A job hopper usually spends two or less years with a current employer. The argument is that a new job will advance a career quicker than staying with an employer long term. But some hiring managers see job hopping as a red flag. And if this is so, does it help a job hopper's career path?
Pandemic Wakes Up Workforce
Millennials and Gen Zs learned a lot from the pandemic regarding careers. They watched their parents laid off who had been with one company for years. The younger generation also experienced layoffs.
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But these young people found new opportunities as aggressive job seekers. So they began to job hop. No longer would they stay with one company for years hoping for advancement and higher salaries.
The pandemic accelerated a phenomenon that was already in its infancy. Job hopping has become a way of life for many individuals.
Job Hopping Over the Years
Individuals born in the 1980s have changed jobs 8.6 times between 18 and 34. This is compared to baby boomers who switched jobs 12.4 times between 18 to 54. A new position with a salary increase seemed to be the reason to switch jobs. But as an individual ages, the need to job search slows.
The economy influences short-term employment as job seekers look to take advantage of the labor shortage. As in the past, a new position can open doors and possibly expand a career path. But how many are taking advantage of this phenomenon?
Number of Employees Leaving
According to a Gallup report, 21 percent of millennials have changed jobs within the last year. This need to find a new job costs the U.S. economy an annual $30.5 billion. It goes beyond who's already left. The trend is continuing, with six in 10 millennials open to changing jobs.
Reasons to Job Hop
Working for one company long term is no longer a goal for most millennials. So, what are the reasons to change jobs every year or two? Although a current employer may think a higher salary is the motivation, it's not all about the money. A new position must offer more to convince an individual to change jobs.
Job Hopping for Career Advancement
Career advancement is often cited as the reason to change jobs. If the current employer has an older, more established staff, there may not be new opportunities to advance. An employee won't have to wait years for an opportunity for career advancement.
Many millennials want to accelerate their career path by learning new skills. A new job may offer that. The new position could give them the skills to promote career growth. The individual may not be receiving this from their current employer.
Taking on a new job in a new role may be the perfect way to advance up the career ladder.
Location Change Possible
If their current job only has one location, an employee may look for a new position in another city to change venues. A job search will often start in an effort to improve living conditions. A bonus to this is if the new employer offers moving expenses as part of the employment package.
Future employers want employees that can pivot under different circumstances. By changing jobs, a new connection is made with other team members. New skills are made, and better communication is often learned. Learning to adjust to a new job shows adaptability to hiring managers.
Leave Toxic Environment
Although a higher salary is great, one of the main reasons for job hopping is negative company culture. A toxic work environment in a current job often leads to short stints of work. Employees bail quickly when they see a work culture not conducive to a positive environment.
Often human resource departments will cite that people don't job hop from companies as much as they will job hop from toxic managers.
Better Benefits and Salary
A higher salary can tempt an individual to job hop. Often, the employee doesn't want to wait for that higher paycheck or bonus. A new job could come with a higher salary and is usually the quickest way to achieve it. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has salary figures you can use as guidelines.
Added perks are a big plus to motivating a move. Good benefits are a big reason that people job hop. Individuals are looking for good health plans and matching 401(k) plans.
Better Balance of Home- and Work-Life
A better balance of home- and work-life is a major motive for job hopping. The pandemic showed the importance of home-life and family. The result is that employees want time off and shorter hours. Leisure time is almost as important as a higher salary.
Job hopping has become a way of life for many individuals.
Pros of Job Hopping
There are several pros of job hopping. Hiring managers don't frown on it as they did in the past. Often a job hopper will seem desirable because others want them as an employee. There are other pros as well.
New Job Skills
Learning new job skills is a big pro to job hopping. By taking job skills from job to job and learning new skills, an individual makes themselves more valuable.
According to Forbes, job skills are the new currency. Unfortunately, a current employer may not offer these new job skills. Job hopping is the only way to achieve these.
This is an opportunity to pick up new ways of thinking and strategies. Learning new protocols and processes that can be used to leverage another job is also possible.
There's no reason to stay with a current employer who doesn't offer new opportunities. It will stifle career growth.
Higher Salary a Pro
According to the Society of Human Resource Management, 2022 holds an average increase of 3.9 percent for most employees in their current job. With inflations running at over 8 percent, this isn't keeping pace with the cost of living. There are sometimes double-digit increases in salary through job hopping. And with a higher salary, there are usually better benefits. That's a big pro.
Branding Yourself a Pro
Knowing your worth is important to yourself and recruiters. The more often you look for new opportunities, the more often you see what the market needs. You'll know how you must portray your assets and, therefore, be able to demand a higher salary, career advancement and perks.
It will also give you an edge when going to a current employer to ask for a promotion or higher salary.
Cons of Job Hopping
Job hopping has its cons as well. Loyalty is not formed by the employee or the current employer when you switch jobs constantly. It can backfire if there is a downturn in the economy and there are layoffs.
During the pandemic, it wasn't unusual for the last person hired to a company to be the first to be laid off. Unfortunately, a lot of these individuals were job hoppers.
Hiring Managers May Frown
Hiring managers and recruiters may be suspect if you're in the job market too often. They may question any loyalty to a current employer. This could hurt your reputation. A resume with too many different jobs, especially within the same year, looks disingenuous. Hiring managers may be reticent about you.
Higher Salary Potential Cons
A new position with a higher salary may sometimes be a red flag. It's not always the right move. The company culture could be toxic. Because the company is so difficult to work for, high turnover could force the company to offer a higher salary to attract potential employees.
Well-run companies may not have the highest salaries, but they offer a good company culture that can help you with your career path.
- Forbes: Why Job Hopping is OK
- Entrepreneur: Is Job Hopping a Good Practice
- Entrepreneur: Job Hopping is on the Rise—but that doesn’t Have to be a Bad Thing
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Labor Market for those Born 1980-1984
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Economic News
- Society for Human Resource Management: Revised 2022 Salary Increase Budgets head Toward 4%
- Society for Human Research Management: Employers Respond to Great Resignation by Raising pay and Improving Benefits
- Gallup: Millennials: The Job Hopping Generation
- Indeed: What is Job Hopping: Pros and Cons