Job Hopping - Meaning, Advantages and Disadvantages

Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2022 by Izabela KrajkaNo comments

As Millennials and Gen Z are quicker to change careers, the question of job hopping and if it's really THAT bad comes to our minds. For a long time, every recruiter would discourage from switching jobs too quickly or too often. But is it still true in today's market? What does job-hopping even mean? Well, let me explain that much and more.

Job Hopping Meaning

The term is used to describe changing jobs very often. Basically, working at one place for a short period of time, like 1 year or less. Moreover, frequent job changing may be seen negatively by a recruiter. However, it became more popular recently due to Covid-19 and other unforeseen events.

When is Job Hopping Bad?

Okay, so let's start with what we've all heard before. If you change your job too often, no employer will take you seriously. Why would anyone want to hire you if in a few months you change your mind again and leave? After all, recruiting new talent is timely and costly in itself.

If you transfer to a new job each time you make a mistake or have a bad relationship with your colleagues, that's a red flag. Moreover, if you change jobs without even learning anything new or developing at all, that's a red flag. And if you can count the different careers you've had in the past 5 years on more than one hand, that's a red flag.

Yes, you should explore what you like but give yourself time to fully explore one job before jumping to the next one! It's good to have options, especially when you're young and switching jobs can be excused more. However, unless you have stayed in a company long enough to see other departments, you might not have found that you'd like to switch from Finance to Marketing.
The purpose of a job is not only salary and title but also what you LEARN. Skills are like currency within recruitment, so make sure to learn as much and gain as many skills from each position as you can.

When is Job Hopping Okay?

So, you were told to stay in a position for at least 1,5 or even 2 years. But what if just after a month in your first ever job you want to leave? Or perhaps, during an interview, you were promised things that never turned out to be true? Well, that's a different story.

As much as you should try to spend a few years in one position, there are some exceptions.

  • You were misled during an interview process
  • Move to another city or country
  • Toxic environment within the company or team
  • If you feel stagnant or overqualified and have no growth opportunities in your company
  • Physical or mental situation stops you from being able to perform well in your job

When one of them applies to your situation, be sure to explain it. In your next interview, tell the recruiter why you had spent so little time in previous roles. If you can, put your achievements, projects and some metrics in the CV.

The Disadvantages of Job Hopping

the disadvantages of job hopping

Now, let's quickly mention some of the disadvantages that frequent job switching carries.

Difficulty finding a new job

I'm sure you saw that one coming. Nothing more to add here. If you can't hold a job for longer than 1 year, many recruiters will question why this time would be different. Or that perhaps you're just bad at your job and are a quitter. Not exactly the personality traits an employer looks for.

No clear experience

What I mean by this, is if you had many different careers for a short time, your skill set is lacking. Most likely, you never had the chance to advance in your career so have little expertise. Your CV should show a clear path of where you're heading.

Unhappy in your job

The more times you change jobs after a few months only, the less happy you'll be in any of them. After all, the first few months you're just finding your place in the company and learning what the job is about. Only then can you fully enjoy everything else. You get holidays, establish positive relationships with colleagues and see opportunities to learn and develop. And we all appreciate a bonus at the end of the year if the company does well that year :)

Stress and worrying

No consistent income is the source of many worries and constant stress. Worrying when you'll find a new job and get paid so you can pay for rent isn't fun. And since it's hard to find a good job in a week or two, make sure you have your next job lined up. However, if you've been hopping from one to another, you'll find it gets harder to land interviews and secure the position. So save yourself the stress and stay for longer than 1,5 years in one place if there aren't any bigger issues with it.

The Advantages of Job Hopping

And finally, we have the perks of changing your job! As I mentioned before, more people decide to switch their jobs quicker. A survey from ADP of 1,500 employers in the UK shows that nearly half of workers want to change jobs in the next 3 years!

the advantages of job hopping

The market today is more fluid and we're in the middle of a war for talent. This means that people are on the move and constantly looking for better offers. That is indeed something employers must understand and adapt to. This also leads to this part, that job-hopping can also be a good thing. So, here is why.

Better salary

Probably one of the primary reasons why people switch jobs. If they're offered better pay and benefits at a new company it's hard to see why they wouldn't switch jobs. Sometimes, it's also easier and quicker to change a job than wait for a raise or a bonus from their employer

Career advancement

Another advantage of job hopping is being able to move up in your career. Some companies won't offer you development within the company due to a variety of reasons. So, your solution is to look elsewhere. No one should judge you for wanting to grow within your industry and looking for opportunities where that's possible.

The environment

Don't stay in a toxic place or situation destructive to your well-being. Whether that's a toxic boss, workplace harassment or negative relationships with colleagues, don't waste your time. Save your energy and skills for a place where they're valued and appreciated.

New location

One of the exceptions I mentioned before that no one will judge for. Whether it's a move through your current work or not, moving is a good argument for job-hopping. Many people decide they want to live abroad so look for opportunities outside of their countries. Or even cities. It happens all the time. So as long as you explain your situation, you're in the clear.

Is Job Hopping Really That Bad?

As you can see, job hopping has both advantages and disadvantages as most things do. However, it's good to recognise that times are changing and switching jobs becomes more acceptable. Granted, you have good reasons for doing so. Having said that, try to stick to one job for as long as you can and learn as much as possible!


Previous PostNext Post

No comments on "Job Hopping - Meaning, Advantages and Disadvantages"