The other day, a friend texted me a question: “What are your thoughts on millennial job preferences and job tendencies in relation to bouncing from job to job?”
The question was a bit random and took me by surprise and then he fell asleep (he’s on the East Coast) when I asked him what he meant and if he read this from an article somewhere so I could fully understand the question. He said that he read from many places (but sent me zero links) that millennials are typically jumping anywhere between 5-8 jobs or even companies during their 20s, whereas most generations before millennials were working at one or maybe two jobs during their 20s.
Since I had only what he was telling me, I looked into it a bit further. Yes, millennials are switching jobs and companies for various reasons and this NBCNews article states why it’s done but how you can also achieve raises from your current employer. Many reasons are for pay raises or because millennials want to find a job that fits with their goals and is their “perfect” job. Reading more articles though, I came across this one from Forbes that states that it’s not millennials who are the ones job hopping, it’s young people and the young people today just happen to be millennials.
After my response, he told me that he believes in brand loyalty more even if it means getting paid a little less than what he would if he were to switch. Since he asked me my opinion, I really thought of it in terms of my life and line of work (film and TV stuff if you didn’t know). Before I read further into the articles, I sent him this (but edited a tad for this post and not a very long text message):
“I’m not too sure about the amount of millennials who constantly change jobs or how often they do so but I think if I had a different career like anything business or more corporate where it didn’t have major breaks I wouldn’t be switching jobs. If the pay was good and there was room to grow in the company and I liked where it was located I would probably stay there for a few years at least as long as I generally liked it.
With my career path specifically, since there are so many smaller routes in the general field that I could take and I’m still figuring out what area I’m most interested in or what job my talents/skills/passions could take or create, I don’t see switching jobs as a big deal. Also, since I do get time off like this, if another opportunity comes up at the right time, why not take it? It would allow me to expand my skills, improve my resume, and work with new teams on new projects.
I got a call on Monday for a job that wanted me to start on Wednesday but at the time I thought I would be going to San Diego on Thursday and wouldn’t be able to start until Friday. This job would’ve been until the end of July as an Associate Producer on a Food Network baking show mostly just doing cold calling. While the timing with this week didn’t work out because of the holiday and going home, it was still a new experience that interested me and I would’ve liked to work with people producing a show for Food Network which is a part of the bigger Scripps Company. It would’ve also worked out perfectly because Live Events team starts August 12th for Emmy Award prep.
Thursday when I was home, I got a call for a different job with very vague details but I figured oh it’s something E! related and this guy produced Fashion Police so I’ll just ask him if I can meet him and his production company partner on Friday. This, if I get it, is an E! show but with more of a news feel and starts immediately until January and when he told me what it is and what things I could be doing I got really excited! I like this a lot because it’s still part of E!, but he and his partner have a news background and this would be a whole other show to work on and get to produce more on a weekly basis. Next week I’ll find out if I got the position and if I do, then of course I would temporarily leave Live Events to do it. And if the show doesn’t get picked up further than January then I always have Live Events to go back to and I’ve made more connections. During the interview, they even said that if this were to not work out, now we’ve met and talked and I told them how I transitioned from wanting to do news to what I’m doing now and and they said that I could work with them on other projects in the future.
Personally, I think I’ll keep jumping around because that’s just the nature of TV and nothing is ever for certain but each new job I take helps me realize what I do and don’t like when it will come to finding the next job. In my career, I want to work on a show for Discovery or even Discovery Digital and do something on Food Network eventually or Travel Channel or the Bachelor franchise or do a docu-series so that does require a lot of jumping around to try and do them all.
Where I get stuck is yes, I want to do all of those things but I like the harder work and the scouting and planning and production that I do as an Associate Producer and eventually Segment or Supervising Producer, so as much as I want to eventually be an Executive Producer I don’t know if that would be as fulfilling as the smaller background work is and I’m not 100% certain on what my end goal or final job is. The only way to find out what I want to do longer term is by jumping around and having more experiences on different teams and shows.”
As you can see, I’m not possibly switching jobs for a pay raise (although it would be nice but APs don’t make too much) but rather because I’m freelance and that’s just the name of the game. I’m also young (23) and have been working with the same Live Events team since the day after my last final in December 2016 (I graduated a semester early but took time off work in May 2017 to actually walk in graduation) and while I’m young and have the opportunities to switch it up a bit, why not?
There are positives and negatives to changing jobs in your 20s and it’s not necessarily good or bad depending on your line of work or end goals. What are your experiences with switching jobs and what’s your opinion on this overall trend? Let me know in the comments, this one random question from a friend really got me thinking and I would love to hear more thoughts!