Is Job Hopping Good for Your Career?
By Ron Kness
In today’s workplace, 64 percent of employees favor changing jobs several times throughout their career, and when narrowed down to just millennials, that percentage jumps to 75 percent. For the most part, long gone is employee loyalty when a person spent their entire working life with the same company…many times in the same job!
Today’s frequent change of employment is known as job hopping. But even with a high percentage of people favoring job hopping (defined as spending two years or less in a position) it is good for your career?
PROS OF JOB HOPPING
The answer is it can be, and people cite many reasons they chose to change jobs often. Reasons cited include:
- Getting out of a negative work situation
- Increasing salary
- Positioning for a better promotion
- Learning new skills
- Keeping competitive in a changing work environment
- Challenging self to move outside a comfort zone
- Increasing professional network
- Preventing boredom
CONS OF JOB HOPPING
However, there are also a few reasons why it is not a good thing to job hop:
- Hiring managers may not want to take a chance on you if you have a track record of moving every two years or less; five job changes in the last ten years on your resume will raise a red flag.
- It can weaken your resume if you have many different work experiences in a short period of time.
- Your resume shows a wide breadth of skills, but not much depth.
- Starting over with each new job, learning new processes and procedures specific to that company may be exciting with the first few job moves, but it gets old after a few times.
- Uncertainty of future employment
- Hitting a salary plateau
SALARY INCREASES HIT A WALL EVENTUALLY
If your job hopping just to increase your salary, eventually you can wind up with nowhere else to go. Moving very quickly up the salary ladder means that you will hit a plateau at some point. The challenge is to avoid being overpriced for the market. So, if you could be missing the skills, education or experience necessary for your next move in order to get the expected salary.
If you move too fast, you won’t have a long-term track record of results. With experts saying it takes at least six months for a newly-hired individual to become productive at their job, moving every two years or less does not leave much time to show what a person can do over time. You may excel in the short-term, but make sure you’re thinking about your long-term track record.
TRACK RECORD IS IMPORTANT
Because hiring, onboarding and training employees is expensive, companies are reluctant to hire someone that has a track record of changing jobs every two years or less. While it can be desirable to change jobs, it should be done for the right reasons and at the right point in one’s career. In the long run, too much job hopping can negatively affect your career instead of enhancing it.