I've been working for 5 years, and a couple of months ago I started in my fifth company. In the first two jobs I stayed over a year and then quit. When I look back, I don't regret it at all, the places were really bad for different reasons. Then I worked for a few months in a company that went bankrupt. In the next one, I was downsized with another bunch of people because of financial problems.

My current position didn't turn out to be what I expected. Some of the things that I was told during the interviews are half-trues, some others almost plain lies and the atmosphere is not good, so all in all I'm not happy. I keep thinking of just looking for something else, the market is good for my profile and it wouldn't be a problem. Then I could just not list this position in my CV.

What troubles me is that these chain of jobs changes and easy market seem to have induced a quitter mindset in me. I'm afraid that as soon as I find something I don't like in the new job, I'll think of quitting again, and so on. I'd like to stay a few years in a company.

How can I get rid of this mindset?

PS: I'm worried about my CV, but even more about my mental health and ability to be happy at a job.

  • Can you afford some sessions with psychologist / career counselor? While you might get some ideas and inspirations from strangers over the Internet, if you feel that you are not solving this problem long-term, you really should work with trained professional. – Mirek Długosz Dec 15 '17 at 8:42

How can I get rid of this mindset?

There is always a deficiency at work. A lot of folks pour their life into work and in my opinion, it returns so little. My philosophy is to create things outside of work and use work as a way to fuel that. A good work-life balance. Don't focus on work all hours of the day and try to get off the computer when you're at home.

Maybe join a sport, club, or try to find a hobby outside of work. Life is short and it's shorter if you focus in on the wrong things. Something that is important to you and meaningful so that if work goes to crap, you're at least focusing on what is truly important in life.

Think of it this way: you have your whole life to work. Why waste it worrying about it? You quit your two earlier jobs and think about the stuff you worried about then, are they important now? So why did you waste time thinking about it then when it meant nothing today? That can be applied to today as well.

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  • 4
    Life's also short to be in a job I don't like. – user4408343 Dec 14 '17 at 21:00
  • It does not address the case the person is passionate about his job. He could change jobs to get a more challenging one and at the same time do some personal projects. You have to be careful that in some countries, authorization from the company is needed to own the rights of personal projects. – Adam Smith Dec 14 '17 at 23:45

You can get better results for your CV and your happiness if you focus on the positive aspects of your work, seek to improve aspects that are sub-optimal, and learn how to filter out a bad culture fit during your job search.

Manage your own expectations: Realize up front that no employer you ever have will ever be "perfect". No job you ever have will be "perfect". Every time you start a new job, understand that there will be a "honeymoon" period where you mostly notice the good things about the job/company. As you gain experience, you will notice the things that are less than perfect. This doesn't necessarily mean you have a "bad" job. It just means it isn't perfect. Enjoy the parts that are good. They will be different for every job you ever have. Recognize that every job will have some aspects that are not good, and cannot always be fixed.

Advocate for improvements (carefully): Before you change jobs, try to change your company. When you find problems at work, look at ways to improve on those problems. Sometimes these improvements may be on your end. Maybe you can automate something. Maybe you need to learn some new skills. Perhaps you may need to suggest changes to company policies, procedures, or workflow. If you go the latter route, be sure to read the room. You want to make suggestions to the right people and in the right way. Your influence in making suggestions like this is improved if you do good work and if people like you. It can also improve with tenure. Also, be prepared to accept that some of these conversations might not go your way. Choose your battles carefully.

Learn to spot red flags during the interview process: Think about the problems you've seen in your past jobs. Try to remember what some of the early "warning signs" of those problems were. When you interview at new companies, ask good questions and listen for some of those early warning signs. For example, if a prospective employer says "we work hard, but we play hard", you might expect to work more than 40 hours a week in that job. If you can spot a bad fit before you take the job, you will likely take better jobs, and it will typically be easier to stay at those jobs longer.

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Thankfully it seems like what you do and where you do it allows you to have the flexibility to move between jobs but if this wasn't the case, would you have stayed with any of those previous jobs?

What I am getting at is this mindset you are referring to is along the lines that when it isn't fun/new/interesting or it gets difficult, you want to move on. And honestly that's okay in my opinion but since you posted here you aren't sure it is.

I would encourage you to consider what is most important to you in a job. For me, I look for places to advance my career, so I'll wade through more muck than most if it means I'll grow as a professional. You need to find what that factor is to you with work. If work is only a paycheck, then fine, focus on the life work balance like Dan mentioned in his answer. But if there is something with work that can drive you to return every day with renewed vigor, figure that out, find it in your current job or the next and that will break the mentality of quitting.

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