Q: I am 27 years old and hold a Master’s degree. I’ve worked full-time in my field for four years since grad school. No gaps, two jobs. I am good at my work. Everyone tells me “I am going places.” The problem is it’s not happening. I get interviews and positive feedback. About every possible aspect of my presentation, but nobody can bring themselves to hire me. Friends say I look too young, and I should sit tight and let myself age a bit. I don’t know what to make of this. Am I being impatient? Is there anything I can do?
A: Let me give you some straight feedback. You have worked in your field for four years. You have had two jobs. This translates to two years per job.
My advice would be to put your head down and perform well in your current job. Keep your eyes peeled for your next role but it should not be your focus. Continue to develop a strong professional reputation. Network and build relationships now and throughout your career.
Some interviewers may be concerned about your jumpiness in your career. They may be thinking that you are overeager and would likely be looking in two years after you landed your next job. Employers typically want employees to remain with a company for more than two years. There are costs associated with hiring an employee. The cost to source, hire, onboard, orient and train an employee are all real costs for any employer.
I am less concerned about your youthful appearance and more concerned with your need to make a move after just two years. You don’t mention that a compelling reason to move into a new role. Maybe you are an inpatient person?
Never stop networking and building strong professional relationships. Connect with others on Linkedin. I would suggest that you focus on performing well in your current role. There may be opportunities within your current department or company.
Finally, accept new responsibilities within your current role. Raise your hand for training opportunities. There are ways to make your role more interesting without leaving your current position.