Hello. My name is Karen and I am a Serial Job Hopper.
With the exception of my mortgage, I can honestly say I’ve never racked up a ton of consumer debt. I didn’t try to live a lavish lifestyle. But like any other human being, I’m clearly far from perfect. I’ve made my mistakes and regretted them big time. Till this very day.
I still can’t get over the fact that my bf has worked for the same company for 8 years, where I have leaped frogged between several jobs, both professional and non-professional for almost 4 years. I am truly amazed with people who have managed to stay in their jobs for 5 years. These days 5 years almost seems like an eternity. Long gone are the days when our parents worked 25-30 years at the same job with the same company.
It’s not unusual to find people who have worked several positions for several companies and even gone through one, if not several career changes. Myself included. While there is absolutely nothing with that, and career changes have their benefits, I pretty much did all the no-no’s you’re not supposed to do when you’re leaving a job. I had this tendency to run away from a job for several reasons: when things got rough and stressful, when management changed and expecting a promotion in less than a year. With one job, I didn’t even bother to give two weeks notice. Not even one week. It wasn’t anything out of the movie Office Space though. I just called it quits. Not even in person. Just called in and called it quits. Just like that. I knew I was going to be burning bridges and wouldn’t be getting the valuable reference I desperately needed, but I didn’t care.
While I would rather not get into details, it got to the point where like with a lot of jobs, I was overstressed, overworked and it was affecting my health. It didn’t happen overnight, but it got to the point where I absolutely did not want to go to work at all. I know there are bad days, awful days, long days, stressful days and Mondays, but you suck it up and go to work because you have bills to pay, a mortgage, mouths to feed and it gives you something to do for 8 hrs/day. I couldn’t suck it up anymore. Thankfully I was still living at home and did not have a mortgage and only a couple of expenses to worry about.
I didn’t start looking for a job when things were getting bad at work, I only started after. That was big mistake #2. Big mistake #3 was not having a reserve emergency fund to help tie me over until I landed another job. It was a month and a half of being unemployed until I landed a retail job. As you know with retail, even if you are considered “full-time”, you still don’t get “full-time” hours. There was nothing really wrong with that job except that it was a bit of a drive (I didn’t swallow my pride at that time. I purposely applied to a mall further away from where I live to reduce the risk of people I knew seeing me working in the mall. At the time I couldn’t accept the fact that I had gone from a professional career to a mall employee) and it sucked working on weekends and holidays when the mall was super busy.
So I started for looking for other jobs after about 6 months because I felt like I was going into this downward spiral and was going absolutely nowhere. I knew I didn’t want to work in retail for the rest of my life if I had a choice. So I quit another job. I went into another job that I knew was super hard to make money and was taking a huge risk, but I thought hey, why not. What’s the worse that could happen? I wasn’t very good at that job, thus I was actually working more hours and making a lot less than I was in retail. So I felt I went even further down this spiral. To make things worse, there was a change in management, which stirred up old feelings from my 2nd professional job. (Note: The job I quit right on the spot was my 2nd professional job). So I quit another job. And another and another.
Although that is all in the past and thing are better now, I still can’t help wonder what would have happened if I was just a little stronger, just a little smarter, just a little more patient.
If only I had waited till a better one came along BEFORE I quit. Maybe things would have gotten better. Maybe I would have been even more miserable. And while sometimes it is better to just let things go, I still have my regrets. One of my biggest ones being not being able to steadily work full time upon graduating university, which ties into not having or making as much money as my peers are making.
The other big regret was not being further along in my career. I constantly feel like I’m playing catch-up to something I can never catch up to. You know what? It still hurts. I still get bitter and kick myself sometimes for doing the easy thing, rather than doing the right thing. I still get jealous of everyone who didn’t have to go through what I went through. I can’t help it.
But then I wouldn’t be able to tell you this story.