Is Penelope Trunk Feeding Gen Y “Career Crack”?
Sorry, Penelope. I’m back.
My fellow career blogger friend Nick Corcodilos pointed out a blog post written by Penelope Trunk that I couldn’t help but question and discuss here on Ms. Career Girl. In the post, titled “Why Job Hoppers Make the Best Employees,” Penelope argues the following five points to be true:
- Job hoppers have more intellectually rewarding careers.
- Job hoppers have more stable careers.
- Job hoppers are higher performers.
- Job hoppers are more loyal.
- Job hoppers are more emotionally mature.
Really Penelope?! Do you REALLY believe these statements or was this another way to get more traffic back to your sites and be a career evangelist to lost recent grads? Why should we believe you? Or is it just easier to believe you so we don’t have to deal with difficult situations and never learn how to overcome adversity at work?
Nick Corcodilos and I have crossed paths over the last year many times. Oddly enough, the topic of several of our conversations has been about Penelope Trunk’s odd career advice and strange personal branding strategies. Well here we are again, looking at more bizarre career advice from the woman who founded my generations most popular career network, brazencareerist.com. Thankfully companies, including Brazen, have teams of diverse staff- to balance out the outliers.
When reviewing the comments on Penelope’s post, I was surprised (and disappointed) to read that so many people were excited and completely on board with Penelope’s advice. Groupthink, anyone? Denial?
For the record, I am 25. I am as Gen Y as it gets in many ways. Like most people in my generation, I’m addicted to technology, I love feedback, I’m used to instant gratification. I’m a bit impatient and I have both a day job and a “passion project.” I’m also a typical Gen Y’er in that since graduating from college four years ago, I have worked 3 different jobs: the first for 7 months, the second for almost 3 years and I started my current position (which is my favorite company thus far and my hopeful long-term landing pad!) 7 months ago. Heck, it weirds me out but I realize that some may even consider ME a job hopper (even though I do not feel like one at all).
Do I think that having 3 jobs in 4 years is something to be proud of? Not necesarily. My job history is what it is, but by no means do I feel it makes me a “better, more loyal, higher performing or more emotionally mature” employee- HA!
In Nick’s recent blog post titled, Job Hopping: Career Crack for Losers, Nick offers some very different advice than Penelope does:
First, toss out your resume. Trash it yourself, before an employer trashes it for you. And I don’t mean you should get a better resume. I mean, Stop using a flyer that says KICK ME on it. Period. No resume. Search for a job strictly through personal referrals and face-to-face contacts which enable you to make your case before your butt is kicked into the can.
Second, find a place to work where you can stay put. Penelope Trunk – who tells you loyalty doesn’t matter and job hopping is good — is sticking a needle in your vein, pumping you full of happy juice, and leaving your career to die while she drives off to the bank to deposit the GoogleAds checks she collects for advertising career crack to confused GenY’s. Stay off the juice. Stay put. Establish a reputation. Then trade on it.
Thank you, Nick, for putting my thoughts into words without me having to do it first. I really like your first point and think that is great advice for anyone, “job hopper” or not.
Of the 5 points in Penelope’s article, I see SOME truth to her first point: job hoppers have more intellectually rewarding careers. Well, yeah, I guess, because they are constantly having to get re-trained, and re-acquainted with a company’s culture, procedures and politics. Intellectually rewarding? Maybe, for some. For others? Terrifying.
Let’s hear it people.
I don’t have to repeat the fact that Corporate America is not what it used to be. Yes, I always say that everyone needs to create their own “career insurance policy.” When debating with Gen X’ers and Boomers, I always remind them that Gen Y’ers have been through the crash of Enron, the wrath of September 11th,the fall of Lehman Brothers and a recession- we are scared to trust these institutions that were supposed to be the pillar of security and the foundation of “The American Dream.”
- What do you think: is job hopping career death or a career savior?
- How would you define a job hopper?
- Does Penelope really believe the stuff she “preaches” about? Do you believe her?
- Would you switch companies every few years to get big raises if given the opportunity?
- Why should (and why do) twentysomethings listen to Penelope Trunk for career advice?