A relatively recent term, “job hopping” is now used in mainstream society as a way to describe the phenomena of hopping from one job to the next job, rather than maintaining one job or career throughout the course of a lifetime. Here’s what you need to know about job hopping, as well as some myths we will dispel about it.
Classically, as children we are taught to be loyal, hardworking, and dedicated. This carries over into our careers in school, then into the workforce. Years ago, in the Baby Boomer generation, to “job hop” carried a very negative stigma, which some still fear to this day. There are a lot of pros and cons with job hopping, but certain myths have linked a kind of social stigma with the term.
In previous generations, it was the social norm for one to graduate college, enter the workforce and then stay with the same company until retirement age. Very few dared to hop from one job to the next. These days though, we live in a very different world. Evolution of our thought process is necessary to keep up with how everything is changing. Let’s look at some myths about job hopping.
3 Common Myths about Job Hopping
- If you job hop, it means you aren’t loyal or dedicated.
Many who fear job hopping worry they may come across as flaky or disloyal, or think they may be seen as too self-serving or lazy. In reality, none of these negative traits have anything to do with job hopping. In fact, according to IT staffing expert Daren Hicks, “Some of the hardest working, dedicated individuals are also job hoppers. Being dedicated to one’s work should not equate to staying in a position where growth potential is limited.”
- Having a resume that looks too “busy” is a bad thing.
Most people are of the opinion that if you have too much going on with your resume, this will be seen in a negative light. While it’s important to have a concise resume, maintaining the same job for years and years may have more negative connotations these days than positive ones. Although it shows you can hold a position for a long time, what it doesn’t show is growth, versatility and a variety of experience. These days, more employers are likely to hire you if you have a wider skill set, which is generally obtained from working in more than one position in more than one company.
- You will lose the stability and expertise of your current position.
While it’s true that changing jobs can be scary, the truth is that for the most part “job security” is an illusion, and is not what it used to be. Even if you work the same position all of your life, you are still at risk for being terminated for financial reasons, because there are always others who are willing to work for less pay. Just because you care about your company does not always mean it cares about you. If a position or company no longer fits you, this generally means it’s time to move on. Although no one wants to be the new person at a company, this opens you up to endless possibilities as well as career advancement. Not only will you be able to learn a number of new things, but you also will expand your network as you interact with new people in a variety of new situations.
There are pros and cons to job hopping; we’re always told that job hopping is bad for a career, but during your 20s and early 30s, it’s actually a good idea. Unfortunately, some hiring managers who are used to the old practices of hiring may be more likely to overlook someone’s resume that has job-hopped. It would benefit them greatly to keep an open mind about this though, because job hoppers have consistently been proven to be positive risk takers who can benefit a company tremendously.
Not only are many job hoppers leaders as opposed to blind followers, but they also are often the types of people who have a lot of drive and ambition, and are innovative. Job hopping is essential for this current generation particularly because of the current job market as well as technology that plays a big role. For professionals in the IT field, for example, this point is extremely important because they must keep up with current technology and systems. Since the job market is so competitive, it’s prevalent to keep up to date with your skill set. Moving from one company to the next can sometimes be the only way to expose yourself to different types of technology as well as the latest developments in your field.
For those who are looking to job hop, it’s important to keep these points in mind:
- Do present the creative, innovative parts of yourself that adapt easily to change particularly in fast-paced environments
- Don’t be afraid to put your career first. Job hoppers benefit from being more challenged and more fulfilled, as well as earning more money than their counterparts
- Do follow your passion so you can figure out what you really love, while expanding your skill set
- Do endeavor to have a variety of different experiences, to improve your versatility
- Do take advantage of a good opportunity. You have one life to live, so you may as well do what you really want to do
The good news is, in most ways, job hopping has nowhere near the negative connotations it used to. It’s becoming easier than ever for those wanting to job hop to be able to, and to find the career and position they really want. Not only do job hoppers benefit from changing jobs, but companies benefit from choosing to hire those who have attained that variety of experience.
About the Author: Ava Collins is an online marketing associate with Hicks Professional Group as well as the IT staffing company’s HR manager.