There are no life preservers when you jump jobs

Jennifer was a smart, rising marketing product manager for a top consumer products company when she got an offer from a new brand to take over product promotional marketing.  Although she liked what she was doing, she was having trouble with the cost of living in the Boston area where she could only afford a very small studio apartment, so she took the offer and relocated to a small town in the Midwest.

Less than 90 after she arrived, she started hearing rumors that her new company was “in play” but she didn’t pay attention to them and proceeded to concentrate on her work.  With the lower cost of living in the Midwest she could afford a nice one bedroom apartment with a loft. She bought new furniture at a store downtown and decided to use their store credit, which was interest free for two years.  She finally had the quality of life she wanted.

Eight months after she arrived her company was old.  The manager who recruited her left a week before the announcement and three other people joined him at his new company.  She learned three weeks later that she was going to be “let go” with only two weeks salary.  “I was devastated”, she would later tell me. “I had the life I wanted and in an instant it was taken away from me”.  To make matters worse, she now had a $385 a month furniture payment. “I can’t put into words how angry and devastated I really was.  I had saved some money, but not enough in that short period of time and in an instant I was unemployed with an apartment lease and more debt”.

After she got over her anger and disappointment she finally took some time alone via a visit to her parents house in Florida and decided that she was never going to be “put in a position like that again”.  She networked, which didn’t really produce any job leads, and started sending out resumes after researching companies online.  “When I saw a job open up I really researched the company and its culture” she told me.  “I wanted a company that met MY expectations and wasn’t willing to just take a job for the sake of a paycheck.”

How many people out there are like Jennifer?  How many people have jumped ship to what they thought would be a better opportunity only to find they are stuck in a work inferno?

We all want meaningful work, but today people also want something that employers are not used to talking about: quality of life.   If you work people too hard and they are often in the office early and leave late you are headed for a high turnover and you’re going to have trouble recruiting people.

Last week some people on LinkedIn posted “suck up” comments about a company in the Boston area that I know has a problem with working people too long and hard.  I posted that these people should stop “sucking up” and tell it like it is for all the people who are stuck working 12 hour days.  Today, people will find out how you treat your employees so employers had better wise up to the phony accolades via social media.

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