Could Job-Hoppers Be A Good Investment?

Job-Hopping is bad. Those who skip from job to job, should be banned from recruiting circles and shunned by the employment offices. It will wreck your career if you leave before the 2-year mark!

Previous and current generations have internalized, lived and believed it all, keeping them at jobs they dislike. Even Millennials who want new-age benefits like flex-work and volunteering opportunities are staying in their positions longer than workers of previous generations. Whether those choices are due to the struggle to find better opportunities or the fear of disappointing Baby Boomer parents remains uncertain. One thing is clear: job-hopping has always carried a bad stigma.

But how accurate are these statements? Does job-hopping really hurt your career? Should recruiters overlook resumes with several careers where there should be just a couple?

Times Are A’Changing

When it comes to changing jobs, 41% of baby boomers believe employees should stay in their positions for at least 5 years before considering a move, while 21% say that between 4-5 years is sufficient. And younger generations have been raised by these loyal employees to carry the weight of staying at each job they take for long blocks of time.

It is believed that someone with a flighty job history lacks ambition, is easily bored, isn’t loyal or reliable or is just not serious about employment. Alternately, those who have longer stints in a position are seen to be the opposite, which leads to the latter usually receiving the offer. Meanwhile, candidates who frequently move from one job to another catch grief in the interviews they are given a chance to attend.

While these ideas weigh on the minds of the incoming workforce, younger generations are challenging the school of thought. Only 13% of those born between 1982 and 2002 believe waiting for the 5-year mark is necessary. In fact, 25% believe looking for another position before a year is up is okay.

Bored Or Teeming With Aspiration?

More of the upcoming workforce is receiving formal education, leading to the most educated generation in history. Employees want to feel like their expensive education is benefiting their careers. Unfortunately, many employers are not catching on to this or are simply unable to offer more growth opportunities. It used to be that promotion or more responsibility came with time, but this new generation of worker does not want to wait.

Lack of advancement is the number one reason people leave their jobs, and 89% of employees with bachelor’s or graduate degrees find it annoying to not feel empowered by their boss. When a few months go by and no additional assignments are offered, employees fear stagnation and, in return, begin exploring their options. For many, finding new employment is the only hope to be challenged in their position.

Does Ambition Mean More Skills?

Though these workers are being considered more educated by way of formal work, many are not experienced. With many entry-level positions requiring at least a little experience, workers are determined to have examples of previous employment-provided skills that give the upper hand. If it seems no skills will be being obtained in a current position, employees are open to new positions that have those opportunities.

This might seem like a challenge to organizations, but it’s actually a benefit to growing teams. Employees who have moved around within their careers bring fresh points of view to each new employer and excitement in learning new tasks and procedures. Being open to challenges and cross-training, job-hoppers have worked with numerous people and personalities, which could mean they are experienced team players. Job-hopping could also point to a strategic mind, since it’s known among the professional community that employees who stay at the same job for more than 2 years find their learning power significantly reduced.

It’s true that recruiters have little time to make big decisions. In those precious 6 seconds of reading resumes, job history is a huge concern, but instantly throwing that shifty job history to the no pile might be losing the organization that next great new hire. It might be time to rethink the job-hopping applicant.

About the Author: A 20-year veteran of the recruiting industry, CEO Greg Rokos provides strategic direction for GreenJobInterview® and is responsible for marketing its video interviewing software through client meetings, conferences, speaking engagements, key channel partnerships and other activities. Alongside fellow co-founder Theo Rokos, Greg is one of the pioneers of cloud-based video interviewing.

photo credit: Intrepid Explorer Lianne via photopin (license)

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