Does job hopping help or hurt your career?

Does job hopping help or hurt your career?

Have you been in your current position for more than a year? And are you looking for a new opportunity? If so, you’re not alone: Surveys show that workers are increasingly interested in job hopping. But how does it affect your career? 

The facts

In general, job hopping is defined as having five or more roles over a span of 10 years. Interestingly, Millennials and Gen Z workers are more prone to job hopping when compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. 

In one survey, more than 60 percent of participants believed that changing roles could help their careers and result in salary increases. However, almost 50 percent of CFOs stated they weren’t likely to hire someone with a track record of job hopping because they’d perceive them to be a flight risk.  

The pros and cons

According to Lily Herman’s article “Here’s the Truth About How Job Hopping Affects Your Career” for The Muse, job hopping offers several advantages:

  • You can gain experience in a variety of different projects and sectors.
  • It can be a way to learn a range of skill sets.
  • You can accelerate your career development — upgrading your title and salary.
  • You can expand your network considerably.

However, there are also multiple disadvantages:

  • Employers might be hesitant to hire you, as you could be seen as lacking commitment — especially if you’ve made multiple lateral moves around different sectors. 
  • You might wind up burning your bridges if you leave a job on a negative note.
  • During layoffs, job hoppers are frequently among the first to go.
  • You might not be able to grow in your job if you leave too quickly.
  • You won’t see the long-term effects of your work.

Knowing when to make a move

All things considered, there’s a lot to be said for mobility — so long as it keeps your career moving forward and doesn’t detract from your professional persona. So how do you know when it’s time to make a career move?

In her Payscale article “How to Job Hop the Right Way (and Make $$$),” Gina Belli advises that it’s critical to put your career first. Even if you feel a strong sense of loyalty to your company and coworkers, you’re well within your rights to leave for another job if it’s better for you. Keep in mind that a good employer will keep you moving forward, so if you aren’t feeling challenged and there’s no room for growth, it’s probably time to look elsewhere. 

However, before you accept a position at another company, make sure that your choice isn’t merely motivated by money — you still need to enjoy your job, so it’s best to make sure you’ll be exposed to a range of new challenges if you make a move.



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