A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem
Job Hopper Seeks Help
Dear Sue: I graduated four years ago and have not been able to
stick with one job permanently. I think there is something terribly
wrong with me as I have not stayed at any job for longer than six
months, yet I am unable to do anything about it.
Currently I am hopping from one temporary job to another which is really
detrimental to my career life as well as my personal life. I have lost
my self esteem and worried I spoiling my health due to many sleepless
I can’t find a job I want. I set too many rules for finding a job
such as location, transportation, salary, less complex jobs etc.
I am afraid employers are reluctant to hire me. Please tell me what
– Going Crazy
Sue Says: You’ve told me that you have not lasted at a job
more than 6 months and that this is hurting you personally,
professionally, and emotionally. You think you are unable to do anything
about this, yet you admit you set too many rules for the type of job you
I am not convinced that hopping from one temporary job to another is
as detrimental to your career as you think it is. If you view what has
happened as a valuable learning experience instead of a waste of time,
you will be able to use it to your advantage. You’ve taken so to help
you figure out what you are good at and enjoy doing, it can be a plus.
The more you learn about yourself, what you are good at and what you
enjoy doing, the better off you will be—and once you figure it out, you
will be able to communicate this to potential employers.
It is not uncommon for a recent graduate to move around a bit while
deciding a career path. I do not think your situation is out of control
or hopeless. If you really want to, you can do something about it. You
are still young and have your whole life ahead of you. And you have many
things going for you.
First, you have a college degree. That is an accomplishment in itself
and an important one.
Second, there is nothing wrong with you. You need direction and
guidance and you are asking for it—a very wise thing to do. Continue
talking to people. Go back to your college and talk with someone in the
career center. If you have an idea about what you want to do, start
requesting informational interviews with people in the field or industry
you are interested in learning more about. Do research to find out what
it will take to get a job in an area or field you want.
Third, you’ve realized you place too many restrictions on the type of
job you will take. How about letting go of a few of these restrictions?
Why not be more open to the things you’ve been resisting? You might open
doors that lead to opportunity! Only you are holding yourself back—why
not move yourself forward?
Fourth, you say you are afraid employers won’t hire you, yet you’ve
had many jobs, so obviously people are hiring you. And, I am not sure it
is your performance getting in your way. It sounds as if the biggest
complaint is coming from you. You are unhappy with the way you are
managing your career and your life.
You can either continue doing more of the same or start doing
something differently. You’ve taken an important step by reaching out to
me. Now reach out to others. Don’t be afraid to be honest about your
struggle. Try to find a job that includes some, not necessarily all, of
your requirements and commit to staying with it for a year or more.
Consider it an investment in yourself and your future. If you do this,
you will build your confidence and your resume. It will be time well
spent if you can find something that has at least some of what you are
Let go of your fear and regret. Give yourself credit for what you
have done and what you have learned through this experience. Talk to
others and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Stop focusing on what you’ve
done wrong in the past and start focusing on what you plan on
accomplishing in the future. You can change the path you are on and
create anything you want, but you must be committed. I am counting on
you—and rooting for you too!
Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She
is author of the newly released
101 Tips for Graduates and
How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
Send Sue your questions by clicking here:
For more Ask Sue articles, click here.