Dont be a “Jumper”

I watched a movie called Jumper a while ago, it was an average movie with an interesting SciFi style storyline. It was about gifted people who could teleport/jump from place to place whenever they wanted to, so when they didnt like one spot they’d jump to the next one – London / Paris / Rome / Beach / Mountains …. The trick was they were hunted (to make the story interesting) and sometimes they were forced to jump quickly (for fear of being caught) not being able to plan where to and ending up in sometimes dangerous and dramatic places (it was a movie out to entertain of course).

When I look at some CV’s I can sometimes see a similar theme in peoples job patterns, quite similar in fact. Start in a role, move in 18-24 months Jump off to another role, stay in this for a similar period and move again. I am an older guy and this used to be common for people in their twenties, but now it can show up a lot for people who are well into their career.

The problem with this is that if you become a Jumper (like the movie) after a while the next spot to go to becomes harder to plan, with fewer options and a less marketable profile for that next opportunity.

You see I beleive that it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that the first 6-12 months in a role most people are finding their feet and are given a lot of lattitude. After that 12 months timeframe results are often expected and the pressure gets lifted, at 18 months things should be going well and if they arent questions are asked.

There are good reasons for this, that first 12 months is often a large investment for the employer for which a return is expected, and that return starts in year 2 and increases in years 3-4 and maybe 5. If things arent firing in year 2 then business’s have to act. Employers want to get you up and running and see you happy and effective for a few good years following the first 12 months training.

If you are regularly moving around the 18-24 month timeframe it can look like a pattern of enjoying the investment / training etc then struggling with the delivery and payback for your employer so moving on to a new role with new investment …..  Employers will NOT see this as attractive.

Are you by this definition a Jumper? If you are and want to change this:

  • first, decide to change it. To do this you need to break the pattern…
  • Then have a look at your CV and write down what caused the change in each role, what triggered it ?
  • If you are nearing a change time, choose carefully, think in terms of 3 years and beyond, avoid the attraction of shiny bling like short term benefits.