term opportunity or a short-term fix:

How To Spot A Short-Term Fix

A short-term fix is often the first job that comes along. You find it after investing a lot of time in your hunt, and you have a hunch that it’s a subpar offer with a role similar to the one you have now. Finding this job may feel like a fateful lifesaver, but in reality it’s a short-term solution.

First, established companies with good internal processes rarely make quick hiring decisions. If the interview process is suspiciously brief and the company is quick to bring you onboard without checking references or introducing you to your new team environment, it’s likely a red flag for how that company will treat you in the new position.

Second, if you slide into a new position doing the same thing you were doing, it may not solve the problems you were having. Companies often pay within $5,000-$10,000 of the same market, so a horizontal move into a new position may leave you just as financially stretched or bored with your day-to-day as your current job.

Here are a few more questions you should ask yourself before accepting an offer if you’re hoping to avoid a short-term fix:

  • What does this company have in common with my former company? What appears to be different?
  • What does this position have in common with my former position? What appears to be different?
  • Is the hiring team suspiciously agreeable to everything I want or the questions I ask about the company?
  • When I am three months into this new position, will the same problem I am trying to escape rear its head? (Financial pressure, bad relationships or boredom with primary job functions?)

How to Spot A Long-Term Fix

A long-term fix is one that aligns with both your current needs and your long-term career goals. You may find the job quickly thanks to the tools and technology at your fingertips, but the process of getting to know your future employer (and their process of due diligence in checking out your background) might take a few weeks.

During this time you will have plenty of opportunities to think about your goals for your career and discuss them with the prospective employer. You’ll also be able to paint a clear picture of how your skills will help the company and how you will remain engaged in the day-to-day performance of your job.

Here are a few more questions you should ask yourself before accepting an offer if you want to be sure it’s a long-term opportunity:

  • What is the typical turnover for this position at the company?
  • Do many people stay with the company to grow their careers?
  • When I am three months into this new position, is there potential that I will come into contact with people or projects that will challenge me?
  • If I become disengaged in this role, does the mission of the company resonate with me enough that I would seek out another role within the same organization?

Ready to leave your job? Make the leap without wondering if you’ll have to do it again sometime soon. Use these tips to make sure your next job is a long-term solution.