March 4, 2018

How Job Changes Can Help Your Human Services Career




Frequent job changes can often have a negative connotation. However, job changes can help advance your career and help you find the best position for your skill set. Job changes early in your career can be particularly beneficial. Changes in the middle and late stages of your career can also have its benefits. The times of graduating from college and landing a 30 year job are pretty much gone or at least extremely rare these days.  I offer a few reasons why changing jobs every few years can help your career.

Experience
Sometimes a job change can be a good opportunity to gain experience. This especially the case with recent college graduates looking to get a foot in the door of a company. Recent graduates may choose to take a job they don’t care for just to get the experience and then move on to something better.

Variety
Changing jobs can also help you learn different jobs in the profession. Developing new skills can lead to more opportunities for advancement. The human services field has so many opportunities that exploring different jobs can only add to your resume.  Applicants with experience in more than one area increase the likelihood of interviews and job offers.

Career Advancement
As you gain experience and work a variety of jobs, the opportunities for career advancement also increase. The natural progression would be to start off with entry level positions and gradually increase in status and salary.

Find Your Niche
Sometimes it takes a few jobs to find the right job for you. My first job was in a psychiatric hospital and I quickly realized that this was not a long-term position for me. The environment and the physical demands of the job proved to be a little more than I wanted to work with on a daily basis. But for some people, this type of position is a perfect fit for their personality and skill set. I realized that direct care was not my preference and that social work/case management was more suited for me.    

Prevents Burnout
The human services field like many others has a high burnout rate.  Jobs in residential care and some social work positions are particularly stressful and people tend to leave after a few years (months in some cases). Changing jobs or even taking another position within the same organization can prevent burnout.  

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