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專欄 - 向Anne提問

一份工作做“太久”是壞事?

Anne Fisher 2015年05月26日

Anne Fisher為《財富》雜志《向Anne提問》的專欄作者,這個職場專欄始于1996年,幫助讀者適應經濟的興衰起落、行業轉換,以及工作中面臨的各種困惑。
某些面試官認為,做一份工作許多年的人,比頻繁跳槽的求職者更值得懷疑。

????親愛的安妮:我在同一家公司工作了17年,由于公司已經被一家競爭對手收購,我們現在可以自愿選擇一筆“提前退休”遣散費。我也想接受這樣的條件,盡管我還遠沒到退休的年齡。

????但我的問題是:最初聽說我們要被并購,我認為兩家公司的員工會有許多職位重復,“為了以防萬一”我開始求職。最初,事情進展順利——我參加了幾次面試,但我卻遇到了意想不到的障礙,尤其是在接受年輕面試官面試的時候。每當有人注意到我在一家公司工作了近二十年的時候(盡管有兩次升職,獲得了更高的職位和頭銜),他們看我的眼神就像是在看一個怪物。在一家公司工作這么長時間會成為污點嗎?我該如何克服這種障礙?——過分忠誠的人

????親愛的“過分忠誠的人”:全球人力資源咨詢公司BPI集團高管轉職就業服務執行總監帕特里夏?思德魯斯認為:“人們不必因為在一家好公司工作‘太多’年而道歉。如今,已經沒有太多人有機會做到這一點。”

????確實如此。她補充道,舊的不成文規則發生了不可思議的逆轉,招聘經理不僅比之前更容易接受頻繁跳槽者,有人甚至期待著這樣的求職者。出現這種情況有三個原因。首先,在經濟衰退期間,太多人因為生活所迫不得不四處尋找機會,原先跳槽帶來的污點已不復存在。與此同時,信息技術行業已經成為就業市場的引領者,而頻繁跳槽早已成為這個行業的常態。

????不過這種轉變最有趣的部分在于,它在一定程度上基于一種不準確的觀念。規模龐大的(并且有著巨大影響力的)80后90后,被普遍認為比他們的父母跳槽更頻繁。這種觀點的源頭很容易便能找到。美國勞工統計局去年報告稱,25歲的年輕人從18歲開始平均已經做過6.3份工作。

????聽起來很有說服力,事實也確實如此。但勞工統計局的一項最新報告,卻從不同角度闡述了這些統計數字。2013年,“1979全國青年縱向研究”項目對1979年接受調查的9964名的男性和女性進行了再次調查(此時受調查人群的年齡段為47至56歲)。調查顯示,該年齡段的受訪者在18至24歲平均做過5.5份工作。如果將1979年25歲的美國人包含在該項目當中,那么,與80后90后引以為豪的6.3份工作相比,嬰兒潮一代在跳槽次數方面可謂有過之而無不及。

????所以,至少在這方面,80后90后并不像人們想象的那樣與他們的長輩有任何不同。但如今千禧一代年齡最大的已經步入35歲,開始面試求職者,那么,你如何讓他們相信在一家公司工作17年并非“太長”呢?

????思德魯斯給出了三條建議。首先,寫下你在目前公司內學到了什么,取得了怎樣的成績。不要忽略任何可能需要一些思考的事情。思德魯斯在高管培訓研討會上注意到,“人們傾向于低估自己的成績。你可能認為你所做的一切都是理所應當的。”如果相隔時間太久,你甚至會忘記自己的成績。

????列出詳細的清單之后,對比哪些項目與你希望得到的職位的說明相匹配。思德魯斯幫助客戶想出了“一頁紙的總結,看起來像是圖表,紙的一邊是具體的工作要求,另一邊則是你擁有的那些可以增加最大價值的經驗。然后將這張紙與簡歷一同交給面試官,并非常專業地談論你可以為雇主做哪些具體的事情。”

????其次,她建議,準備好在談話中提到目前的行業趨勢。“在一個地方工作太長時間,并沒有讓你變的沉悶,失去活力。對業內最新動向保持敏銳,可以幫你證明這一點。”

