More young people in the workforce change their jobs or careers every few years. What are the reasons for this? Do disadvantages outweigh advantages? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Dandan Zhu, Headhunter, Career Coach, and Entrepreneur, on Quora:

A fundamental change has occurred for both OLD and YOUNG people in the modern age in regards to job tenure. OVERALL employee turnover is trending higher, thus "younger people moving often" (besides some young people who are interning or switching jobs before they securely find their career direction) is often media hype that is actually untrue. Most professionals nowadays, again young AND old, move every 2-3 years.

As a top-billing headhunter working with analysts coming out of their first corporate job to executives transitioning into another C-level position, I've seen the GENERAL trend of professionals, young AND old, who are moving positions with increasing frequency.

The reason that professionals of all ages move more frequently than in prior decades is mainly due to:

INFORMATION being MORE accessible, actionable, and leverage-able than EVER before.

In the past, if one were to switch jobs, they would have to look up job openings in the newspaper, print out a resume, write a cover letter, then snail mail the whole thing out for a potential interview. And that's just ONE opening.

You'll have to do that over and over and over again. If you have a family and personal life to manage, how in the world would one have that much time on their hands? Not to mention identity theft or mail being lost! Imagine the pain of looking for a new job under those conditions?! I wouldn't wish that hassle onto my worst enemies.

In the modern era, switching a job is as easy as putting on a new pair of pants due to this fundamental shift of information actionability. You can find hundreds and thousands of job openings on the internet at a click of a button. Headhunters can find you with increasing ease as long as you take the time to launch your information into the internet stratosphere (mainly LinkedIn).

The social acceptance and excitement over obtaining a new role, amplified by potentially more rapid career progression, further encourage job seekers to ignore their fears of leaving an old employer for a new one.

You can sit on your butt all day and receive LinkedIn requests from hiring managers, HR people, recruiters, and headhunters. Job search for those who know how to utilize the current job search ecosystem is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Therefore, the advent and expansion of INFORMATION AGE is the root cause of why it's so easy to switch jobs, at will, for those who have a desirable skillset that employers want, REGARDLESS of age.

Now, onto the second part of your question: Advantages/disadvantages of people switching careers or jobs frequently.


Society, employers, and accessibility give people more leeway and control over their destinies. People have more options than ever to pursue career avenues of interest. Experimentation is allowed and encouraged. Overall, people have more freedom and control to create the life they want. People can achieve their dreams with more confidence and resources than ever before. That's a beautiful thing.


Many people DON'T have a map anymore. For those who need guidance and others' help, they're stuck with the bill. No longer is life about clinging to one employer for a pension, protected salaries, and an easy humdrum life. The world has shifted from one of monotony to one of uncertainty.

Furthermore, because people are shifting careers more often, it's harder for employers to achieve corporate goals as they're impacted more and more by short-term thinking. Overall, corporate values and ethics are impacted by shortsightedness from the CEO who's only going to work there for 2 years down to the analyst who's going to stay for 3. Corporate culture has eroded in terms of reliability, respectability, and morality. Shameful exploitation of customers and shareholders ensues (Wells Fargo, anyone?).

People now need to constantly learn, which is disappointing to those who are looking for an easy way out! Resting on your laurels in an age where competition is now GLOBAL is tantamount to career suicide! It's dog eat dog as it's never been. You have the WORLD to compete against. As always, only the hardworking who are willing to make sacrifices and improve themselves survive then prosper.

Just think of all the people who bemoan the loss of the "glory days" of everyone having a singular goal of a white picket fence and a car. Of course they miss it! How easy is it to just duke it out at one employer for 30 years then retire into the glorious sunset? Buy a car and house and be done with aspiring for more? The lack of challenging goals is comforting and easy to achieve. But that is not how society and people prefer to progress.

Ultimately, people miss the easy, simple, monotonous life of the past where most things (if you were of a certain race of a certain gender in a certain geography with a certain education) were guaranteed!

However, we must embrace and recognize the reality of today:

Nothing in life is guaranteed!

Careers are ours to create, to own, to manipulate to our benefit. The first step starts with self-education beyond our formal schooling and re-learning what it is we're striving for.

What is the meaning behind our career choices? What is your legacy to yourself? What future are you creating for yourself? Is that really in your best interest? Have you truly thought about the repercussions of every single career move you will or have already made?

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