My Career Trajectory (Subject to Change)

Of late, my life has been driven by change. I have found myself becoming antsy and in search of a change of pace whenever I have stayed in one place too long or have been doing the same things repetitively. For example, I am a huge fan of the cadence of college: you spend four months at Notre Dame, then you get a respite at home (or wherever you do an internship; in my case, Cincinnati was my summer home this year), then four months back in Indiana, before concluding the year in California. I spent a semester in London, and through this opportunity, I was able to learn a new city and to grow acquainted with many other countries throughout Europe. Not only do these experiences allow me to visit both new and familiar places, but they allow me to change the pace of my life. The immediate transition from cramming for finals to hitting the beach with my friends in late May exemplifies the kind of change that I seek in my life.

Considering all of this, it makes sense that I am beginning a rotational program this summer. The program will give me the opportunity to spend 6 months in four different cities (and potentially countries), working on new projects with new teams learning new softwares and acquiring new skills. Because of my various interests and my inclination toward travel and new experiences, I think that this opportunity is certainly the right starting job for me.

Through this program, I take classes through Indiana University where I will earn credits toward an MBA. My understanding is that if I stay with the company beyond the program, then I can complete my MBA. Furthermore, from what has been communicated to me, the expectation is that I work with the company after the completing the program because the program is an investment in which the company does not profit, or profits little. I’ve heard this from various sources (none necessarily official), and I am skeptical about it. I will be contributing to the company’s bottom line in a way that likely exceeds my salary. In addition, the company would not institute this program were they not to profit from it. I believe that they acknowledge the possibility of program members leaving the company once they graduate, but that they’ve accounted for this already. Overall, I don’t have a problem with this, but I do believe that it is the responsibility of the company to do their best to ensure that the job experience is so positive that employees are inclined to stay with the company regardless of some ethical obligation. From all of my experience and interactions with the company that I will be working for, I am very confident that I will enjoy my next two years and should be inclined to continue working for the company upon completion of the program.

So while there may be expectation that I continue working for the company, I think I will want to out of my own volition. I believe in company loyalty, but not that it should govern all decisions. Sure, you will want to work especially hard for the company that first takes a chance on you, but I do not feel that you should be indebted to that employer as a result. In every employment situation, you are entitled to look out for your best interest, but I advise that you consider the ethical implications of any decision. With respect to job hopping, studies show that your chances of earning more money rise are proportional to the amount of job changes you make typically. This makes the prospect of job hopping more appealing, but it may not always be in your best interest. For example, while I champion constant change at this point in my life, job hopping once I have a family may supply instability and variability that is not in the best interest of those whose wellbeing I am responsible for.

As far as my future plans, I do not know whether I will job hop or not. I do not think that I will be content in the same role (within a single company or multiple) for an extended period of time, and this will compel me to seek advancement or lateral movements within a company frequently.