There was a time when people graduated college, sought a position with a company and expected to stay there. That time is gone. The “new normal” for the average worker today is 4.4 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The younger employees in today’s job market, however, stay with their jobs about half that time.
At first glance it may seem as though job hopping is career suicide, suggesting to potential employers you are restless, unfulfilled, or solely focused on salary. Some hiring managers may view you as unstable, and therefore not a good risk. However, there are times when job hopping makes sense.
A history of frequent job changes may not be harmful to your career. Many employers consider it admirable if your reasons for leaving a job were motivated by an opportunity to strengthen your skill set, gain experience and grow from greater challenges or better educational opportunities.
Changing jobs to increase your skills and experience also indicates a desire to increase your value to an employer. If your job history consistently shows greater responsibilities in the same or similar industries, employers may view you as a person focused on becoming an expert in your chosen field.
Another viable reason for changing jobs relates to the type of industry involved. If your interest lies in technology, for instance, it is considered acceptable to change positions in order to acquire the technical knowledge necessary to stay competitive in your market.
Although job hopping may soon replace the concept of climbing the corporate ladder, changing jobs due to job dissatisfaction can still be detrimental. Sometimes the grass isn’t actually greener, and employers may view this kind of change as a lack of maturity or it is likely you will not stay with them long, making it difficult to invest in you. There may be times when it’s best to stick things out until a better opportunity arises within the company, and a lateral move can be made.
Don’t Burn Bridges
Job hopping is just recently gaining greater acceptance among employersand still may cause some to hesitate to hire you. While a variety of jobs can show a diversity of experiences, exposure to different work environments, and flexibility, frequent job changes may spell disloyalty or a lack of commitment to some employers. Do your best to develop healthy business relationships, and leave each job with at least one person willing to give you a good reference.
Michael Klein is a premier writer and speaker on all aspects of human capital. As VP Operations for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. Michael was awarded, The New York State Small Business Growth Award; presented by Governor George Pataki. Additionally, Michael has successfully grown and sold multiple firms. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact Michael at 646-350-3015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.