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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Job Hopper Seeks Help

Dear Sue: I graduated four years ago and have not been able to stick with one job permanently. I think there is something terribly wrong with me as I have not stayed at any job for longer than six months, yet I am unable to do anything about it.

Currently I am hopping from one temporary job to another which is really detrimental to my career life as well as my personal life. I have lost my self esteem and worried I spoiling my health due to many sleepless nights.

I can’t find a job I want. I set too many rules for finding a job such as location, transportation, salary, less complex jobs etc.

I am afraid employers are reluctant to hire me. Please tell me what to do.

– Going Crazy

Sue Says: You’ve told me that you have not lasted at a job more than 6 months and that this is hurting you personally, professionally, and emotionally. You think you are unable to do anything about this, yet you admit you set too many rules for the type of job you will accept.

I am not convinced that hopping from one temporary job to another is as detrimental to your career as you think it is. If you view what has happened as a valuable learning experience instead of a waste of time, you will be able to use it to your advantage. You’ve taken so to help you figure out what you are good at and enjoy doing, it can be a plus. The more you learn about yourself, what you are good at and what you enjoy doing, the better off you will be—and once you figure it out, you will be able to communicate this to potential employers.

It is not uncommon for a recent graduate to move around a bit while deciding a career path. I do not think your situation is out of control or hopeless. If you really want to, you can do something about it. You are still young and have your whole life ahead of you. And you have many things going for you.

First, you have a college degree. That is an accomplishment in itself and an important one.

Second, there is nothing wrong with you. You need direction and guidance and you are asking for it—a very wise thing to do. Continue talking to people. Go back to your college and talk with someone in the career center. If you have an idea about what you want to do, start requesting informational interviews with people in the field or industry you are interested in learning more about. Do research to find out what it will take to get a job in an area or field you want.

Third, you’ve realized you place too many restrictions on the type of job you will take. How about letting go of a few of these restrictions? Why not be more open to the things you’ve been resisting? You might open doors that lead to opportunity! Only you are holding yourself back—why not move yourself forward?

Fourth, you say you are afraid employers won’t hire you, yet you’ve had many jobs, so obviously people are hiring you. And, I am not sure it is your performance getting in your way. It sounds as if the biggest complaint is coming from you. You are unhappy with the way you are managing your career and your life.

You can either continue doing more of the same or start doing something differently. You’ve taken an important step by reaching out to me. Now reach out to others. Don’t be afraid to be honest about your struggle. Try to find a job that includes some, not necessarily all, of your requirements and commit to staying with it for a year or more. Consider it an investment in yourself and your future. If you do this, you will build your confidence and your resume. It will be time well spent if you can find something that has at least some of what you are looking for.

Let go of your fear and regret. Give yourself credit for what you have done and what you have learned through this experience. Talk to others and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Stop focusing on what you’ve done wrong in the past and start focusing on what you plan on accomplishing in the future. You can change the path you are on and create anything you want, but you must be committed. I am counting on you—and rooting for you too!

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

Send Sue your questions by clicking here: Ask Sue
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