8 Pros and Cons of Job-Hopping

job-hopping Job-hopping. Should you do it or not? To answer, let’s look at a situation.

You’ve landed what you think is an awesome position with a company that seems to be on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. You show up on your first day of work primed to shine and soak up as much knowledge as humanly possible so you can climb the rudders of that career ladder like nobody’s business.

Flash forward in time.

As your first month on the job comes to a close, and the next few months of your career begin to dawn before you, your vibrancy fades because the position and your colleagues are not at all what you expected. Your gut tells you to quit and find something better. Enter the job-hopping dilemma.

What if this isn’t the first time this happened to you? What if this happened several times? Do you continue to quit and find more appropriate work that will keep you energized and fulfilled or do you stick it out and hope for a miracle?

How does job-hopping look to potential employers? What hurts more: to stay, or to seek the right fit?

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of job-hopping.

PROS of Job-Hopping

Self-discovery offers a chance to find the right fit.

You’ve got one life to live and put forth great efforts that can yield great results. If you free yourself to discover the right environment for you, one day you may find it. If you never try to find it, you won’t.

You’ll develop targeted skills.

Inevitably, by exploring various work environments, you’ll learn new skill sets that can be transferred to different situations. Your range of experience will grow, and you’ll place yourself in a unique position to see the work world through a wider lens. Ultimately, you’ll have more to bring to a future employer’s table.

Access to more information and resources.

The more experiences you gain, the more you’ll grow. Placing yourself in the seat of learning and acquiring news skills grants you access to a lot of information that can be applied across various mediums.

Exposure to different businesses and people.

Shifting your environment keeps you fresh, socially and professionally. You’ll meet new people and potentially develop the necessary communication and interpersonal skills to be successful in a business environment.  You’ll gain new perspectives, good and bad, from those with whom you work. You’ll also grow your network and pool of people to contact for specific information in the future.

CONS of Job-Hopping

An employer might view job-hopping as irresponsible.

You run the risk of missed opportunities with potential employers because they may form a negative opinion without ever having a chance to speak with you or see your great potential.

Your skills might be in question.

Employers may view frequent job-hopping as a weakness when it comes to your skills. They may question your ability to get along with others, understand direction, or grasp critical concepts.

Employers will be hesitant to invest in you.

The process of hiring an employee is laborious, especially in large corporations where entire committees are formed to decide on filling a position. Job-hopping may be one of those red flags that employers will automatically apply to a candidate’s resume as a way of cutting the pile down to a manageable pool of applicants.

Employers may not trust your level of commitment.

One too many jobs within a short period may spell trouble to potential employers, eliciting a fear that if they hire you, you may run at the first sign of trouble. They may question if you leave positions rapidly because of an inability to manage stress and outcomes.

Solutions:

Don’t quit right away.

Stay on the job until you find a better fit.

Volunteer

Volunteer in between employment gaps to show you are focused and professional.  Volunteering will allow you to build a reputation of being reliable, committed, motivated and willing. Many of the shadows of doubt employers may experience when analyzing job hopping on a resume can be put to rest if volunteerism outshines in the areas that really matter to them. Chances are, you will be applying to positions that interest you and where your skills – earned by volunteering your time and energy — directly match their needs.

Ultimately, the decision you make today will affect your future. By weighing the pros and cons, you’ll be in a better position to decide what is best for you future.

Your Turn:

Have you had to evaluate the pros and cons of job hopping, and how did it turn out for you?

Always in learning mode,
Your friends at ISD Now.

ISD Professionals: Four Reasons You Need a Portfolio

Are you prepared for when that opportunity comes into your path, offering a chance at a fantastic project that could elevate you to the next level in your ISD career?  If a potential client came calling tomorrow, would you have your best work ready to showcase? If not, read on.

portfolio

Why a Portfolio?

  1. To prove you have experience
  2. To sell yourself
  3. To showcase your talents and value
  4. To stand out from the competition

What to Present in a Portfolio?

Your best work. Period.

Here’s the caveat, though: you must honor the privacy of your clients. Before adding their projects into your portfolio, seek the written permission of their legal department. If you can’t obtain their permission, consider creating projects on your own to add to your portfolio.

What is the Best Portfolio Format?

Online and Paper versions both have advantages. Online allows for easy sharing, easy access, and easy correction in a cost effective manner. Paper-based portfolios have tangible, sensory value and are great for face-to-face interviews.

