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The Hidden Rewards of Job Hopping

What some call moving on, or even moving up, others negatively dub "job hopping." The decision to switch jobs relatively often is controversial. Will a company be willing to hire someone if their resume demonstrates a history of frequent job changes? There could be some downsides to switching jobs fairly often, but there are definitely some significant benefits as well. Let's take a closer look at the potential upsides.

What some call moving on, or even moving up, others negatively dub “job hopping.” The decision to switch jobs relatively often is controversial. Will a company be willing to hire someone if their resume demonstrates a history of frequent job changes? There could be some downsides to switching jobs fairly often, but there are definitely some significant benefits as well. Let’s take a closer look at the potential upsides.

jobhopping

(Photo Credit: Blue Diamond Photography/Flickr)

1. You’ll learn more.

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One of the pitfalls of staying with the same job, or even the same company, for too long is that it can start to feel as though you’re not growing. When you try something new, you experience and learn different skills that could propel your career. It’s good to continue to grow and learn, and changing jobs helps us get us there. This principle is especially true for those working in industries that move quickly, such as technology.

“While job hopping has a negative connotation; this is more about a resource providing value to a company, and then realizing there is nothing more to learn in that environment,” says Laurie Lopez, Partner and Senior General Manager in the IT Contracts division at WinterWyman, at Forbes. “In order to keep their skills fresh, it is necessary for technologists to remain current in a highly competitive market.”

2. It helps to be excited about what you do.

This is especially true for millennials who value honesty, purpose, and autonomy. We all want to be excited by our jobs, but millennials (who make up a huge percentage of the workforce) have gained a reputation for looking for more than just compensation when weighing job offers.

In fact, workers of all generations understand the value of being excited about what they do; and, this can be difficult to achieve when you stay in one place for a long time. Even just the willingness to move on might help us get what we want from employers.

3. It could help you increase your salary.

It’s important, essential even, to negotiate your salary. You should be an active part of the process, not merely a passive recipient of the deal. When people change jobs, they’re often looking for better compensation as a part of the switch. When done right, job hopping could help you earn more money. Just remember to also factor in other aspects of the work, like vacation time, benefits, and flexibility.

The bottom line is that if you’re willing to job hop for more money, you’ll probably find the opportunity to do just that. Another article in Forbes recently noted that the average employee can expect a raise of about 3 percent when staying with the same company, but they might receive a 10 percent or even 20 percent increase when leaving and starting a new job.

Perhaps our old ideas about job hopping are out-of-date. Today’s workers expect more and are willing to go after what they need and want. This could lead to some very positive financial and professional outcomes.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think job hopping could be a positive career move? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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27 Comments on "The Hidden Rewards of Job Hopping"

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Stone
Guest

Worked for 3 companies in 2.5 years and I have double my salary.

John
Guest
I’ve moved jobs every 3 years to more progressively higher paying and ranking jobs. It has been well worth the move and I know that had I stayed at any of those jobs I would be in the same position with relatively the same pay. Loyalty doesn’t exist, I’ve seen plenty “loyal” long time employees lose jobs due to profit margins or company acquisition /moves. It isn’t worth it to stay long term. The knowledge gained from new job opportunities is unfathomable. I would not change my decisions about moving jobs now that I look back.
Michele
Guest

I have job hopped and it has helped me tremendously. In addition, while I was at those previous employers, I was promoted. I moved on either because I was offered a better opportunity or my employer did not care about employee growth. So, for those who say job hoppers are lazy or incompetent, you are wrong. I have ambition and go after what I want; which many people are afraid to do.

AnnCee
Guest

I started job-hopping in the 1980s. As a woman, it was the only way I was going to advance and make more money. I learned so much more by immersing myself in those two to three years in a job than I would have staying in one with no opportunity. At some point, finding a good fit, salary, and career path become important– but it needs to be mutually beneficial. Loyalty is a two-way agreement. As previously stated, now job-hopping is the norm.

