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If You’ve Ever Been Called A ‘Job-Hopper,’ Read This

Source | Forbes : By Liz Ryan 

One day I will clean out my garage all the way down to the last storage box and  find my original job application from my first full-time, non-temp job.

I was 19 when I ambled into a greeting card company called Recycled Paper Products on the north side of Chicago to apply for a customer service job.

I got the job and stayed at the company for nine years as it grew from $1 million to $180 million in sales. The only reason I was able to make a copy of my job application (a paper form, since I got the job in 1979) is that I became HR Manager for the company in 1984.

It took me a long time — over a year — after moving into HR to realize that I had access to my own personnel file as well as the rest of the personnel files, and maybe I should take a look to see what various people had written about me!

I found my job application in my personnel file. On my application, a long-gone HR Manager had scribbled “job-hopper” in the margin. Really?! I was 19 years old. I had waited tables and done a little temp office work in New York. I laughed out loud when I saw that I had been labeled a job-hopper in my very first grown-up job search.

This is how business weenies think. They don’t think in context. They see a string of short-term jobs on a resume or job application, and they are thrown into fear. They don’t stop and say, “Wait. This applicant is a teenager. Of course she has short-term jobs on her resume.

“Plus, this chickadee just moved to Chicago from New York. She was a full-time student in New York. Maybe we could take a huge business risk and give this girl a $5-an-hour customer service job. What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

They took the risk and gave me the job, but millions of job-seekers still run into the same problem that slowed me down while otherwise-intelligent business people deliberated over my worthiness for an entry-level job.

Job-seekers are rejected from good jobs every day because somebody on the other side of the desk sees them as “job-hoppers.”

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