Have you moved from job to job in recent years?

That is, have you left one or two employers within just a few months (less than two years) of becoming employed by them. Of if you have left a minimum of three employers in less than three years.

Then you’re a job hopper!

Moving about from employer to employer in mere months has become both a point of contention as well as a strategy for career growth. Once a sign of loyalty and stability – and promotions over time – staying with one employer for three or more years was “a very good thing.” But the pandemic changed that (at least for younger workers).

Yet there more than likely will come a time when – a time not that far in the future – when job hopping could hurt, rather than help, you. In short, job hopping can help you advance in your career and earn ever higher salaries.

But possibly only for a while.

When job hopping makes sense
  1. It can help you earn more money because a change in jobs almost always mean a higher salary. And they tend to be higher increases than when you receive an increase from an employer: according to a Glassdoor survey, job changers receive, on average, a 10 percent salary increase.
  2. You’ll probably learn new skills more quickly as a job change often means exposure to different projects and responsibilities, increasing your skill set. If you really want to learn more – and do so more quickly – a job change could be the right thing to do.
  3. You can advance in you career more quickly, particularly if your current position lacks chances of advancement. In fact, moving into a new position that’s a bit more challenging than your current one can help you reach long-term goals more quickly.
  4. Every job has it downsides, but if you’ve found that your current position in some way or another simply doesn’t align with your values or work style, leaving for a new one that’s a better fit for your long-term goals often can lead to a more fulfilling career.


When job hopping could hurt you

Employers tend to be forgiving of younger people just starting out in their careers when it comes to leaving former employers quickly. They know you’re in “exploring” mode, working to find the type of work and companies at which you thrive and make a great contribution.

But once you’ve been in the work for a few years – usually by your mid-30s or so – frequent job changes often send a very different message to employers:

  1. You look flaky, as someone who lacks the “commitment gene.” What’s more, flitting from job to job can make them skeptics when it comes to your willingness to invest in their organization.
  2. You show instability. If you’ve left several employers after a year or two for several years, what will make an employer think you’ll stick around this time? If so, a hiring manager may think twice about taking you on and investing time, training and commitment to you, only to see you leave in mere months.
  3. You could appear wishy-washy. By five to eight years or so in a career, employers tend to expect that you know what your career path and goals. Leaving jobs again and again in a few years could lead them to think you don’t know what you want or “who you are.”

Bottom line: job hopping can be a great career move in the first few years of you career. But it becomes much less so as you grow older.

In short, job hopping isn’t inherently bad or good. But it does depend on your goals, circumstances and where you are in your career and life. (For example, many people want to change careers after they’ve worked in one for a decade or so. Doing so, of course, probably entails leaving your current employer.) In short, it’s important to find a balance between new opportunities and demonstrating commitment as you move through your working life.

If you’re looking for a new opportunity – whether you’ve been at your current employer for 1 year or 10 – take a look at Debbie’s Staffing’s job opportunities.

Even if you don’t see something that piques your interest, consider sending us your resume. That way we can contact you when our clients send us job openings that match your skills and goals.