Yes, I was a job-hopper and I don’t regret it.
Some believe in them, some despise them.
Frequent job seekers are often termed as job-hoppers. And that in the world of HR and Recruitment is a serious offense. The job seekers try to stick to their organizations even when they despise their jobs, owing to the fear of getting spurned by new employers. We have all come across such job hoppers in our lives and each of them has his own story to tell. Well, I was a job hopper too and I want to tell my story here.
Part 1 - The happy beginning
I started my career with the job I secured in my college placements. I had no fancy hopes of changing the world then, just wanted to learn and earn. Initial days were exciting — new work, new environment, new people. Familiarizing with the corporate world, working with teams on various projects, being part of sprints, mapping the progress made every week — these made me a part of the IT world. There were also celebrations, events, and various sessions conducted at frequent intervals providing a good balance of work and fun at the workplace. Days passed and at one point, I realized I haven’t made any significant progress in my skills. The design community demands progress, innovation, creativity, and widening skillsets all the time. And my growth remained stagnant. This realization triggered me to take the first step towards my career growth — my first resignation.
There were three specific thoughts I was dealing with then:
1. As per popular belief, it is advisable to stick to your first job for at least a year. It assures the next employer to hire you in good faith.
2. It was almost the appraisal time. Few close friends advised me to secure the first appraisal and then think to switch jobs. This would ensure better salary negotiation during interviews.
3. The last and the most important one — my career path. Since it was the beginning of my career, I considered pursuing higher education. It would cost me two years of my life but in the end, it would be beneficial and fruitful, isn’t it? I took the Design entrance exams (NID DAT and CEED) as well but, no luck. It was a huge decision to make.
These conflicting thoughts were wearing me down and one fine day, I made an impulsive move and sent my resignation. I had been in this job for a year then and that saved me from the first point (sticking with a job for a year). Since my career path was blurry, I didn’t care about my appraisal. Three months passed by and I still hadn’t figured out my way. I went back home and tried to have a fresh start.
Part 2 - The small leap of faith
I was grappling with a million thoughts on the most crucial question of my career: job or higher studies. Finally, after ample contemplation, I decided to continue being in a job and began my hunt for the same. The first decision that I made before searching for a job was to relocate to the hub of design (Bangalore). I knew that if I wanted to hustle, it was here. Days passed and my anxiety shot up. I had applied to many companies but received fewer responses. I was on tenterhooks waiting for my door of opportunities to open. And then after a few days, I received a job offer from a small yet newly established service company. Owing to my discouraging luck those days, I considered this the best chance and hopped in for it. And after 10 days, I landed in Bangalore to start afresh.
New place, new people, new vibe! I was apprehensive about how would I fit in the community. Can I make considerable contributions to it? And most crucially will I be accepted? The initial days went fine. Later I discovered that my knowledge was constantly scrutinized without any kind of constructive feedback or help being offered to me. I was asked to work on projects without any guidance. It is a huge opportunity to handle projects at an early stage of your career, but not at the cost of your learning. I felt lost and disoriented. I was in desperate need of a mentor who could guide me in my path. And there I was, back to square one. Only this time, I didn’t waste any more time in contemplation and right away headed for another job change.
Part 3 - Desperate measures
I was convinced that a nurturing environment can only be provided by a Design studio. I so desperately wanted to learn and broaden my skills that I didn’t negotiate my salary or any other perks. I tried my luck at the then best design studio in Bangalore and, thank the stars, I made it. The vibe around a Design Studio is distinct and remarkable. One can always find designers busy innovating, brainstorming, and interacting with clients. The most significant facet of a design studio is its proliferation into various domains. One day you might work on a Banking related project and the next day you might find yourself working on a dating app.
I finally found my refuge here. I learned the design processes and their application in different ways. And this helped me imbibe some discipline in my work. I worked solo and with teams, interacted with many clients from various fields, and even got the chance to work on-site with a client. I was fortunate enough to team up with the whole bunch of creative designers there. Things were running fine but after a year and a half, I started feeling settled.
When you start feeling settled at any job, you know that either you have learned everything you could or you aren’t motivated to learn anything more, you feel content.
I reevaluated my thoughts only to find that I am ready to level up my game. And yet again I was wearing my job-hunting shoes.
Part 4 - Insatiable hunger
The job search this time was quite pertinent and clear-headed. After so many job hunts, I precisely knew where and what to aim for. Of course, the inescapable anxiety of searching for a job lingered, yet the goals were clear. The usual process followed- applying for jobs, following up with the HRs, assignments, and interviews. And after days of efforts and a pinch of luck, I landed in the right place. I am currently employed at Zeta as a UX Designer and I couldn’t have asked for a better environment than this for fostering my skills and learning.
And that’s how I committed the crime of job-hopping. Yes, it took me quite a lot of time to reach the place I sought to, but I have no regrets. The ride was bumpy but full of lessons. I never want to be in a role where my talents and skills aren’t being utilized to their potential or aren’t flourishing. I believe that if one wants to make a difference, he/she will have to walk on such unpleasant paths. After all, nothing comes easy.
P.S: I will tell you why I chose to be in a job over pursuing higher studies soon.
Thank you for your kind attention. Do show some encouragement if this appeals to you. :)