Your reputation tends to doggedly follow you around wherever you go in life… eventually. Unlike your shadow, your rep usually has a bit of a delayed presence. If you’re a back-stabber, or a liar, or a chronic nose-picker, or are just really, really whiney, it’ll generally take new acquaintances a while to pick up on those aspects of your personality and behavior (OK, if you’re whiney it’ll probably take less than an hour, or as soon as you open your mouth, but it’s still delayed…).

Once they do pick up on them, and they will, those personality traits become critical pieces of the tapestry people see when they think of you, the paradigm through which they view you and weigh your contributions to the group – your reputation.

Of course, it goes without saying that we all want our reputations to be the best they can be!

The problem is, we’ve all got aspects of our personality that are less than delightful. After all, nobody’s perfect, right? However, given the sobering fact that we’ve all gotta eat, one would like to think those unappealing parts of our reputations would delay manifesting themselves long enough to make it through someone’s hiring process, or at least make it to an interview.

One might think that, but one would be wrong on at least one count.

Did you know that there is a reputation hiring and staffing managers can tag you with before they’ve heard you speak your first suave word, before they shake your firm, confident hand, before they’ve even laid eyes on your pearly whites and eager-beaver attitude?

What, pray tell, could hiring managers possibly know about your reputation without knowing anything about you beyond the resume you’ve carefully prepared for their discerning eyes?

The answer is, of course, that of “job hopper.”

Unless the position ONLY requires a warm and slightly non-comatose body, nobody, and I do mean nobody, wants to hire a job hopper. It’s the kiss of death in hiring, the one thing (besides the non-discovery of a job-relevant criminal background, of course!) our superiors can point to when it doesn’t work out and say, “Seriously? Why did you hire this guy in the first place? This is like his fifth job in the last three months!”

Maybe you just didn’t like your last four jobs. Surely job dissatisfaction is a pretty common thing. The universe does want you to be happy, right?

Well, I don’t know about all that, but I do know that each job you ditch like a used Band-Aid is a blot on your record you can never remove. Oh, you could lie and fudge the dates, but you’ll probably be caught. You could leave it off entirely, but empty, non-working time looks even worse.

No, the best thing to do is to stick with your job, if you can, for at least a year. Gain that valuable experience, learn from your mistakes and the mistakes your employer makes, and use your newfound experience in your next, hopefully more suitable position.

But this does beg the question, “How do you know whether you’ll like a job unless you try it out?”

I’m so glad you asked. This is, after all, a staffing agency blog – and we’re here to help!

The answer is, of course, to try a temp job with us or another staffing agency! Maybe it only lasts a few months, but then you move on to another one. Maybe you work something for a while (yes, we do ask that you give any job you accept the old college try) and decide to give us a notice because it isn’t for you. As long as you give a notice and leave on good terms, we can try and find you something else.

Spend a year or two working with us, and even if you’ve worked several temp assignments in that two year period, guess what you get to put on your resume?

That’s right – AtWork Personnel.

Potential employers will call us and we’ll be glad to tell them (if it’s true, of course) what a great employee you were and how you were always flexible and willing to work various assignments.

It’s a wonderful, low-risk, way to build your experience and try new things without earning the reputation of a job hopper. Then, when you do take the job of your dreams, whether it’s going full-time at one of our clients or moving on to something else, you’ll KNOW that job is for you.

Written by Scott Morefield

Scott started with AtWork as a Staffing Manager in 1999, eventually taking over the Bristol, TN office as Branch Manager in 2005. After a two year stint as both Branch Manager and social media manager, he assumed the role of Director of Marketing in October of 2014. By night, Scott is a news and opinion columnist for BizPac Review. His work has also been featured on the Drudge Report, Fox Nation, Breitbart, TheBlaze, WND, Staffing Talk, among others. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and an MBA from East Tennessee State University. He and his wife, Kim, live in Bristol, Tennessee with their four children.

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