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The never-ending job search

Satisfied or unsatisfied, employees feel the need to keep looking

By Marco Buscaglia

Tribune Media Services

March 23, 2013

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Kevin Holly held several jobs over the years, ranging from a cashier at an airport gift shop to a cook at a fast-food restaurant, most of them taking place while the 23-year-old went to school part time. In fact, the only constant during Holly's off-and-on college years was constant change.

"I'd get bored easily," says Holly. "Or maybe I couldn't get the hours that I wanted. It was no big deal. I'd switch to a store or restaurant that needed workers."

During Holly's last year in school, when he needed stability with his employer to concentrate on his classes, his luck ran out.

"The store I was working at closed and I was out in the cold," he says. "I wasn't prepared to move to a new place — my class schedule was all over the place. I ended up taking a few months off."

Being forced out of a job is one thing; being unable to find new work is another. Holly realized that his willingness to switch jobs cost him in the end. Instead of staying with a stable employer, he continually moved on, eventually moving himself out of a job.

Be prepared

Career adviser Micah Pratt says he hears scenarios like Holly's often. 

"People don't think they need to prepare themselves for whatever might be next in their lives," says Pratt. "Jobs are temporary things these days. Companies have no loyalty to you, only to the bottom line."

That's why Pratt says he thinks employees should continually look for the perfect situation, even if they've recently been hired.

"Until you're working for a place that gives you exactly how much money you want -- meaning you name the price  --  and showers you with perks and time off, you don't have the 'perfect job,'" says Pratt. "You may have a great job but there might be something out there that can offer you more."

Basic guidelines

Once you decide to remain active in the job market, there are a few things to remember: