Gauging the cost of millennials’ job hopping

What, three whole years at the agency and you haven’t made partner yet? Time to try greener pastures. What impact does this generation’s short attention span have at your office?

That was how one of our millennial employees prefaced her explanation about why she was going off to try new things. It’s been eating at me for a while. I find the sentiment fairly common.

“Almost three years” is a long time? I’ve been working at the same agency since 1994 when I helped buy out SHIFT’s predecessor agency, seven years ago. (Because you’re probably in marketing or PR, I’ll do the math for you: that’s 16 years in one agency.)

Am I such an anomaly? Should I be ashamed of my long tenure? Would a millennial sniff at this level of loyalty? Would they consider my longevity a character flaw, a fear of change?

I don’t think there are many people who would suggest I am not a risk-taker—putting my house on the line to start SHIFT; trying to re-imagine the press release and newsroom; blogging way before it was cool; wrestling alligators; semi-professional demon-hunting; etc. Yet I’ve never seriously considered lighting out for new territories. I find plenty of challenges, and rewards, in making this place awesome.

“Yeah, but you’re the OWNER,” I hear you say. Fair enough.

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