My husband never stays at one job for very long, and I don’t understand why. He doesn’t have a hard time getting new jobs because he’s very likable and a good communicator. Also, since he’s done so many different jobs he has a lot to offer in the way of experience. He only stays at a job for about 2 years at a time.
Now that he’s in his 40’s I would like to see him settle in to one job. Every time he changes jobs he loses vacation and it’s like he has to start all over again with gaining seniority. When I ask him why he does this, his answers are always vague and something like he gets bored and wants to try something new. That, or he seems to have a minor reason for why he doesn’t like working with someone, so decides to move on.
This pattern is starting to make me nervous. What can I say to him to help him see that moving jobs so often may not be in his or our family’s best interest?
Truth is, although this pattern of “job hopping” makes you nervous, there are pro’s and con’s to your husband’s behavior.
On the pro side is just what you said about him gaining lots of varied experience by working for different companies at different jobs. Some people move from job to job as a way to work their way up the management ladder and pay scale. These are a couple of things that can work in your husbands favor.
6 Steps To Help You Get Your Dream Job Or Dream Career. LISTEN to this topic on “The Joan Jerkovich Show,” this Saturday from 6-7am; or Sunday from 9-10pm. Listen to 1150 KSAL as “Your Life Coach” brings you “Empowering Talk Radio!”
To the negative, the biggest down side to your husband changing jobs so often is that prospective new employers will see this on his resume. An employee that doesn’t stay at any one job for very long could be looked at as lacking loyalty, or being indecisive, or at risk for repeating old patterns of taking a new job, only to leave after a couple of years.
Companies keep track of the costs of recruiting then training new employees. As your husband’s track record of job-hopping swells, this habit may cost him the job he would really like to have and (possibly) be happy at for a longer period of time.
Since your husband has followed this pattern for most of his working life, and you’re feeling more and more anxious about it, now seems to be the time to try and get him to look seriously at this pattern. I’m guessing you’ve expressed your concerns about this before, so go in to this understanding that he may not be willing to make change, or that change comes about slowly.
Try and get him to open up to you about why he moves so quickly between jobs. Ask him open-ended questions and really listen to what he tells you. Let what he tells you prompt more questions, and keep the discussion going until you both get a better understanding of “why” he chooses this behavior.
Once you’ve uncovered the “why”, make your own list of pro’s and con’s. Look for what has benefitted your family and what has not. If the rationale for changing jobs seems weak or flawed (such as a minor problem with someone he works with), try to understand why he would choose to run from a problem instead of fix it.
Hidden in his reasons “why” will be the behavior patterns that he may choose to change…or not. Have him set up some small goals for change that he can easily achieve, then move from there to more difficult ones, such as promising himself to wait 3 months before quitting once he “gets the urge”.
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• Why do you think your husband changes jobs so frequently?
• Do you think he is motivated to change this behavior?
• How will you manage your anxiety if he does not make change?
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