How often should I change jobs?

Historically, careers have been considered a linear journey, with a starting point and a finish line. Recently, career has taken on an appearance of a garden of stepping stones with endless paths you could take.

We live in the age of chronic workplace dissatisfaction. North Americans are reported to be unfulfilled in their jobs, some to a degree of actively undermining their coworkers.

Certainly, economic sluggishness and stuck wages play a large role in this, but what's even more at play is lack of knowledge on how to build a satisfying career in this economy, which doesn't solely rely on maximizing ones' salary.

CEO of ReWork, a successful new age staffing firm has gathered some actionable insights after having conversations with over 12,000 professionals and hundreds of hiring managers.

Here is his advice on how to revamp the traditional model of building a rewarding and meaningful career:

  1. See your career as a series of stepping stones, not a linear journey. Although a belief that the traditional career ladder is broken is becoming more customary, many still attempt to accelerate their linear career trajectory. We stick with our job until we outgrow it, then apply for other jobs that seem better or pay more money. We move and stay at the new job, until we become unhappy and the vicious cycle continues. Instead of looking at constant ways to climb higher up the career ladder, look at the opportunities jobs or projects as stepping stones extending in every direction, opening endless possibilities. Each step that you take should be aimed at bringing you closer to a meaningful activity and the feeling of fulfillment.

  2. Look for legacy, mastery and freedom, in that exact order. Legacy - is what we feel when we know that our work is recognized and something in the world will be better because of it. It is our mission, higher purpose. Mastery - is our ability and desire to constantly improve on our skills and talents to the point that they become our second nature. Freedom - is the ability to choose when we work, how we work, who we work with any why. It gives us the ability to get rewarder for our work, so we can support the lifestyle we desire. Order is important. Finding fulfillment in higher purpose of what we do will be followed by constantly improving the talents required to serve the higher purpose. Those skills will then be able to be "exchanged" for the financial freedom.

  3. Treat your career like a grand experiment. It is wise to think of your career as a startup. Those startups that validate their hypothesis, fail fast, will also succeed that much faster. Look at trying to do things, small projects, test and iterate. The faster and cheaper you can validate or invalidate your hypothesis, the sooner you will find path to fulfillment. Speak to people who are already doing what it is you are interested in, ask the right questions, be inquisitive. Use your findings to guide the path that is right for you specifically.

No matter what, stay positive and continue your journey on the path to a meaningful career. To learn how to become the best you and make decisions like a CEO of a startup, check out our Run your life like a business checklist.