Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

job-hopping with the antsy generation

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a round table discussion with one of my company's higher-ups... they like to have these meetings regularly to sort of get a feel for how the little people are doing, sort of like when the president has meetings with random iowa citizens or whatever to answer questions like, "Can the senate outlaw beets?" And I have to personally admit, when I was invited to this meeting I thought it'd be funny to chris farley the thing and say stuff like, "Remember when we decided to make TCAS II standard on the RX300? That was AwEsOmE!!!"

But enough backstory... someone in the meeting asked about attrition rates, saying that it "felt" like we were losing a lot of good engineers to other companies, and he replied that the numbers are really pretty average. Sure, we're doing what we can to keep people... comparing our benefits with other area companies, doing exit interviews, etc. but when it came down to it job hopping was sort of a generational thing, and as we continue to hire people who aren't baby boomers, we have to get more and more used to everyone having these 3-5 year stints. Without sounding too mean, he used the "it's not us, it's them" argument. And since I'm not getting the rats fleeing the ship feeling lately, I think we're really pretty average and the guy is somewhat in touch.

There has been this battle going on for years though: companies accuse us of being unloyal, and us gen-nexters (or whatever) accuse companies of giving us no reason to do otherwise. We see very succesful people all around us who didn't get to be that way by working the same 8-5 job for 30 years. In my department, a lot of the supervisors are ones who left and came back... getting a job with a new department or company was an easier way to step up than convincing current bosses to promote you just for fun. A very long time ago, your retirement depended on a pension from a single company you'd poured years into, but now nobody pays pensions, they match your 401k and that's all you can ask for.

So the question remains: should companies try to reward loyalty by promoting from within, or, given our new culture, would that only reward people who are out of touch with the "system" and can't get better jobs? Should they keep funding pensions, or reward people who assume that the pensions won't be there by doing a better job matching 401k plans? Did people in my generation cause the cultural changes by job-hopping, or is it all a product of corporate greed? And the biggie... is someone like me, who's had the same job for four years and feels pretty happy with it... shooting herself in the foot by not constantly having an always out there, up to date resume?
Tags: career
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