Sunday, February 05, 2006

Monday Morning Complaint

While perusing the expansive nothingness that is the online job hunt, I came across an entry-level position for a major pharmaceutical corporation. Among its requirements was this:

Must show demonstrated longevity by having held less than 3 jobs in the past 5 years.

Are you kidding me?!! In this day and age, are we really still gauging an employee's work ethic by how many jobs they've held? That might have made sense 20 years ago, but definitely not in the 21st century. If that isn't a sign of detachment from today's career realities, I don't know what is.

I had to hold three jobs in college just to stay solvent! And, I should mention, I held each of those jobs from anywhere between three and seven years. Along the way, I've met numerous adults who (regardless of education or number of dependents) are in the same situation. No potential employee should be punished for doing what they have to do to survive.

If anyone should prove their demonstrated longevity, it's the company! With layoffs, relocations and outsourcing being the orders of the moment, the burden should be on them to prove that I won't have to hold three jobs in the next five years.


Flamingo Jones said...

Crap! I have FOUR jobs, right once.

I guess I'm out of the running.


Michael said...

Yes, at least in academia we are. I raised a concern about a candidate for a position who had held seven jobs in the last decade, none of them for longer than four years: which I think is a reasonable indication of either an inability or a disinclination to stay in one place and finish what one has started.

Things may be different in the corporate world, but even there I have to think that anyone would take a slightly jaundiced view of a candidate who had bounced around the marketplace on a regular basis. I'm not sure I've ever seen it stated in a position announcement, however, and I'm not sure how happy the EEOC would be with the phrasing you provided...

Ian McGibboney said...

Michael, I find it especially odd for the position in question, which is basically a low-level sales job. Completely different animal than academia.

The only people I know who have had less than three jobs in the past five years are either high-level professionals or college students whose parents paid for everything, and I doubt either group would fill this position. It just seems like an unnecessary qualifier; job lengths don't always tell the whole story.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh Selection. This is something I know about. I'm guessing this company has had a TON of turnover and this is one of their methods to curb said turnover. Usually when a company has a policy like that its a bad sign for any potential employee because there is something about the job that is making people quit in large numbers (Usually but not always). I'd stay away from it if I were you. I can say that because I'm a grad student looking for a job myself. Good luck with the job search. I feel your pain.


Ian McGibboney said...

Don't worry, J. I already know to dismiss any job whose header consists of persuasive language and/or salary; if the job was worth a damn, it would simply be straightforward. Also, I don't do sales.

Hope Texas is treating you better than Louisiana, man.

Cajun Tiger said...

I definitely don't qualify for that job...this is my 13th job in the last 7 years. The FBI agent who had to handle my security clearance just "loved" me being this is also the 19th place I've lived in the same timeframe.