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Home | Got a Minute | Career advice | No. 93 – How do I find a new employer when I’ve had three jobs in two years?

No. 93 – How do I find a new employer when I’ve had three jobs in two years?

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8 February 2023

I work in the financial services industry training to become a financial advisor. I have had to change financial firms three times in two years for different reasons; once because the kind of work they did for clients wasn’t my area of interest, the second time because I was being micromanaged, and at a third, I needed to report the firm to ASIC for multiple regulatory breaches. How do you recommend I find the right firm to complete my professional year as a financial adviser? And how do I approach new job opportunities given I have changed jobs three times in fairly quick succession?

It sounds like you have had a tumultuous few years and finding stability to finish your professional year is a priority. There is no doubt that having a few different employers on your CV over the past two years will be a challenge to overcome in an interview. I think you are best to be upfront about this in your cover letter and explain how you are looking for a long-term future with a firm where the values and culture align with your own. The fact you left the first firm because of the kind of work they did indicates you may need to make sure you do your research well next time. I am sure you have learnt that lesson the hard way. The second issue around micromanagement is a frustrating issue many people have to deal with and perhaps rather than leaving a future job for that, you try and work through the issue with them.

Finding the right employer in any industry is tough and what may seem like a good fit during the interview may not be the reality once you get inside. The best thing you can do is ask plenty of questions in the interview about the kind of experiences they offer those completing their professional year, the opportunities you might be offered down the track, the ways you will be able to stretch yourself professionally and seek to understand the values of the organisation and how they are lived day to day.

I have been a nurse for more than 15 years and after a few different nursing roles, I realise it is nursing I don’t like and feel as though all compassion has been sucked out of me. I feel trapped because I don’t know what work I would prefer to do and still need income if I retrain to do something else, but I have so much dread heading into work. Is there any advice you could offer on how to change careers and find a different path while still being forced to work in a role that is ultimately impacting mental health?

I can’t even begin to imagine how challenging the last few years must have been for you and everyone who is a frontline worker. It sounds like you may be experiencing burnout, which can be debilitating as well as challenging to manage if you are unable to change your current arrangements. Is there an employee assistance program (EAP) provider or someone at work you can speak to for advice? If you belong to a union you may also be able to consult their services. Once you get the support you need for your mental health then I think you will be in a much better position to think about the different roles you might want to explore in the future. Do take care of yourself; after 15 years of caring for others it is definitely time to put yourself first.

I have been applying for jobs unsuccessfully and someone asked me whether I was writing a thank-you email afterwards. I haven’t been, and didn’t even realise this was a thing. Can you let me know if writing a thank-you email after an interview is important and if so, what it should say?

The fact you have not written thank-you emails after an interview would not be the deciding factor whether you are offered a role. Post-interview emails are not, in my experience, “a thing”, but if written well they are not likely to be a problem either. If it is an internal job application, an email of thanks could be well received. If you have been interviewed by a professional contact or someone you know, likewise a thank-you email may be appropriate.

If you do choose to write a thank-you email, keep it brief. Thank the person for their time and consideration, confirm your interest in the role and offer to answer any questions they may have. That is it. Make sure you do not have any typos and absolutely avoid a long email trying to answer interview questions again.

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