The Pros and Cons of Job Hopping

youth-570881_640.jpgIn 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 acumen.

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 more security.

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!