Jumping To Your Dream Job

Derek Thompson flags a new study (pdf):

Jumping between jobs in your 20s, which strikes many people as wayward and noncommittal, improves the chance that you’ll find more satisfying—and higher paying—work in your 30s and 40s. “People who switch jobs more frequently early in their careers tend to have higher wages and incomes in their prime-working years,” said [Henry] Siu, a professor at the Vancouver School of Economics. “Job-hopping is actually correlated with higher incomes, because people have found better matches—their true calling.”

“True calling” is a messy term, since (a) job mastery, (b) job satisfaction, and (c) compensation don’t always line up. There are talented yet miserable investment bankers (a and c, not b), talented and fulfilled public-school teachers (a and b, not c), and several shan’t-be-named general managers of professional sports teams (b and c, not a). But overall, Siu said, adults who switch jobs multiple times are more likely to find a position in their prime-work years where they earn a higher wage and have a lower chance of quitting. (As always, causality is difficult to prove: Perhaps pro-active behavior leads to both higher wages and a greater likelihood of quitting.)