Stepping Stone or Stepping Pebble? Creating a Foundation for Success

Stepping Stone or Stepping Pebble?  Creating a Foundation for Success by Deborah Bruno,  April 29, 2015

As a recruiter for over 15 years,  I have the opportunity to speak to many candidates day in and day out with the goal of assisting them with their next career.   As I master my profession, I am portrayed more as a career consultant guiding candidates through their career decisions and I find this truly rewarding.   When I am speaking to candidates and when they tell me they are looking to leave, I ask the most crucial question:  WHY?, Why do you want to leave your current role?  Of course, I hear so many answers and reasons.  Many of the jobs we place target candidates after their first job from college.  With this group, when I ask them that same question; Why?, I tend to hear consistent answers about their reasons for leaving their first or second job.  (Range is candidates 1-5 years’ experience since college).  The typical answer:  “I feel that I ready for the next move?  this job was a stepping stone“.  Although I love the ambition and enthusiasm of recent college grads, I do feel making such a quick more may not always a wise move they can make.  They are taking a stepping pebble, not a stepping stone.

New Graduates and early career professions need to pay attention to what clients are looking for in their ideal candidate. The biggest and most single factor of importance I hear from all my clients is that they only want to see longevity in roles and no job hoppers.   Some early career movers feel they are ready.  My advice was simple, stay in your current role.   The common mistake recent college grads make with only a few years of experience is they are looking to move so quickly.  They think the next biggest thing is out there.   I am not saying it is necessarily a bad move but sit back and consider the possible consequences.   What if you take that next role and it is not what you had hoped or thought?  Now what? Move onto your next role?  I have seen time and time again early career candidates make these moves only to end up with a background that has become unmarketable (we term job hopper).   My best suggestion is that your first role out should have a minimum of 3-4 years to provide a good foundation for the next career.  You may want to remember, you want a stepping stone, not a stepping pebble.