Let's talk about something fun... work. Work is fun right?
Honestly most people would reply no, "No work is not fun." I'm pretty inclined to agree with everyone on this fact. I do think though that there is a definite difference in having a job that isn't fun and working a job you hate. One can be looked at constructively, "I work this job and it's hard but I feel accomplished at the end of the day." The other is "I hate this job, this place, these people, and life in general."
Work can so easily bleed over into your personal life and once the lines are blurred and the emotions spread from the office chair to the couch, it's hard to turn the dials back. I struggle right now with working a position that drives me nuts. I really enjoy most of my clients and I have wonderful dinner party tales to share due to the craziness of doctors. But I do intensely dislike my company. I see a great deal of hypocrisy and micromanagement and nepotism. This view of my office transfers to my home life as well and I regret that immensely. But how do you know when you need to leave a job and is it ok for you to job hop in your 20's?
Short answer No, long answer absolutely.
Short Answer: No don't hop jobs every 6 months because you're bored. Absolutely not, that is a resume killer and it just shows that you're either unable to commit to a job long term or you're unable to stay employed that long without being let go. If you're in college ignore this. Work whatever jobs will get you through school. I worked 4 at once - I was constantly exhausted.
Long Answer: Yes, use your 20's to work a few jobs and find the one that fits. The company that inspires you, the boss that can be a mentor, the corporate values that fit just right. I entered the real world and my first job was working in a small insurance agency. Too small not the right fit, and honestly I was bored all the time. All. The. Time.
I left there and I now work for a large corporate company where I do feel like a number in a cubicle on the phone (word to the wise there is a number on my cube and my chair) and I feel under valued. I work for a boss I can't respect due to nepotism. I don't believe the company honors the moral values they speak of. The company doesn't inspire me and the career path is non-existent.
So I spent some time these last few months figuring out what parts I do enjoy. I love the staffing industry, and I love my clients. So this part I put in the keep column. Then I looked at everything I disliked: size of the company, policies, the big brother aspect, and work-life balance. I set out to find a company that fit me just right. One that wasn't so large I got lost in the sea, but also not so small that I felt weighed down by wearing multiple work hats. My main goal was to lose the big brother aspect. Every call/email/ and interaction is essentially recorded and reviewed at my current position. I'm becoming a bit paranoid and I feel like a criminal in my work place when I take a moment to unwind and pull up Facebook or the news or Pinterest.
My last was work life balance, I had to sell my last horse partly due to not being able to give him the time he needed. With Atlanta rush hour traffic working for a company that expects me to drive 1 1/2 hours to the office (8 mile commute btw) then work from 8-6 and then another 1 1/2 hours in the car on my 8 mile commute home - it wasn't working. I had no work life balance. I never see my horses in the daylight - ever. I have to use PTO to take the dog to the vet or have the farrier come out or heaven forbid go to the doctor myself. Working remotely is strictly forbidden and with EC working out of town I miss him. I miss having the time to create and run a home.
So I've decided to jump ship. I'm going to hop jobs take a chance that I'm not making a mistake - or that I am. Work for a company that doesn't monitor my calls, lets me work from home (hint I can blog again), and believes in a solid work-life balance.
I read an article recently that showed that people who job hopped in their 20's averaging 1-2 years per company were ultimately happier and more stable in their 30's. Which made sense to me - spend your 20's figuring out what you love/hate/can tolerate/ and excel at. Use this time to set up your 30's as a time period where you are really AWESOME at you job and you love it. Set yourself up to travel, have a baby, buy a house, a horse, an RV, set yourself up to do whatever really makes you happy.
Your boss in your 30's will thank you for job hopping in you 20's.