Job Hopping – Chic and Trendy?

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Old Way of Thinking

Job Hopping with two years of tenure or less is CAREER SUICIDE.

New Way of Thinking

Job Hopping gains valuable experience that will pay off in the long run.



Why the Change in Thinking?

  1. Changing Corporate Cultures. Life commitment to one firm is gone. Pensions have become obsolete. Employer sponsored healthcare costs are increasingly being passed on to the employee. Annual raise averages of 3% aren’t competitive with 10-15% salary increases in a job change.
  2. Internet. The rise of the internet opened up territorial and global boundaries. Information on companies, individuals at companies and candidates is widely available. Feedback and opinions on everyone and everything is ubiquitous. Finding out about opportunities and the pros and cons of those opportunities is now almost instantaneous.
  3. The 2009 Recession. The depth and breadth of this recession dealt a body blow to the concept of loyalty. Stable companies and stable wages are not assured. Contingent work forces of temp, part-time and contract workers, mean companies can adjust their staff as the market or the economy dictates.
  4. Automation. Continuing automation of industries is requiring a more educated worker or no worker at all. Job security is contingent on the next technology breakthrough.


The Benefits of Job Hopping

  1. High Performers. Job Hoppers have to prove themselves right away partly to fight the bias against job hoppers and the last in/first out problem. To change jobs frequently takes effort and drive that if correctly channeled on the job can reap great benefits for the employer.
  2. Diverse skill set. Having worked at multiple companies means job hoppers have more than one way of answering a problem. They tend to be more innovative because they’ve seen a variety of solutions. They don’t have the “we’ve always done it this way” syndrome. If they have moved from a large company to a small company, they bring the more commonly provided training and experience with established structure with them.
  3. Monetary Gain. Annual raises average 3% while salary increases from a job change average between 10-15%….but don’t get priced out of your skill set.
  4. Adaptability. Candidates who have changed jobs frequently have learned skills that allow them to interface quickly and efficiently with a variety of personalities. With multiple positions they have multiple and a more diverse networks of contacts.
  5. Figure out what you want to do. Early on in your career job hopping can help you decide what you want to really do, and what you don’t.


The Negatives of Job Hopping

  1. Quitter. Questions arise about your decision making .
  2. Burned Bridges. Employers expend time, effort and resources to find talented people. If those people pass too quickly through positions, the employer has lost that person but also the effort expended in hiring and training them.
  3.  Lack of Depth. You may have developed more contacts for your network but are they relationships of depth and greater commitment than “hi” in the hallway?
  4. Change is Exhausting. People are creatures of habit and being the new kid on the block time and time again can be very tiring.
  5. Accomplishments. Make sure you have some real accomplishments to note under each job. Providing evidence of measurable value in previous jobs is critical for future employment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that Baby Boomers job hopped in their twenties just as frequently as millennials do now. Of course, baby boomers were entering the job market in the wild and crazy sixties as well as dealing with the Vietnam War and it’s impact on employment opportunities. It is the mindset toward job hopping that seems to have changed more recently. Millennials might succeed in making job hopping the chic and trendy thing to do.

Interested in discussing your career or you hiring needs? Contact one of the Executive Recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates.


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