Career Napalm – 3 Jobs in 2 Years

With the rabid demand for digital measurement professionals we are seeing too many well-qualified candidates killing their resumes by making two quick jumps in a row.

Fact: There are a lot of bad web analytics jobs out there.

Anyone can make a mistake and take a job that looked good at the start but turned out to be a lemon. But when you do this twice in a row, you become the lemon.

So what should you do if you just started your job a few months ago and you want to get out of there? Here is something you hardly ever hear a recruiter say: Hold. Sit tight for a year. Try to make it work. Come up with an action plan on how to improve the function at your company and spend the next 6-12 months trying to execute that plan.

If you do this, you will accomplish two things:
1. You will improve your resume by making it past the 1-year mark
2. You will have a much better story to tell. “The job sucked, so I left” is not particularly compelling to future employers. “The job sucked, so here are the 10 things that I did to try to turn it around” is a much better story.

I completely understand that this is easier said than done. Your phone rings 3x a week with new job opportunities and these can look like lifelines after a bad spell in your current job.

If you can’t or won’t sit tight and execute your turnaround plan, here is my advice: BE SURE. Be sure that that next job is going to be a better situation. Learn from the mistakes you made and be sure that the job not only matches your skills and your experience, but that the culture is a fit and the position lines up with what is motivating you…

… because now you can’t leave. No matter what happens in this position, you have to put on your big boy pants and survive for 18-months. If you don’t, you will become damaged goods.

Fact: There are a lot of bad web analysts out there.

Fact: If you have 3 jobs in 2 years most companies will think you are a bad investment.

I just tried to sell a car that my wife crashed. The car looked and ran perfectly, but the CarFax said that there was “Frame Damage” as a result of the accident. I sold it for a huge discount. Damaged goods.

You might be awesome at your job… You might have a great reason for having 3 jobs in 2 years… but your resume reads like the CarFax. Damaged Goods. Your value is going to take a nosedive.

The reality is that there is so much more demand than supply for your skill set that you are still going to be employable. It is not going to be the end of your career.

We see the same 20-30 terrible web analysts getting hired over and over again around the country… so 3 jobs in 2 years will not end your career. It will, however, be an extremely expensive mistake.