Frequent job hopping may just be a coping mechanism
Dear Annie: I’m freshly moved out of my parents’ house. It’s a really exciting time for me! I’m gaining so much long-awaited independence. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity for self-growth and exploration. I live with a few friends, too, which is an awesome bonus. But what I’m struggling with is managing bills.
While I’m experienced at having jobs, especially in food service, I have a tough time keeping any one job for more than a few months. I’m not sure why that is. I put 100% effort into any job I have, but I just get this sort of “itch” and feel the need to leave the job and move on to something else, something different. That makes for a chaotic resume — one that shows I bounce around rather than staying committed — and also makes upward mobility all but impossible.
I think some of this “itch” stems from trauma that I’ve yet to process. A new job brings new things to learn, new things to do. It’s pleasantly distracting from the chaos in my head. And when I’ve been at a job for a few months, I know the ropes, so it’s less stimulating and, therefore, less distracting. But I have to somehow learn to stick with a job and see the value in committing to one place long-term so I can eventually move up in the ranks and earn better pay. Any tips? I feel like I’m choosing between short-term survival mechanisms and long-term goal-reaching. — Coping, Not Committing
Dear Coping, Not Committing: Your job hopping is not necessarily a bad thing. If your company is in decline, or if you are not learning at your job, or doing it mechanically, then it is a great thing to look for a job where you will grow and be challenged. This is especially true when you are young and just starting out.
Now, once you find a good job, if you are still restless and want to jump again, then it makes sense for you to look for a good therapist and work through your trauma. You are correct that past trauma, when not properly dealt with, can affect your current life in a negative way. It sounds like you are aware of this, so you are halfway there already.
Dear Annie: My wife is one of those people who always tries the latest fad. Her new thing is to wear “orange glasses” at night when we are watching TV or she is reading. She wears them for two or three hours before we go to sleep. They look kind of silly — like wearing sunglasses inside the house at night.
Her best friend told her about these glasses, so, of course, she had to buy them and wear them at night. I think she looks ridiculous, but she swears that this helps her to fall asleep. Do you know anything about this, or do any of your readers do this? — Wondering
Dear Wondering: Your wife is not wrong. There is a scientific basis for orange glasses helping to promote sleep by allowing the natural hormone melatonin to be produced. Melatonin helps us sleep. But bright lights, called “blue light,” constricts our production of melatonin. The theory is that by wearing the orange glasses, we limit blue light and allow for melatonin production to occur. If you feel they look ridiculous and don’t want to wear them, simply avoid bright lights for an hour or two before you go to sleep.
— — —
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.