Why this CEO says job hopping in your 20s could hurt your career

Sharon Napier, CEO of Partners + Napier
Partners + Napier

People in their 20s today are often told, "The only real way to get a raise is to change jobs," or "Always look out for a better opportunity."

Many young people adopted this mentality in order to deal with the post-2008 economy. Even now, about 60 percent of millennials are open to taking a new job.

But one successful CEO thinks job hopping in your 20's could end up hurting your career.

Do not go anywhere unless you think you're going to stay for three years and be all in.
Sharon Napier
CEO of Partners + Napier

Sharon Napier, CEO of Partners + Napier, has been in advertising for decades. She helped coordinate the buyout of her marketing agency, and leads its work with clients like Delta, Capital One, Keurig Green Mountain and Wegmans.

While she recognizes that the job market has changed, Napier advises young people to only take jobs that are truly exciting to them, and then commit.

"Don't go for a pit stop, because you've got to go and learn," Napier says. "You've got to be committed."

Jobs in your 20's are for figuring out what you love to do, for gaining great experience, and for building your reputation, she says.

"Like I tell my kids now, do not go anywhere unless you think you're going to stay for three years and be all in."

"If you stay in something, then you gotta be all in," she says.

Of course, you may find that you want to switch careers or take an offer you just cannot pass up. In that case, the CEO says, "Go for it," because you're coming from a place of real excitement.

"If life creates opportunities, take them," she says. "But I just hate this transient [mentality], 'I'm gonna go for a few months or a year and I'm going to take the next job that's going to make me $10,000 more.'"

Chasing money without a clear plan could backfire, the CEO says.

"If you do that, you're gonna wake up at 30 not knowing what you're doing," says Napier.

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