Job Hopping: 5 Things to Consider Before Making the Jump
‘Tis the season of resolutions! A new year is fast approaching, and for many, that might mean looking for a change in employment. Job hopping is becoming more commonplace, particularly among millennials and Gen Z. The pandemic, the job market, and the willingness of younger workers to take more risks with their employment is changing how careers are built.
Lifelong work histories with only a few employers are getting put in the rearview mirror. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees 65 and older spent an average of 9.9 years with the same employer. From there, the numbers decline. Workers 45-54 spent an average of 6.9 years while those 25-34 spent only 2.8 years on average. Younger workers, aged 20-24, averaged just 1.2 years.
But is job hopping good for your career?
Just because it’s becoming more commonplace doesn’t mean employers are eager to hire applicants with job histories short on longevity. Training and acclimating new hires are time-consuming tasks. Before you submit that resumé, make sure you are applying for the right reasons.
Here are 5 things to consider before job hopping:
1. Have a plan.
If you are strategic, job hopping can be a great way to fast-track your career. Moving quickly within an industry can give you a broader range of experience. Trying on a lot of hats can be invaluable to figuring out what sort of positions you want while clearly defining those you don’t.
2. Be prepared to explain yourself.
When talking about your work history, don’t shy away from discussing short tenures. Address it head-on with prospective employers. Discuss how they can benefit from your varied resumé.
3. Think before you leap.
Ask yourself why you are looking to leave. Hopping from job to job at the first sign of dissatisfaction is not ideal. Don’t set yourself up for a pattern of jumping ship the minute you face an obstacle at work. On the other hand, don’t underestimate the power of knowing when a job isn’t a good fit for you.
4. Don’t be a jack of all trades.
While a wide range of experience can be an asset, be careful not to build a shallow skill set. Don’t confuse a laundry list of responsibilities with a list of accomplishments.
5. Know yourself.
Consider your own resiliency. Can you weather startiner so frequently? Are you comfortable with getting to know new management and teams? Or do you prefer to build relationships over time?
Job hopping can be part of a healthy career. Just make sure that you are mindful of your motives and limitations. While it is the season for making resolutions, don’t do so blindly. Make sure that it’s a move that makes sense, unlike that exercise bike that you’ll stop using come February.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, Sep 22). Table 1. Median years of tenure with current employer for employed wage and salary workers by age and sex, selected years, 2012-2022 – 2022 A01 Results (bls.gov)
Robinson, Dr. Marcia F. (2022, Mar 16). Why Job Hopping Is OK. (forbes.com)
Indeed Editorial Team. (2021, Sep 1). What is Job-hopping? Pros and Cons. (indeed.com)