The Right and Wrong Time to Job Hop

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Switching jobs more frequently has become more accepted, but is it good for your career in the long term? Job hopping has benefits, especially in the short term, but the long term consequences could go either way.

How Often Do You Hop?

According to Krsitina Cowan at AOL News, whereas a generation ago, the average person changed jobs seven times over a lifetime, today it’s more likely to be 10 jobs. And in five different careers. Job hopping is becoming so commonplace among workers in their 20s and 30s that managers are starting to expect people to leave after two or three years. If you stick around longer that’s icing on the cake.

When to Hop


Hop For Money
You will almost always see a pay increase when you switch from one job to another. This is sort of a chicken and egg thing, though because more money is a huge reason people want to change jobs in the first place. Don’t we all know someone who left one company for a big raise and a promotion at another, only to return to the first company for at an even higher rate of pay and responsibility a few years later?

Hop for Networking
The more people you know the easier it will be successful, or perhaps even get that next position – once you’re ready to hop again.

Hop for Professional Development
A lot of people are simple maxed out in their current position or company. A new employer can teach workers new skills and build on those they already have, maximizing potential.

One Oklahoma City recruiter thinks job hopping will become less of an issue as the Baby Boomers begin to retire.

This will create a large need in the marketplace where skills and experience will outweigh company loyalty and dedication. This is also coupled with the fact that those in these new positions of power who will be making these hiring decisions are also those who come from the generation where job hopping is commonplace and more accepted.

When Not to Hop

Employees should never leave a job solely to get out of a situation they are unhappy with. Instead, as Your HR Guy suggests, they should bide their time while preparing for another, better career path.

The solution isn’t to job hop and hurt yourself. That is dumb. People hate biding time so instead of doing this, they switch jobs (into another crappy job where they’ll want to move on) and perpetuate the cycle. It sucks, I’ve seen people fall into it.

You also want to make sure you’ve exhausted all opportunities within a job and a company before setting your sights elsewhere. It may just be that you can hop to another role while sticking with the same firm a bit longer.

The truth is that others’ perceptions of you are going to have an effect on the potential of any new position. If you’re perceived as someone who won’t be around in 6 months or a year, what kind of opportunities do you think will come your way?

When were the best and worst times you hopped?

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