“Trauma jumping” is a somewhat new term for something that many people have dealt with for years. It’s now becoming recognized in the job market, especially after the pandemic, and it’s becoming more commonplace.
What is “trauma jumping”?
Simply put, “trauma jumping” is when you experience workplace trauma and continue to job hop in order to avoid it. If you’re a job hopper who switches jobs frequently, you might be experiencing some workplace trauma that is continually triggered at new jobs.
What is workplace trauma?
Workplace trauma happens when someone is exposed to a hostile or toxic work environment or experiences a crisis at their job. This can include:
- Stressful or unresolved conflicts with coworkers or bosses
- Experiencing a life-threatening event while on the job
- Experiencing excessive pressure or dealing with an unmanageable workload
- Feeling emotionally or physically unsafe in your work environment
What are the signs of workplace trauma?
If you’re experiencing any or all of these symptoms, it might be from a workplace trauma:
- Frequent aches, pains, or headaches
- Angry outbursts, feeling irritable
- Constantly feeling fatigued or having job burnout
- Feeling anxious while at work or while thinking about work
- Negative self-talk
- Losing focus or experiencing brain fog
- Using unhealthy coping mechanisms before, during, or after work, such as increased use of substances or seeking isolation
How to know if you’re “trauma jumping.”
Here are a few good ways to determine if you’re “trauma jumping” and how to deal with them.
1. Be honest with yourself about why you’re changing jobs
Think about the last couple of times you changed jobs. Did you do so for a better opportunity, a higher salary, better benefits, or the ability to move to a more desirable location? Or did you make a lateral move simply to get out of your old job, away from your former boss, or away from your former coworkers?
If your reasons for changing jobs are more in alignment with your career goals or for a better opportunity, it’s unlikely that you’re “trauma jumping.”
But if your reasons have more to do with making a lateral move to get away from your previous employer, if so, you’re most likely “trauma jumping.”
2. Look for warning signs before changing jobs
It can be easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to a bad work situation and make a change to get out of an unhealthy environment quickly. But, if you don’t know why you’re changing jobs and what’s causing you to be unhappy, you won’t know what to look for in your next job.
If your boss and coworkers are supportive and invested in your success, there may be another reason you want to leave. But being in a toxic workplace environment on a daily basis is unhealthy. Look for these common signs of a toxic workplace to determine what type of situation you’re in:
- Bullying or microaggressions
- Public humiliation
- Spreading gossip or rumors
- Unequal treatment
- Belittling or dismissing your ideas
3. Find a way to cope and work through your trauma
Workplace trauma is real, and it should be taken seriously. It can be hard to move on if you start to feel anxiety in every new job that it will turn out like a toxic work environment you’ve experienced in the past.
While it’s important to be kind to yourself and use some self-care to work through the issues, it can also be beneficial to talk it out with others. Talk about it with family, friends, or even your HR rep. Be sure you talk to someone you can trust with your emotions, who won’t put you down or think you’re just complaining about your job. A professional is also an excellent option to help you find a way to cope and help you to understand the trauma you’re feeling.
Before hopping to your next job, look at why you want to make a change. “Trauma jumping” is real, but if you don’t figure out what’s behind the trauma, you won’t be happy in your next endeavor.
I Am Here To Help
Regardless of why you feel you need to look for a new job, I am here to help. If you find yourself in a situation where you need career advice or interview support and want to talk about planning for your future, reach out to me, Rachel Schneider at Career Find, for a free Intro Call. I would love to speak with you to determine if I can help you accomplish your goals.