Recent grad
Guest

I was overworked and underpaid in my first job after college. I stuck it out for 11months and decided to move on to other oppurtunites. 3 months later i have an offer For a 30% increase in salary. Never seattle for Something you don’t deserve. Know your worth! Especially if your young .There are other companies waiting.

Jason Remigio
Guest

Most employers want skilled workers if it takes getting one skill in a professional position then another skill hoping you can find an open position at another profession after a duration of time within 2 to 3 years. Few employers see in their opinion, “your job hopping from one place to another with no skills in any professional position that they are familiar with.” Quoting on them on just verbatim.

Nicole
Guest
Cindi – Your comment is very outdated. I have worked a lot of contract roles as I chose to and it has helped my careeer and skill set grow enermously. One thing I have found (and I work in HR) is that those employees that stay in their jobs for 10 years or more are either too scared to move on because they get comfortable doing the same thing day in and day out therefore not wanting to change, or are poorly skilled at what they do because they have had no training or advancement and would not have a… Read more »
RON
Guest
Since the Great Recession, the scene of the world has changed. “Job-Hopping” may be a necessary evil not only due to advancement or salary increases, but also due to work-life balance. If you find that a new employer expects a 50-60 hr work week on a salary basis that was only designed for 45 hrs, a move would be in order. However there are also issues now, in the Silicon Valley regarding commute and cost of housing that would make “job-hopping” a normal occurrence for a segment of the work force that is forced out of working class neighborhoods. (But… Read more »
Kenny
Guest

This is assuming that you are planning on leaving in 2 or 3 years. What if you work for 2 years and are very happy where your at, then your workplace environment changes and it causes you to want to change jobs to escape that. You change jobs out of desperation more than just planning on it. That’s been my scenario since I retired from the Army 7 years ago.

Rick
Guest

Job hopping is risky to the late 40s and really risky for those in their 50s..

adam
Guest
Not all job hoppers are bad people. Most bright resources leave their managers and current team because they feel they can get better opportunities, will be treated better, will get better work and responsibilities. Lot of bright people leave because for their managers and supervisors, only the incompetent stay because they know that they wont get hired anywhere and make life miserable for the the best resources. I have worked at so many places and have seen the same situation accross usa from east coast to west. A company would be better off without these bad nuts who dont leave… Read more »
mobilemom
Guest

I agree with Julie and even though I am older than the millenials I recognized the benefits of keeping my skills sharp and also learning new things or “adding value”. I prefer to refer to it as mobilcentricity. I have been a teacher, a guidance counselor, a clinical therapist and now enjoy the last (but not least) as a I focus on honing my skills as a therapist. I believe it adds value to yourself and that only stands to reason that wherever you go you will add value to the organization or entity you decide to work with.

Bob S
Guest

In my opinion, this article missed the biggest “hidden benefit” of changing jobs: Expanding your professional network. Assuming that you do well in the new assignment, the long-term relationships that you build at any company can pay huge benefits down the road.

John
Guest
How do you draw the line with job-hopping and where things are not taken too far in eyes of employers? What to do in a situation when one gold-hearted, ambitious, hard-working and decent individual unfortunately has many jobs that are under a year or even under 6 months? How to tackle dilemma when one faces worst unfortunate situations out of bad luck where he/she has to leave many employers due to one-sided abuse from superiors with nothing done despite addressing and trying to solve or when at some places he/she is let go unexpectedly on the spot for no legit… Read more »
Optimistic
Guest
I think both sides of job-hopping have great advantages but the most important aspect is the why! Why did this person leave their last job after such a short period of time. If the answer is because the new company came looking for them, then you have a whole new angle to consider when looking to hire a potential employee. One should also ask why this person took the “short-term” job and why they are considering changing again. If this person is that good at what they do, then it is up to the employer to figure out how to… Read more »
Dale
Guest

Cyndi, tell us where you work and we’ll tell you whether we’d even work there or not! Job hopping has increased my skillset tremendously and led me to be a very in demand consultant for problems many long timers cannot fathom an answer to nor do they wish to break a sweat trying to solve it. That I have evidence to prove.

