Is Job Hopping a Good Practice?

Job hopping can be a smart career move for many employees, but only if they do it right, Here's how

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By RP Yadav


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In the past, people at all stages of their career were expected to stay at a company for a certain amount of time before moving on (if at all). In the past, that's what a "career' was all about induction to retirement. "Job-hopping' was never seen as a good thing because it has implications of low-loyalty, impatience and possibly conflicts at each company. However, job-hopping can actually be a good thing. It's gaining in popularity which is changing the job market for people of all ages.

But besides an arbitrary length of time, the truth is job hopping can be a smart career move, but only if the job hopper balances their needs while presenting a history of loyal service to past employers.

There are other factors one needs to consider before leaving his/her current job. Here's how to time your next job change in order to maximize your income:

  • When the salary increase is high enough
  • When the market shows you're underpaid
  • When you're able to put together a "success graph"
  • When you've got your bonus in hand
  • When you've finally nailed a promotion

The data suggest that millennial habit of job hopping can actually improve their long-term career and salary aspirations. With this said, it's important that you weigh the pros and cons when deciding whether to stay or go.

PROs –

  • You can move up in salary more quickly. If you're looking to get frequent bumps to your paycheck, staying at one company may not achieve that goal, particularly as more businesses are reducing their cost-of-living increases and moving performance reviews further apart.
  • While hopping around may get you there, at some point, if your resume is peppered with tons of different jobs, your agenda will look transparent to your next potential employer.
  • Decide what you feel you're worth and, once you're satisfied with your salary level, try to stay in one place for a while.

CONs -

  • You have an edge over external candidates.
  • The trick is to make your desire to move up known to your superiors so that when a more senior position becomes available, they think of you before looking elsewhere.

Consider your opportunities carefully:

If you're confronted with an opportunity to earn more by switching jobs, consider all the factors involved, including wage growth and other costs. And, don't forget to take into account your current situation. If you love your job and don't really want to leave, you can always brush up on your negotiation skills and ask for a raise.

Quick Facts:

Here are 5 good reasons to change jobs every three to five years not because you have to, but because you want to:

  1. People who change jobs more often get very good at the internal consulting skills that all of us need in this new-millennium workplace.
  2. People who change jobs more often get good at spotting healthy vs. toxic workplaces -- and avoiding the toxic ones.
  3. When you keep the same job for years on end (or even different jobs in the same organization) the network of people you know well outside the company frays and falls apart.
  4. When you job-hunt more often, you become very good at branding yourself. You know what the market wants because you are in the market more frequently!
  5. When you move from company to company every few years, you get used to picking up new protocols, procedures, strategies and practices quickly. All of these are invaluable talents!
RP Yadav

Chairman & Managing Director, Genius Consultants

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