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‘Great Flirtation’: Should workers constantly job hunt?

In the past six months, Beth has increased her salary by almost £ 10,000. She gradually negotiated her switch from full-time office hours to a permanent telework contract. His daily opportunities have multiplied. Compared to the start of the year, she has found a better work-life balance. And she did it with virtually no haggling or asking.

Instead, his career upgrade was achieved by quickly changing jobs. “Whenever I felt the role wasn’t exactly as promised, I looked for the next opportunity,” says Beth. “If this is something that is closer to my ideal work setup, a company that looks attractive, then I apply. ”

Based in Yorkshire, UK, Beth will soon begin her third role as Account Manager this year. She says she was only ultimately able to get a fair wage and flexible work by embracing this job search mindset. “Unfortunately, my experience is that I will only get a raise if I go to my boss with another job offer,” Beth adds. “My end goal has always been to work remotely. It was impractical – until I found my new role.

Since the start of the pandemic, swathes of workers across all industries have quit their jobs – and millions more are also considering quitting. This is helping to trigger a global hiring crisis. However, it’s not just recent vacancies that companies are struggling to fill. While many global economies are growing, businesses are struggling to keep pace with their expansion. The demand for talent is therefore skyrocketing. This has created a seller’s market: workers carry more weight than ever before, and many can afford to choose a role that more closely matches their values ​​and desires.

Rather than starting to look for a new job when they’re unhappy or exhausted – usually years after taking a job – some workers choose to look for a better opportunity from day one. This state of mind is a kind of “big flirt” with new jobs: an eye constantly wandering towards other openings, whatever the time a worker occupies in a role and his level of satisfaction in his current job. .

In a labor market that favors workers, is constantly flirting with other opportunities the right approach to help workers stay happy, move into better positions, or even achieve more career success?

“Irrational and aimless wandering”

For decades, the mainstream rhetoric has been to stay in a role for as long as possible, reinforce the weight of one’s resume, and make a lasting contribution to an organization.

Changing roles prematurely has been branded as a “job change” – not only by bosses, but also by society at large. In 1974, American industrial psychologist Edwin Ghiselli compared it to vagrancy, coining the term “Hobo syndrome” to describe workers who frequently changed roles. His approach essentially reframed the complexities of frequent abandonment into an irrational, aimless wandering – motivated by internal impulses absent from “organized or logical thinking”.

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