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Job-Hopping: Career Killer or Savior?

Job-Hopping: Career Killer or Savior?

Tania Khadder | Excelle

Job-hopping. It’s career suicide.

That is, if conventional wisdom and my father are to be believed.

They tell us to stay at a job for at least two years. That the longer you stay in one place, the more dependable you’ll appear. And the better your chances for success when you do look for a new job.

They tell us that too many jobs in a short period of time makes you a flake.

Forget job offers. Instead, you’ll be getting offers of advice on how to mask all that job-hopping on your resume.

But how bad is job-hopping really? Is there anything to gain from all that moving around? Let’s find out!

This article will look at the benefits of job hopping, its role in this economy, the right and wrong way to do it, and how to put a positive spin on it the next time you’re looking for a job.

The Changing Landscape

We all know career dynamics have shifted dramatically over the years. Gone are the days where college grads joined a company and stayed for life, rising through the ranks to win that ultimate workplace trophy: the corner office.

Workplace_max200w

Workplace dynamics are changing

According to Business Week’s Richard Florida, people under the age of 30 change jobs almost once every year and a half (compared to the national average of once every three years).

And really, it’s not surprising. Workers feel less incentive to stay put. Pensions, in the traditional sense, are virtually obsolete. We’re increasingly paying the price for our employer-sponsored healthcare. Loyalty is no longer about putting in your time, or paying your dues. It’s about providing measurable value and being rewarded for it.

Corporate culture has changed, and employees are responding to it in the only way that makes sense to them.

Chris Murdock, recruiting expert at LandingJobs and former “Senior Sourcer” for Yahoo, says job tenure – and expectations around it – have changed. “It used to be that people would stay at a company for life, but nowadays, if you’ve been in a company two years, you’re the seasoned professional,” he says. “Some even think if you’ve been at a company for five years, you should move on. That it’s too long.”

Are There Really Any Benefits to Job Hopping? >>


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  • Greceaaaa2_max50

    grace2U

    over 2 years ago

    786 comments

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    lpurello

    over 3 years ago

    6 comments

    I gain much needed review on career reasons to stay or leave a job. It needs to be a well thought out decision. Sometimes though you have to have at least a few positives in the group or you get weighed down by the negative forces.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Bapshae

    about 4 years ago

    10 comments

    In some states there is a Right to work law that states that employers do not have to hire or fire with good or bad reason. So qualify or not, you think you got it but you don't. This includes the equal oppertunity employer agreement that gives them lead way not to follow. This makes it difficult for jobseekers to get a job especially if they where not internally referred through the company. Do you have advice for that.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Bapshae

    about 4 years ago

    10 comments

    In some states there is a Right to work law that states that employers do not have to hire or fire with good or bad reason. So qualify or not, you think you got it but you don't. This includes the equal oppertunity employer agreement that gives them lead way not to follow. This makes it difficult for jobseekers to get a job especially if they where not internally referred through the company. Do you have advice for that.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Bapshae

    about 4 years ago

    10 comments

    Do you have any other advice for those who probably look like a flake but aren't.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    dbrct

    about 5 years ago

    10 comments

    Great article. This is consistent with the trend of mobile, knowledge workers. With the rising costs of employment, companies are trending towards seasoned (even mature) workers that have a good work ethic and can deliver results.

    After graduating in 2000, I worked for 2 companies in one year (2001), and both shut down and moved to Mexico. It was unbelievable, and I knew then I could not get too comfortable at a company. Ironically, I've been with my present employer for 7 years - however, I've held 3 positions ranging from engineering to finance to quality.

    When I interviewed for my current position, I knew I was a great candidate because I had a large network of contacts from previous jobs along with operations and finance experience. Job-hopping with a purpose is different than just wandering from job to job.

    I just wrote a blog on my website (www.careercougar.com) focused on career development. All of my moves had an express purpose for my long-term goal.

    Thanks.

