Job jumping

Job jumping blues: '60 jobs later' and other tales

April 12, 2011: 10:17 AM ET

Whether you're itching for something better or you know time is running out at your current gig, negotiating a job change is a challenge. Here are three readers' stories from the front lines.

FORTUNE -- Whether they were jumping themselves or dealing with the assumption that they ought to jump, the following readers' stories speak to the immense challenge of determining what it is you want in a career and when it's best to take a risk and pursue another opportunity.

Weigh in with your own job jumping experiences. Leave a comment. And check out the next round's question below and share your story.

Hopping your way to the right gig

Between graduating from college and taking my current job, I had five jobs in the span of just under three years. Why did I move from job to job so frequently?

It was not until my current job that I realized that I preferred a job that actually used my skills and abilities, as opposed to the "cool" careers that I had previously pursued.

Although I did have five jobs, most were part-time. I had three main jobs, including my current position.

Job No. 1 was with a standardized test preparation company. I had worked for them for two summers during college, and worked for them again the summer after I graduated. I was offered a full-time position with them, but I turned it down to look for another job.

Each of the three summers I worked at the test prep company, I needed to introduce myself to an entirely new cast of colleagues. The low rate of employee retention struck me as a warning sign I saw no reason to disregard.

I had no idea what kind of career I wanted, so I decided to turn down a readily available position and pursue an unrealistic pipe dream instead. Having always been an avid baseball fan, I thought I'd see if I could work in major league baseball.

I quickly discovered that the supply of professional baseball jobs, like other entertainment industries, is far outstripped by the demand for such jobs. So, job No. 2 was not actually with a major league baseball team; it was with a minor league team. More

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