The Pros and Cons of Job-hopping

‘Job-hopper’ is something of a loaded term. For some recruiters and employers, it brings to mind a candidate who lacks the necessary ‘staying power’ to build a successful career.

But, is this assessment really fair? And, with 43% of millennials planning to change jobs within the next two years, are attitudes towards so-called ‘job-hopping’ now starting to shift?

To find out, we polled our Twitter network on what they thought was the minimum amount of time new employees should spend in a job. Here’s how they responded:

  • 26% - 12 months or less
  • 42% - 1-2 years
  • 13% - 2 years
  • 19% - Over 2 years

(Sample of 72 followers in our network)

So, if you’re currently planning the next step on your career path soon, you’re in good company. But, what are the advantages (and pitfalls) of job-hopping in today’s market? Let’s take a look …

Advantages of Job-hopping

Faster Salary Progression

Figures from Legal Technology Solutions show that job-hopping earns the average employee a pay rise of around 8-10% with each move, significantly more than the average annual increase for those who choose to stay put - which sits at around 3%.

These statistics suggest that provided they stay in each role long enough to develop their skills and deliver value for their employers, ‘job-hoppers’ are in an excellent position to move up on the career ladder and boost their earning power!

A Wider Range of Experience

New starters typically spend the first month or two ‘learning the ropes’. Then, after around a year, they should be familiar with their duties, colleagues and the company’s wider goals. Once they have reached this point, workers will typically learn much less in the way of new skills and competencies in subsequent years.

However, those that change jobs every few years will invariably gain a broader range of experience than those that don’t.

Build a More Varied Network

Working numerous jobs will expose you to a larger circle of professional contacts than if you remain in the same role for a prolonged period. Having a larger network can introduce you to more opportunities when you decide to change jobs. And, those in sales-orientated roles will also be at an advantage when it comes to bringing in new business.

A Chance to Find the Perfect Fit

By experiencing a variety of different working environments over the course of your career, you’ll come to clearly understand what kind of culture and employer best suit your skills and lifestyle.

If you’ve been in the same job for decades, you may be blissfully unaware that there’s a role out there that would suit you so much better!

Disadvantages of Job-hopping

Risk of Redundancy

During difficult periods, when layoffs are necessary, many employers will operate a ‘first in, first out’ policy. This means that they will make relatively new employees redundant, ahead of their time-served colleagues. As such, job-hoppers have slightly less job security, as they are more vulnerable to redundancy.

Some Stigma Remains

As we’ve highlighted, attitudes towards job-hopping are changing among professionals, but some employers and recruiters may still make judgements about candidates with more varied CVs.

For instance, if you’ve worked for numerous companies that have since ceased trading, they may bring into question your judgement as a prospective employee, whether fairly or not.

Or, if you appear to have scaled the career ladder on the back of a series of two-year stints, recruiters and employers may suspect that your motives for doing so were purely financial.

A Lack of Loyalty?

One of the major reasons employers may be reticent to take a chance on a job-hopper would be a question of loyalty. They may have concerns that if their business ever encountered difficulties, such a candidate would be tempted to ‘jump ship’ rather than work with the team to turn its fortunes around.

No right or wrong way?

So, we’ve looked at some of the benefits and drawbacks a ‘job-hopping’ career path can bring about. But, is there really a right or wrong path for a successful, fulfilling career? We think not.

You can keep an eye out for the right opportunity to make your next career move, or concentrate instead on progressing within your current workplace. And, somewhere along the way, circumstances may dictate your next step.

In fact, when you look back on your career, decades from now, you may find the path taken was very different to what you originally envisaged. So, don’t worry too much if you’re not yet where you planned to be.

It’s our belief that with enough determination, perseverance and understanding of your chosen field, you can create a very rewarding career for yourself. So, keep your head up and keep up the good work. We wish you the best of luck for the years ahead!

Matt Keleher - Agency Central Ltd