????第三,或許也是最重要的一點,“對你正在考慮離開的公司要給出積極樂觀的評價。重要的是強調你在那家公司有非常好的經歷,那是一個非常適合工作的地方,有許多聰明的人,還有大量資源和學習機會,”思德魯斯說道。如果你對公司的熱情是真誠的,它可以幫助平息為什么你在一個地方工作那么長時間的任何質疑。祝你好運。

????反饋:是否有面試官曾經懷疑你為什么在一份工作或一家公司工作太長時間?你如何回答?歡迎評論。(財富中文網)

????譯者:劉進龍/汪皓

????審校:任文科

????Dear Annie:I’ve been working for the same company for 17 years and, now that we’ve been acquired by a former competitor, some of us are being offered voluntary “early retirement” severance packages. I’m tempted to take one, even though I’m nowhere near ready to retire.

????But here’s my problem: When I first heard about the merger, I thought there would be significant overlap between the two companies’ employees, so I started a job search “just in case.” It’s going okay — I’ve gotten several interviews so far — but I’m running into an obstacle I didn’t expect, especially with younger interviewers. Every time someone notices I’ve been at one company for almost two decades (albeit with two promotions to bigger jobs and titles), he or she looks at me as if I have two heads. Is there a stigma attached to longevity now? How do I deal with this? — Loyal to a Fault

????Dear Loyal:“No one should apologize for staying with a good company for ‘too many’ years,” says Patricia Siderius, managing director of executive outplacement services at global HR consulting firm BPI group. “These days, not many people have the opportunity to do it.”

????Too true. In a weird reversal of the old, unwritten rules, frequent job changes have become not only more acceptable to hiring managers than they used to be, but “almost expected,” she adds. This is for three reasons. First, during the recession, necessity obliged so many people to move around that the old job-hopping stigma all but disappeared. At the same time, the information technology industry — where frequent job changes have long been the norm — has become the job market zeitgeist.

????But the most interesting part of this shift is that it’s also partly based on a myth. Millennials, that huge (and hugely influential) generation born since 1980, are widely believed to switch jobs far more often than their parents did. It’s easy to see where that idea came from. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last year that the average 25-year-old has already held 6.3 jobs since age 18.

????That sounds like a lot, and it is. But a new BLS report sheds different light on those statistics. The National Longitudinal study of Youth 1979, a survey of 9,964 men and women who were polled in 1979 and most recently (at ages 47 to 56) in 2013, shows that this group had held 5.5 jobs between the ages of 18 and 24 years. If people who were 25 in 1979 had been included in this project, these Boomers would almost certainly have matched or exceeded Millennials’ much-vaunted 6.3 jobs.

????So Millennials aren’t as different from their elders, at least in this respect, as people tend to think. But, now that the oldest among them are in their mid-thirties and interviewing job candidates, how do you persuade them that 17 years at one company isn’t “too long”?

????Siderius has three suggestions. First, write down everything you learned and achieved at your current company. Making sure you don’t overlook anything may take some thought. Siderius has noticed in executive coaching sessions that “people tend to underestimate their own accomplishments. You may be taking for granted parts of what you did.” If some of it was a while ago, you may even have forgotten it.

????Once you have put together a detailed list, see which items on it most closely match up with the description of the position you want. Siderius helps her clients come up with “a one-page summary that looks like a chart, with specific job requirements on one side of the page and, on the other, the aspects of your experience that can add the most value. Then, hand it to the interviewer, in addition to your resume, and talk in specific terms about what you can do for this employer.”

????Second, she suggests, be ready to toss some references to current industry trends into the conversation. “Having stayed in one place for a long time does not make you dreary and dusty. Being sharp and up-to-date on what’s current and new can help demonstrate that.”

????And third, but perhaps most important, “be very positive and upbeat about the company you’re thinking of leaving,” Siderius says. “It’s important to emphasize that you’ve had a terrific run there, and that it has been a great place to work, with smart people and lots of resources and opportunities to learn.” Your enthusiasm, especially if it’s genuine, should go a long way toward quelling any skepticism about why you stuck around. Good luck.

????Talkback:Has a job interviewer ever questioned why you stayed so long in one job, or at one company? How did you respond? Leave a comment below.

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