Kathy
Guest
Cyndi, your comments about loyalty are interesting to me. I have found over the past many years working in design firms that companies are not loyal to their employees. If there is a downturn, most people are let go. Saying you won’t hire because you believe they won’t be loyal and that they are only about the money discounts their eagerness to learn new things and bring a fresh perspective. It shows you and your company to have a resistance to change, which then makes me question why anyone would work there unless they have no other choice. That’s a… Read more »
Kim
Guest
With the new generation of Millennials emerging, we need to be flexible in our thinking as business leaders. They are focused on 1-2 year projects (employers) and then it’s time to pack up. It is what it is and we need to get used to that. Vetting the “job hopping” during the interview process can prove exceptionally valuable. Each has his/her own story to tell and it is through that dialogue that a leader can determine if the candidate has moved for strategic reasons and growth, or other. I also highly value reference checks in tandem with those that have… Read more »
Merry Micro
Guest

I have been hiring for about 30 years now and what I look for is focused n=more on the candidate’s attitudes. I do like to see a reasonable explanation of why a candidate chose to move on after 2-3 years. I tend towards a candidate that has some patience and commitment which generally leads to 5-10 years in a position.

Adam
Guest

Proof of competency.
A history of job hopping with proven track records demonstrates that one is a competent and versatile individual. The person shows that he or she has no problem landing jobs at interviews and delivered results in each of the companies.

More colorful life.
Life experiences from numerous workplace with colleagues and friends acquainted along the way definitely add color to one’s life.

Pricey
Guest

I think job hopping has positives both ways. Generally people become bored, and or very comfortable in their surroundings after about 4 years. If there is no room for the person to progress, and they have reached their full potential, then it can be a good outcome for both.

Skeptical
Guest
I would think that when an employer sees that the resume reflects a “2-3 year employee” based on the job hopping history, the employer would be less likely to hire, or at least less likely to offer a higher salary due to less experience in any previous position. The tendency for the job applicant to jump ship would translate into the necessary job training investment (generally a 6 month start up period in our company for an employee to be a productive contributor) may be determined to b a waste of time, money, and effort. I don’t think job hoppers… Read more »
JobhopJulie
Guest
JobhopJulie
Guest

With the average life span of a job now just being 3 years job hopping is actually now the norm.
It makes sense to employ a job hopper, they’re dynamic, they’re well connected, they’re ambitious, they’re agile..who wants someone that has been employed at the same place for twenty years? They’re not going to be dynamic but job hoppers are. The art is to make sure they job hop within the company.. You can read more about how intentional job hopping is good here…http://www.jobhop.co.uk/blog/jobhop/job-hopping-is-now-the-norm-

Cyndi
Guest
I never hire job-hoppers. It shows they 1) are only in it for the short-term, 2) interested in only the money, 3) have no commitment to the betterment of the company, and 4) are likely NOT skilled in negotiating the corporate ladder, or else they would have remained with a company long enough to have earned a promotion and raise. Sorry, job-hopping shows a serious lack of commitment and/or that they bail on the organization at the first sign of trouble. They have no interest in advancing the company, only themselves. They are not able to deliver as they don’t… Read more »
John Mars
Guest

Somebody moving every 2-3 years is a red flag to me as I have watched too many folks in the companies I have worked for that jumped ship after that time and it was usually due to them not being successful in the company for a wide range of reasons. I agree seeing someone get at least one promotion within a company speaks volumes to that person’s ability to become such a valued contributor that it warrants a promotion. Job hopping more so then not seems to be a way to mask various deficiencies.

John
Guest
Generally, I disagree that job hopping in 2-3 years from job to job is a positive move, it shows lack of stability and possibly missed opportunities at the current company, and creates a mindset in HR’s eyes for less commitment to an employer. The more stable employees continue in their jobs for an av. of 7 years even when happy and 3% raises but this is the positive way to “career-climb.” I have found that those that job hop in 2-3 years from job to job are more typically not dedicated employees, tend to create turbulence at the current employer,… Read more »
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