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Virtually everyone in the hospitalilty industry recognizes the symptoms that signal the onset of acute job wanderlust: First, you may begin offhandedly asking around to see if your friends or contacts have heard of any good positions that are open. Then, you find yourself keeping an eye out for "now hiring" signs at your favorite eateries or hotels.
Or maybe you're one of those enviably lucky types who has had an incredible job offer fall into your lap unexpectedly. Even when you're happy in your current position, the prospect of a change can be sorely tempting.
It's human nature to want to find out whether the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence. And often, it's not just restlessness that spurs the urge to switch positions -- sometimes a change of scenery is the best way to blast your career prospects into high gear.
Historically, the hospitality industry has been a haven for job-hoppers. There always seem to be enough openings available for new entrants, many of which are seasonal and especially inviting to the commitment-phobic set.
However, in recent years, many in the industry have come to view turnover as the enemy. With the costs of recruitment and training soaring, it's not as cheap and painless as it used to be to find new employees and get them up to speed. As such, a growing number of hospitality industry managers have begun to see a pattern of frequent job changes as a strike against potential hires.
So, how can you decide whether to leave a position in pursuit of greener pastures? Like many things in life, there are both advantages and disadvantages to job-hopping in the hospitality industry. Let's take a look at both sides of the issue.
- Does the new position represent a significant step forward in your career? If you're confident that the move you're considering will positively impact your career in the long-term, it may be advisable to pursue it.
- Will taking the new job improve your quality of life? Does it offer more favorable hours or a big increase in pay? Will you be able to achieve a better work/life balance? If you see the position as a viable opportunity to make positive changes in your life, it may be the right thing to do.
- Are you leaving your current position on good terms? You can overcome nearly all of the potentially negative effects that job-hopping can have on your career if your references are all stellar. If you have issues with your current employer that you could work out with a little time and effort, stick around for a bit and try to mend some fences before you make your exit. On the other hand, if you are locked in a hopeless personality clash with your boss or a co-worker, it may be best to leave now.
- Is the new position very similar to your current job? Imagine explaining the move in a future interview. Would your justification pass muster with a hiring manager? If the job change can't really be justified in terms of career progression, you should probably think very carefully before making the leap. According to David Goldfarb, director of Mayday Recruitment, "You need to avoid just moving sideways or moving for the sake of it."
- Are you making the move based on temporary dissatisfaction with your current position? Were you driven to the classified ads by a isolated annoyance at work, like a dishonest co-worker, a rowdy group of regulars who make a habit of stiffing you on the tip after a long night of service, or tension with a particular supervisor? Carefully evaluate the situation. Is there anything you can do to change it? Is it worth uprooting your career path to fix it?
- Is job-hopping becoming a bad habit for you? Most employers don't mind it if a few of your past positions have been short-term, but if you have a r?sum? that reads like the restaurant section of the telephone book, you may want to consider the damage you could be doing to your career prospects. Hiring managers often shy away from hiring incorrigible job-hoppers, seeing them as flighty, fickle, and undependable.
- Are you in it for the long haul? Do you find that you get itchy feet every time the honeymoon phase wears off in a new job? Well, some people are just wired that way. You could consider a career as a consultant, or perhaps you could look into signing on with a staffing agency that specializes in short-term assignments in the hospitality industry. But if you want a more traditional career path in the industry, hang up your job-hopping shoes and focus on cultivating longer-term commitment, consistency, and dependability.
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