    Daphne Robinson
    www.careercougar.com
    careercougar.wordpress.com

  • 2008-casual-a080822_max50

    LaurieSheppard

    about 5 years ago

    24 comments

    Good information and pleased to see you provide an article outline first and stick to it. Site and book references also helpful. It doesn't specifically target do's and don'ts in this tough economy and it really is a matter of savings and pain quotient as to whether one should consider this now when so many are laid off. But certainly in terms of looking bad on your resume, the main two points being that it depends what you accomplished before leaving and what your reasons are for leaving, are clearly stated and useful reminders!
    Laurie Sheppard/Life and Career Coach

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    PhillAlexandros

    about 5 years ago

    10 comments

    I'm 29 years old, and the longest I've stayed in a job is two years. Apart from the economy, I've never had trouble finding another job (given the expected 3 month wait). Questions about why I left those jobs are only natural, after all companies want to know why you're going to leave them, and they know you will. Unless you work for government, there really isn't much to stick around for anymore. Not to mention the amount of people who get fired after 20+ years service because they are approaching retirement. I don't look at job-hopping negatively, if anything, it says a person is able to cope with change.

  • Denise_murphy_max50

    gardentigeress

    about 5 years ago

    32 comments

    Try job hopping in the trucking world and you will get hit with a big eight ball on your forehead or only get offers from companies that take anyone with a CDL and you are just a number.

  • Mj_max50

    julienaclim

    about 5 years ago

    14 comments

    I worked for a company for eleven years until it went bankrupt. It was my first "real job" out of college and an experience that while I am grateful for I never wish to do again. In the last two years I have had a job per year (contract work) on account of the economy. It has been awesome. I have learned more than when I was permanent. It has openned new doors and I have received much higher pay. I no longer believe that it is healthy to ones carreer to stay stagnated in the same company. I was told once in an interview that there where two types of employees "the lifers" and "the shakers and movers". A lot of companies are undergoing severe internal transitions, some even trying to catch up with 21st century software programs (fare-thee-well-dusty-old-abacus). These companies are looking for guidance, fresh blood basically, someone whose been on the outside and can shed new light on their dusty cubicles. There is a lot of friction from old timers who are resentful to the shakers and the movers. Eventually I will like to stop being a shaker and a mover but having been a lifer once I think it will be a while before I decide to anchor permanently anywhere.

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    barbpro39

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I agree in the sense that job hopping can expand on your skills and experience. I am still in doubt how it comes across because I have experienced recruiters and managers on interviews questioning why had I left previous positions, and when my last "long term" position was, but especially during these times, I feel it is to be more expected than usual that employees change jobs more often. Now also I can say I am more focused than before on my specific career goal and what I want to do.

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    megrhoedd

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I agree.. I'm what I guess you would consider a Job Hopper. I have training as a NursesAide, Retail,Sales,Data Entry, Cleaning,Food Service, Supervisory,and Customer Service. I have worked for Goodyear Corporate HQ, Interval Brotherhood Home,Rose Lane Nursing Home, SummaCare Insurance, etc. I'm a hard worker and I can land the jobs, in fact I could train someone how to get the job they want. From Rhonda, Clinton, OH

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Caramelqueenm

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Sooo tue! I too have had several jobs, great jobs with top companies. I go where the money and opportnutity lie. It's important to think of yourself as a business, because you are. Your fate should not lie in the hands of an employer, you should keep control and move where you see fit. Employers will replace you in a heartbeat, so gear up, and become invaluable to yourself, let no one determine your destiny, blaze your own path!

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    Account Removed

    about 5 years ago

    I just turned 34. I have had nine jobs in the last ten years. I have been in my current position for just over one year and had a very good interview for a new prospect today! I get a lot of guff from family, friends and managers from time to time, and some even make fun of me. But little do they know how much knowledge I have gained and I can easily change jobs even in this economy - Whose laughing now?

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