How Can She Explain Her School-Motivated Job-Hopping?


Tiffany writes:
I am currently seeking a customer-service position preferably in the medical field
which will allow me to begin university classes this upcoming fall semester. I had
been working as a customer service rep at an AT&T Wireless Call Center. The job
became too redundant so I quit and took a job at another wireless call center. I am
afraid that after I get out of training I will be given a mid-day work schedule that
will not allow me to take classes in the morning or in the evening. Therefore I am
still seeking another position. If interviewed for a new position I know they will want to
know why I quit one wireless company began another and am still searching for a
new job. What should my response be?


The Career Doctor responds:
First and foremost let me applaud your efforts to start your college education.
All studies show that lifetime satisfaction and income levels are higher with folks
who complete a college education than for high school graduates so I think it’s
great you are thinking ahead and trying to find employment with flexible working
conditions that will allow you to take some classes.
I think you are getting a little ahead of yourself. Why not wait and see what your
schedule will be once training is complete? Unless you know for sure that you
will be given a mid-day schedule; if you’ve already been told your future schedule
then you have two options.
First if you like the current company — and given that they have already invested
money into training you — I suggest talking to your boss and asking about schedule
flexibility. Explain that you value the job and the company and want to help to stay
and contribute to the company’s success but at the same time you also need to
think about your future. More and more companies especially in tight job markets
are willing to be flexible — up to a point — to keep good workers.
Second start looking for new employment. I don’t think your short stints will affect
your attractiveness as a job-seeker. Plus I would not even include this second job
on your resume since you are still in training anyway. Remember a resume is not
a complete job history — just a relevant job history. And in your case having a
short gap from Cingular job to now would look better than listing a one-month
position with the new company. Your situation is also a time where using your
network to find employers with more flexible scheduling would be especially helpful.