How to Organize a Portfolio

Leigh Anne Lankford, an Instructional Design Consultant, summed up her recommendations in her article, ISD Professionals – Building a Portfolio. She suggested these effective methods to organize a portfolio:

  • Place projects in chronological order.
  • Use the ADDIE Model to organize projects.
  • Organize projects according to the ASTD Competency Model.

Regardless of which organizational method you use to showcase your portfolio, the most important thing to keep in mind is to make it clean and clear of errors, and present only your best work. Seeking the advice and objectivity of someone unbiased can prove extremely helpful, as well. Encourage critical feedback from this person.

What to Include in Your Portfolio?

Think of a portfolio as a snapshot of your skills. It’s your chance to get in front of a prospective client and wow them with your ability. Place yourself in the shoes of the prospective client. What do they want to see? What would win over their confidence? What skill sets are critical to their project? Be sure your portfolio addresses these questions.

In her article, Lankford drafted a comprehensive list of items to consider:

  • One sample of High Level Design.
  • One Storyboard if you design for eLearning.
  • One Facilitator Guide sample.
  • One Participant Guide.
  • Content areas samples that showcase your expertise.
  • Evaluations you’ve created and their related feedback.
  • Recommendations and glowing reviews.

At UMBC, students admitted to the Master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development – Training Systems, are required to complete a professional portfolio. This requirement replaced the current comprehensive exam requirement in 2012.

Dr. Greg Williams, UMBC’s ISD Graduate Program Director, stated, “The purpose of this new requirement is to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in their coursework and the program. It also provides students, employers, clients, colleagues, etc. with tangible evidence of our graduates’ knowledge, skill, abilities and competencies. Portfolios can be a wonderful career tool that may assist graduates in getting jobs, promotions, new clients, and other professional opportunities.”

UMBC offers students a course called Portfolio Development & Talent Management

Did we miss something critical that you’ve included in your portfolio? Please share in the comments below.

Always in learning mode,
Your friends at ISD Now
www.umbc.edu/isd

Dr. Greg Williams, Program Director of UMBC’s ISD Program, Interviewed by EdTech Magazine

In a recent article, A New Seat in the C-Suite: Chief Digital Officers Find a Place on College Campuses, Amy Burroughs of EDTech Magazine, investigated the many challenges that colleges and universities are facing as a result of the digital era’s evolving landscape. She discusses the roles of Chief Digital Officers (CDO) and how they help organizations respond to the changing landscape.

Ed-Tech-MagazineEdTech Magazine asked Dr. Greg Williams, Program Director for UMBC’s ISD Graduate Programs, how UMBC is dealing with the challenges and opportunities of new technology. Because UMBC has relatively few online programs, there is no official online coordinator; instead, Williams fills that role by virtue of his expertise. Schools are spread across the spectrum, from informal advocates to CDOs, with many roles in between. “Often, individual professors drive online programs because of their personal interest, while the university maintains a neutral stance,” said Williams.

Read the entire article here.

Always in Learning Mode,
Your friends at ISD Now

Scenario-Based eLearning: What it Is and Why it’s Important

Connie Malamed, blogger at the eLearning Coach, recently interviewed Ruth Colvin Clark, PhD, for a podcast that explored topics related to scenario-based e-learning.

Ruth Colvin Clark, Scenario-Based eLearning, Instructional Design, ISD, learning, elearning

Dr. Clark presenting during an ISD Now Forum event.

What is scenario-based learning?

In the podcast, Dr. Clark started off with providing a definition of what exactly a scenario is. While she said scenario-based learning has several names and definitions, she defined it as:

A pre-planned, guided inductive learning environment designed to accelerate expertise in which the learner assumes the role of an actor responding to a realistic assignment or challenge.

How can instructional designers improve scenraio-based e-learning?

During the discussion, Dr. Clark discussed the role of guidance in scenrio-based e-learning, saying that a common mistake designers make is to create scenarios that either lack guidance, or which provide too much guidance. She said one way to get started with scenario-based e-learning is to start with simple scenarios and go from there.

In the podcast, Dr. Clark shares examples and tips to help instructional designers start implementing scenario-based e-learning, or improve what they’re already doing with scenarios. Check out the full podcast below, and for a more in-depth view, read Dr. Clark’s book, Scenario-Based e-Learning.
https://isdnow.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/elc003.mp3

Always in learning mode,
Your friends at ISD Now