Job-Hopping: The Good, The Bad... The Unavoidable?

To a certain extent, job-hopping is unavoidable.

In recent years, many factors, from a rapidly shifting economy to outgrowing that original career trajectory can have a huge effect on where we start our career paths to where we end up.

Job-hopping, however, has traditionally been cited as ‘bad practice’ from notable experts in the field for years, but is it really? What are the short and long term effects of job-hopping on our careers?

Why All the Job-Hopping, Anyway?

It’s no secret that when job candidates transition between jobs, they are invariably doing so in their hope of pursuing career success. Whether that means searching for better pay, a more diverse environment, or even just finding the perfect fit job for them, job hunters have a multitude of reasons that send them routinely searching for greener career pastures. And millennials are usually the biggest offenders in this. Or, at least, they find themselves job-hopping at higher rates than previous generations.

Citing “better money”, younger job searchers are on record for saying that they are more likely to find a job for better pay if they use job-hopping as a method to fast-track their careers toward success. But there’s usually more to this.

Sometimes due to layoffs and discharges, shifting through a series of jobs isn’t always by choice, and at times, can be unavoidable.

But job-hopping isn’t all bad. There are some key gains that job-hunters of all ages can receive from it.

The Good:

Having a diverse resume can ultimately prove useful, as long as job hunters are mindful about the kind of experiences that they are gaining, and about whether they are making their time count at the next job.

The benefits can actually be great for job hunters. Having a diverse job background can often lead to a breadth of invaluable experiences, as well as the opportunity to have a wider network of professional relationships.

It can also be a great way to fast-track your employment prospects. You don’t have to wait around for an uncertain promotion, with job searchers citing a 10-20% increase in pay from getting hired at a new company than waiting for a promotion at the same one.

But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with its deficits as well.

The Bad:

Okay, here’s the moment of truth, though. Recruiters don’t love seeing a track record of chronic job changes come across their desks. Especially if they are coming from candidates with just a few years in the job market. This of course, could be a point of discussion in an interview. To that end, it still may be easier to explain a few changes in jobs, than having to explain gaps in your resume. All hope isn’t lost, of course. But it will most likely warrant a few extra questions in the interview.

In your interview, make sure that you highlight key learnings from your diverse job experiences, and highlight how they’ve solidified you into being a better candidate. Ultimately companies want to know that you are in it for the long haul, and will add value in the form of your presence and expertise over time.

Key Considerations for Career Changers:

Job hunters are advised to keep key learning at the center, so that they can continue to create a solid idea of what they want, who they are, and what they can ultimately bring to the table. When in doubt, apply the “Two-Year Rule”.  This means to intend to stay in a new desired position for two years at least, barring any extravagant circumstances. Experts believe that doing so will demonstrate discipline, commitment, and enough time spent in a position to gain some substantive expertise to be able to add value to whatever job you find yourself in next. And you never know, perhaps this might be the one that is the ultimate best fit.

The Conclusion? A little job-hopping is inevitable and even healthy, in some respects. Too much, though, and you could create an un-erasable track record that becomes tougher to move beyond the more time goes by. Whatever your next job adventure is, Mockmate is here to help get you prepared for it. Give our ultra-smart job interview simulator a try, so that you are prepared to answer any number of interview questions, and be well on your way to acing your next interview!

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