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What is Job Hopping and How Can It Impact My Career?

Millennials Vs. Baby Boomers

Job hopping seems to be a trend in today’s job market. Millennials, or Gen Y job seekers are prone to do the job hop more so than previous generations. As long as their job role is challenging, engaging, exciting, and inspiring to them, they will stay. As soon as the “glamour” of a job wears off, they move on to something more interesting and challenging.

You might be surprised to learn that Baby Boomers job hopped just as much as today’s Millennials when they were in their twenties. You just don’t see that on their resumes or LinkedIn profiles, since they use their most recent jobs. As Baby Boomers aged, they chose long-term careers over multiple jobs.

Job Hopping and Your Career

However, as a general rule, in previous generations many job seekers viewed jobs as a short-term option to make money before choosing a long-term career. Is that what Gen Y is doing? Will they settle into a career after doing some job hopping? Will hopping from job-to-job impact your overall career chances?

Staying with a company in a particular role, or moving up within a company is something that arguably reaps the most stability and benefits. What does all this mean for the job market and today’s job or career seekers?

What is 'job hopping'?

Job hoppers tend to take a job, keep it for two years or less, then leave when the job loses its lustre, or if they get a better offer somewhere else. While in the past it was considered a bad mark on your resume, today job hopping has both advantages and disadvantages depending on several factors.

Job hopping advantages:

  • Job experience

  • Gaining new skills

  • Working in various roles

Job hopping disadvantages:

  • The risk of losing the opportunity for promotions

  • Employers may question staying power

  • Not connecting with the company culture

  • Lessens your ability to gain achievements

What does job hopping look like to an employer?

Employers are often looking for loyalty and stability and will usually consider those who have stayed in a role for longer than two years more desirable than those who haven't.

So in order to prevent your CV being overlooked by hiring managers explain your reasons for changing jobs. Their are plenty of valid and reasonable reasons to explain why you moved from one role to another on your CV, some explanations may include:

  • Temporary job

  • Contract job

  • Seasonal job

  • You want more experience than the job role offered

  • There were no internal opportunities available

There are ways to settle into a company and turn a job into a career. Watch how top employees perform and strive to improve your work ethic. Go above and beyond in your work to get noticed. Don’t expect your managers or supervisors to come to you, request a pay rise or promotion based on your performance. Work to achieve high standards in your position to prevent getting bored or feeling less than challenged in your role.

When your goal is to find that ideal job that you can turn into a long-term career, you must learn how to be proactive within the company for which you work first. Instead of being reactive and leaving for personal or emotional reasons, explore the internal opportunities that might be available to you before you leave the job. Also, determine whether the job hopping advantages outweigh the disadvantages before you make any decisions.

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