People Change Jobs More Often: Pros and Cons

Stephen Wells asked for my take on people changing jobs more often than they once did.

He’s right:

Today’s workforce changes companies more often than ever before.

As an employer, I don’t love that people feel a need to change companies every few years. Turnover disrupts teams and organizations. I’ve come to terms with it, though—and I try to help the people who want to make a switch.

Employer sentiments aside, I can see advantages to today’s more mobile workforce. For one, employees with broad experience bring a world of new perspectives to the table—insights that, unless they work for a large multinational corporation that offers endless opportunity, staying in one company may not have ever provided.

More broadly, I can see how a more mobile workforce could create a more team-focused and civil workforce.

How so?

When professionals expect to move every few years, they need to build robust networks and preserve relationships with managers, coworkers, venders, partners—and even people in general, out in the world.

After all, you’ll need a strong network and a lot of popular goodwill to change jobs. In today’s social media age, when employers don’t need you to provide references for them to reach out to your connections (thanks, LinkedIn and Facebook!), you’d better keep good terms with everyone you possibly can.

And the last thing you need in a new role is to discover an employee or manager or partner with whom you left things on bad terms.

What do you see as the pros and cons of a more mobile workforce?