Job Hopping: Should you hop with caution?

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With the emergence of a workforce full of Gen X’s and Gen Y’s, Baby-Boomers are slowly but surely riding off into the retirement sunset and job longevity is becoming a thing of the past.

Enter the job-hopper: one who frequently changes jobs.

It is near impossible to know where your career will lead you from a young age, but as people gain work experience and skills, they become one step closer to being incisively aware of what the ‘perfect job’ is to them.

According to Australian social researcher; McCrindle, the average employment tenure in Australia is now only 3.3 years. This equates to around 17 different jobs over the average working career.

Is this a bad thing? Maybe, maybe not… over the years employers and recruiters are beginning to have a different perception toward job-hoppers and their ‘jumpy’ CVs. Historically, having ‘too many’ jobs may put you behind your competition but today job-hopping is replacing the concept of climbing the corporate ladder.

PROS:

Diversity – Being exposed to a broad range of companies will give employees exposure to diverse working environments, different sized companies and a wider range of people, personalities and challenges. This generally produces very adaptable people; the direct opposite to the stoic Baby-Boomers of the past. Adaptable people work well in company’s undergoing change or constantly evolving.

Skills – Job-hoppers tend to have worked with a wider range of people and professions, inevitably picking up a broad skill set along the way. They can often bring fresh ideas and new ways of doing things, making them an attractive choice to a new employer.

Networking – It’s more important than ever before. Moving jobs often v. staying in the same company for 30 years is likely to arm job-hoppers with more social and professional contacts which could prove very beneficial down the track.

Fearlessness – Changing jobs can be daunting, but not to the job-hopper. Having staff who are unafraid to try new things could prove very useful to a new employer.

More money – Surprised? Stay in the same job for 30 years and receive lackluster raises each year or job-hop your way up the corporate ladder to new positions which almost always result in better pay.

CONS:

Are you a worthwhile investment? Investing in new staff is an expensive and time intensive exercise. A jumpy resume gives the impression that there is a strong chance you will move on from your next role in a short time. Whether correct or not, a long tenure in a job is generally perceived as loyalty.

Security – In uncertain times, and given your past track record – you may be the first cab off the redundancy rank. Last in – first out.

Relationships – A job-hopper may struggle to build strong relationships with co-workers in short periods of time, meaning at reference check time the chance of landing your next role could be seriously jeopardized.

Decision making – If you have already had a succession of jobs lasting only a short time, potential employees will wonder why you keep making poor career decisions. Bad judgment is definitely not something that employers are looking for.

 Consider this:

Stay too long:

  • Not considered ambitious enough
  • Not adaptable for a new role

Leave too soon:

  • No chance to get promoted internally
  • Difficult to show potential employers you’ll be loyal

From a recruitment point of view, it is important to have valid reasons for job-hopping, so that you aren’t put on the spot at interview time and so that your potential employer can understand your reasons for leaving.

No matter the reason for leaving a job, and regardless of whether you worked for 1 month or 1 year, its critical to explain how your role, and how you performed it, was a significant part of the companies success.

Every career move is unique and if you job-hop for the right reasons, that are out of necessity and opportunity then the pros should outweigh the cons and you will be perceived as an adaptable, skillful and ambitious candidate.

Thank you

Thank you for contacting us!
We will be in contact shortly.