What is Job-Hopping?
As demographics shift, and Millennials slowly overtake Baby Boomers in the labor
market, the general opinion on work also shifts—especially the opinion on how
long professionals should stay in their jobs. A recent PayScale survey reveals
that Millennials and Baby Boomers hold drastically different beliefs on how long
workers should stay in a job. How do you feel about it?
Defining "job hopper" is difficult. It’s more subjective, and again, opinions
vary. According to those who might be most knowledgeable and objective—HR
professionals— most believe changing jobs once a year qualifies you as a job
hopper, while another sizable group believes it’s once every two years.
So what are employers' perceptions of job hoppers? What are the benefits of
frequently moving to another position, and what are the drawbacks? Does
job-hopping make finding a
job harder? Get the answers to those questions and be more confident when
deciding to accept or decline new career opportunities by using our infographic
What Makes a Job Hopper?
Different people have different opinions on job-hopping. According to a PayScale
survey, 41% of Baby Boomers believe that workers should stay at a job for at
least 5 years before looking for a new role. If you ask Millennials what they
think, only 13% hold the same opinion.
As far as job loyalty is concerned, 26% of Millennials believe that you should
only be expected to stay at a job for 1 year or less before looking for new
opportunities. 20% of those surveyed said they were planning to leave their
current job after 1 or 2 years.
It’s clear that Millennials are much more likely to hop between jobs, but are
they concerned about the effects on their career? 83% said that job-hopping
could leave a bad impression on employers, but 86% wouldn’t let that get in the
way of going after their dream job.
With Millennials slowly taking over the workforce, perceptions about
job-hopping are changing. Only 62% of people think that job-hopping is damaging
to long-term career goals. Although workers quitting their job voluntarily has
been on the increase since about 2010, changing perceptions could also be due to
the fact that economic turbulence often affects job security. This forces people
to hop from one job to another as they find a position that offers them
HR professionals also hold varied opinions on the matter. A massive 51% believe
that changing jobs once a year makes you a job hopper, while 36% will still
consider you a job hopper if you change jobs as frequently as once every two
years. Some recruiters think that job-hopping can be detrimental to finding
employment, with 39% of them saying that it’s the biggest obstacle for those
trying to land a new job.
Benefits of Job-Hopping
Believe it or not, there can be some serious upsides to job-hopping. If done
right, here are 5 possible benefits that you could see when making a career
Your diverse background can be attractive to potential employers - you just
might have the right mix of skills they need. Be sure to keep a record of your
successful projects, including people who can serve as references.
You'll have the chance to see how other businesses work and grow your own
skillset in ways you couldn't by sticking with one employer.
If done right, job-hopping lets you build up a powerful professional network.
More often than not, it's a network, not a resume that gets you a job. 4 out of
10 job seekers have found their "best" role through personal connections.
Rather than waiting around for a promotion, job-hopping can be a fast-track to
upgrading your title, salary and benefits.
A new job can often lead to a higher paycheck as companies are willing to pay
more money for the right person. The average increase in salary for those who
stayed at their company was about 3% in 2015 compared to the average salary
increase when changing jobs which is between 10-20%.
Drawbacks of Being a Job Hopper
You now know the benefits, but what are the downsides to job-hopping? Here are
the 5 most common drawbacks that you’re likely to face.
Potential employers may be hesitant to hire you if it seems like you won't be
sticking around for long. The cost of replacing an employee earning
$30,000-50,000 is about 20% of their annual salary, and employers want to avoid
these expenses whenever possible!
Given your track record, you may be the first to go if an employer is forced to
lay off employees.
You'll miss out on seeing the long-term impact of your work, and you won't have
time to be
promoted from within. According to Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell,
it takes 2 years for the performance review of external hires to catch up with
workers internally promoted. This could be due to supervisory bias or the time
it takes for new hires to get up to speed.
Job-hopping can compromise your potential for developing reliable contacts that
can vouch for your talents.
Employers might assume you lack commitment - especially if you're hopping
laterally around many different sectors. 41% of employers believe job-hopping is
less acceptable when a worker reaches 30-35 years of age.
Should I Job Hop?
So, what’s the bottom line on job-hopping? If you stay too long at your company,
you might not be considered adaptable and ambitious enough for a new role. If
you leave too soon, you’ll miss the chance to get hired or promoted internally
and you might find it hard to show potential employers that you’ll be loyal.
Hop with caution, and before leaving your relatively new job, ask yourself these
questions: What do you want from your career? Have you made the most of your
current role? Why do you want new opportunities? Where has the greatest
long-term potential? What’s your industry’s norm?
Every career move is unique, so by doing your homework and staying up-to-date on
the latest career tips
you’ll be able to make the leap without hurting your professional goals.
Otherwise, reap the rewards by growing with a company.