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The Pros and Cons of Job Hopping

The Pros and Cons of Job Hopping

Author: Moe Harrison /Tuesday, March 12, 2019/Categories: SNI Companies, SNI Financial, For Job Seekers, SNI Certes, For Job Seekers, SNI Technology, Accounting Now, Staffing Now

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More reports and surveys showing that “job hopping” and a lack of perceived value being tied to tenure is on the rise. Is this just a trend or a more accepted norm in the world we live in today? Is it largely a bi-product of the extremely low unemployment rates of recent years and will it change when we see things swing the other way at some point? How much impact does the wave of young entrepreneurial tech billionaires who seem to have skipped over the traditional period of paying your dues have to do with this trend? All things to consider, but in general it does appear that younger professionals changing jobs on a more frequent basis is more accepted now than it has been in previous generations. Prior to the last 5 years I would say 3+ years was the expected norm for being in a job before looking at transitioning, but now we are seeing 18 months or less in many cases and the candidates don’t seem to be concerned about how it will impact their candidacy for new roles. At least not for now. In today’s blog I’ll dig in a bit on the topic of changing jobs more frequently than the norm and offer some insight to the potential benefits and draw-backs.

One of the reasons people may find benefit in changing jobs is a higher salary, but this will catch up to you in the long run if you are ultimately labeled as a definitive job hopper. This is because the well of higher paying opportunities will eventually go dry when they are scared off by your lack of tenure/stability. Career growth is another reason and that’s important, but it takes time. Statistics say that gaining a full understanding of a new job and being able to execute effectively typically takes about 12 months. That means in most cases you aren’t totally comfortable in what you’re doing nor is the company seeing a strong ROI on hiring you until that point. So, if you jump ship at 12-18 months or less then you’re really not growing as much as you should be because the skills and mastery of your initial role are just taking hold as you leave. A better cultural fit can also be a benefit, but so many times I interview people who get burned because they don’t do enough due diligence on the front end before they accept a role. They don’t meet the larger team, they don’t ask enough questions about the office environment or the personalities of their prospective co-workers. Be sure you probe hard and ask the tough questions in the interview process to ensure a good culture fit before you accept an offer. One final reason might be having the chance to work with a great manager or market influencer who could change the game for an up and comer and this one is hard to argue. If you have the chance to jump on with an early stage Amazon or Google and work with the best in the business it’s likely one you won’t get again, but that also means you should not be changing jobs again anytime soon. Those are rare situations and hard to see coming. You just want to avoid always chasing something that sounds too good to be true, because the grass is absolutely not always greener. For every Amazon or Google there are a million fast-growing, fast-talking small to mid-size companies that are not what they seem and you don’t want to be part of the wreckage left behind with another ding on your resume.

All these things can potentially improve your career and take you further than if you stay stagnant in the same role for too long, but the question is when do you hit a point of diminishing return. Specifically, when have you changed jobs every 18-24 months or less such that it conveys to an employer that you are not someone they should expect to keep long term? Therefore, they choose not to invest the time, money and resources in to a short-term employee and pass on your background. What constitutes stability and good tenure is subjective, but there is a perceived standard for many recruiters representing candidates and in most cases for hiring managers who tend to have an old school mindset.

A Bullhorn survey shows that according to 1,500 recruiters the biggest obstacles for an unemployed candidate in regaining employment is a history of job hopping. Continually switching roles after staying at a company less than one year can raise a red flag with hiring managers. Even if you do get hired on at a new place if the company decides to downsize it’s often the new hires that are let go first which is something frequent job-hoppers should also be mindful of.

I discussed in a previous blog while people stay at a job longer than they should. While it’s important to continually learn and grow, you also need to recognize that frequent job hopping can be a red flag for hiring managers. When considering a job change really analyze your growth to that point in your current role, do thorough due diligence to know what you are potentially jumping into and assess the amount of time between jobs in your last 5-7 years. More than 2 changes during that period of time should at least warrant further discretion.


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Moe Harrison
Moe Harrison

Moe Harrison

Moe Harrison is a Regional Vice President with SNI. With more than 15 years’ experience in recruiting and personnel management, Moe has a unique perspective on the top issues and concerns of employers and candidates in the accounting and finance fields.

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Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Moe Harrison is a Regional Vice President with SNI. With more than 15 years’ experience in recruiting and personnel management, Moe has a unique perspective on the top issues and concerns of employers and candidates in the accounting and finance fields.


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