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Job-Hopping: Career Help or Hindrance?

Published: Monday 16th September 2019

Job-hopping is not a new thing. People have always job-hopped, especially when starting out on a career in order to gain work experience and progress more quickly. According to research from a staffing agency, Robert Half, 64% of workers are eager to job-hop and, today, it’s a phenomenon that seems to be on the rise as the ‘job for life’ becomes a thing of the past. This is certainly the case among millennials who want to explore more avenues and not be tied to the same desk as their parents for twenty years. 

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of being a job-hopper? 

Benefits of job-hopping 

Clearly, there are benefits to be had in terms of learning new skills, especially working in industries such as IT, where workers can gain exposure to different technologies and infrastructure. You’ll also build a larger network of contacts which could be handy when it comes to a career move further down the line 

Of course, if you’re just starting out, job-hopping gives you the opportunity to try out a number of different career niches to see what you’re best at, or discover the right specialism for your particular talents 

Another welcome advantage is that, for many, a new job generally comes with a salary upgrade, so your pay can rise quickly. Eventually, however, you will hit ceiling, which, ironically, could mean taking a pay cut to progress further at another organisation  

Close-up Of A Smiling Woman Showing Company Cheque - Image

The downsides of job-hopping 

In the past, many employers would view a job-hopper as disloyal and uncommittedThat isn’t entirely the case anymore, especially for younger workers, but employers will be averse to investing in an employee if they believe they’re going to leave before delivering a return on that investment 

Certainly, if you’re changing job every six months, or before your probation period has ended, this could be a red flag to employers that you aren’t going to stay with them very long either. And, if you’re only working in each role for a short time, when it comes to redundancies, as one of the last in, you risk being one of the first out. 

First working day in office concept, friendly male boss welcoming new female employee

What’s more, while there might be plenty of opportunities to job-hop if there is a shortage of talent in your niche, when the job market is tougher, it could be the most stable candidates that secure the few available vacancies. 

good work-life is all about balance 

Nevertheless, job-hopping can be beneficial if well-planned. Do it too soon and too often and your tendency to job-hop will be become very evident on your CV, which could mean some difficult questioning at interviews. Just saying you were bored or wanted more money, probably isn’t going to win you the job. Instead, you’ll have to work much harder to assure them that you’re there for the long term.  

Young yoga position businessman relaxing in nature outdoor - Image

If you do find that you’re becoming a serial job-hopper, take a little extra care when job-hunting. Make sure the opportunities you apply for are the ones you really want. If you apply for everything that comes along, there’s a much greater chance you’ll end up in the wrong role and want to leave sooner. One way of doing that is by targeting your job hunt more effectively by using the advanced search criteria on Zoek’s job search platform.  

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