In the modern job market, millennials are
coming under fire for being consistent job hoppers – for moving from one job
the next after a relatively short period of time. Millennials are often
compared to their baby boomer counterparts who are known for spending years or
even their entire careers at one company and simply following the natural
progression of their job. However, in March 2015, the US Bureau of Labor
Statistics revealed that baby boomers were just as guilty of job hopping early
in their careers before settling down for the “long haul”.
So, if job hopping isn’t a new phenomenon,
there must be some merit to this practice of switching jobs. Let’s look at the
upsides and downsides of job hopping.
The Pros of Job Hopping
For millennials, the average time spent in a job is
just two years, and employers are experiencing a rather high turnover (15 to
20%) with their younger employees. While it may take some time for employers to
adjust to this ever-changing workforce, millennial job hoppers seem to have a
strategy for their “come-and-go” ways.
1. Salary increases
When moving from one job to the next, employees
have the benefit of increasing their salaries. The more times they move, the
more quickly their pay increases (to a point – beyond which they risk pricing
themselves out of the market). The short-term or narrow view of job hopping is
that there’s a money benefit, but it’s also important to look at the bigger
picture of better opportunities.
2. Responsibility increases
While salary increases can occur from one job to
the next, it’s important for job hopping employees to also take the long-term
view of increasing their responsibilities. Focusing on improved opportunities
with each employment jump will ensure that they are making strides in their careers,
gathering crucial experience as they are assigned more weight in terms of
responsibilities. That’s not to say that after four years of job hopping,
juniors will become managers, but rather that job hopping employees will still
be able to build an industry reputation for getting the job done… even in the
short time that they are in one position.
3. Broadening skill sets
One characteristic of successful present-day
employees is the speed at which they take in and assimilate new knowledge and
skills. Job hopping allows employees to experience a wide range of work
environments where they not only learn the skills of the job and improve their
work experience, but adapting to different work environments also provides the
perfect opportunity to hone their soft skills and improve their business
4. Finding the perfect job
Job hopping isn’t just the selfish pursuit of more
money and a better titles rather, it’s an accurate way of testing out different
jobs and environments to find the perfect job for the individual. Generally,
people are terrible at predicting what they will find satisfying, so the best
way to find a job that they’re happy with is to experience different ones until
they know what they want. Statistics show that job hopping tapers off into career
stability once employees have found the career that fulfils them and offers
The Cons of Job Hopping
Job hopping has many downsides too, many of
which have to do with external factors – the risks of finding job satisfaction
and happiness in the workplace.
1. It doesn’t look great on a CV
While some job hopping is to be expected from young
candidates, too much nomadic behaviour can put recruiters and employers off and
make employee candidates look very unreliable. Employers question the level of
skill and experience employees can really gain from “only” one to two years on
the job before they move off again.
2. Losing face with an employer
While job hopping candidates are encouraged to
“leave on good terms”, they can’t expect employers not to feel jilted or
somehow cheated for investing precious time and resources in on-the-job
training and skills development, only for the now-trained-and-ready employee to
take those skills elsewhere. Job hoppers are often seen as using companies as
stepping stones to get where they want to be, so employees are encouraged to
put in as much as they get out from their jobs.
3. Financial insecurity
While job hopping may help to increase an
employee’s salary quicker than waiting for raises or promotions in one job, the
long-term financial security of a job hopper can be quite unstable. Long-term
jobs with financial benefits include medical aid and pension funds. If
employees continue to change jobs, they lose out on the long-term investment of
these financial products, especially if they move their finances from one
scheme to the next, as there are penalties for doing so.
These are financially tough times, so
employees are not in the wrong for wanting to pursue not just better
opportunities and a higher salary, but to also find what makes them truly happy
so that they feel their time is well spent and well rewarded. This includes not
just remuneration, but also altruistic rewards of contributing to a community
with a purpose that makes them feel fulfilled.
If you require support and guidance in
terms of your job search, let us help you. Communicate Recruitment is a
recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding
an exciting new job, whether it’s Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs,
Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. If you are looking to get the right job for
you out there, visit our vacancies pages and apply today!