Is Job-Hopping Detrimental to Your Career?

We’re living in a world where it’s becoming as customary to ‘job-hop’ as it is to hop on a tube. Whilst this may be a slight exaggeration, job-hopping is certainly on the rise, particularly amongst the younger generations.

But why the sudden increase? Is job-hopping fickle or forthright? And most importantly – could it be detrimental to your career?

Why Do Employees Job-Hop?

There are a plethora of reasons why employees nowadays jump from job to job. First, the landscape of the working world has changed over the last few decades. Gone are the days where the ‘traditional’ trajectory of working your way up the ranks in a company is the only option. In fact, we are spoilt for choice; with the rise of technology and remote working, there are a wider range of jobs available – not to mention flexibility!

There is also ease of access to new job opportunities like never before. Back in the day, employees used to be off-limits to head-hunters. But now, recruiters can simply slide into your LinkedIn DMs! Recruiters post job adverts which may pop up on your feed – enticing you to pastures new!

What’s more, in light of the upsurge of social media’s presence in the business world, more and more employees are feeling empowered to “quit while they’re ahead”. Recent studies show that employee retention is at an all-time low; employees are quitting due to lack of job satisfaction, career progression, sufficient pay – and sometimes even due to a toxic workplace. Frankly, employee standards are higher than ever… as they should be!

But the question is: are some employees too quick to call it quits?

The Pros of Job-Hopping
First, let’s take a look at the pros. Repeatedly changing jobs can provide professionals with a diverse range of experience and expertise, setting them up well for their future career. Employees are no longer expected to fit tidily into a one-size-fits-all box; there are now a wealth of opportunities for people to carve out the working life they want.

Experimenting with different roles in different companies can help employees to figure out the path they’re destined to take. They may realise that they prefer a more collaborative environment, or that the remote life is for them. They may crave more leadership opportunities, or the flexibility that alternative positions offer. In 2023, the opportunities are endless! The expectation that everyone graduates from university and steps into their picture-perfect job is outdated, and the reduced stigma of job-hopping gives professionals the freedom to try things out… and try again – until they find the ideal fit for them.

As previously mentioned, this lessened stigma allows employees to break free from unstimulating or unsupportive work environments. In this day and age, employee wellbeing is prioritised by companies more than ever, yet we still see countless cases of employees feeling unhappy at work.

The Dangers of Job-Hopping

On the flip side, many are concerned that job-hopping can, in fact, be detrimental to your career. Whilst it may be less frowned upon nowadays, there can only be so many 3-month stints littering your CV before a potential employer raises an eyebrow. Many believe that it isn’t job-hopping which is the problem, but the extent of it. For example, a candidate who switched roles a few times in order to find their feet is less likely to set alarm bells ringing than someone who has quit 10+ jobs in the space of a year!

The harsh truth is that, amidst an already competitive market, employers are more likely to opt for a candidate with a solid track record over one they fear could flake at any second. If you’ve got a reputation for job-hopping, they’ll naturally be concerned that you’ll hop from their company to the next! Our advice would be to ensure that you have a valid reason for quitting each position; so long as you can explain this to potential employers, they will be far more likely to take your application seriously.

On this note, it’s important to think twice before handing in your resignation. Whilst job-hopping can certainly have its benefits, you may be doing yourself a disservice if you quit too quickly. If you continuously float from job to job, you could be inadvertently conditioning yourself to a ‘non-committal’ approach to work. We’ve all heard of commitment-phobes in the dating world – and trust us, they exist in the workplace too! It is important that, once you find that perfect fit, you can learn to commit. Unfortunately, the grass is always greener; some candidates find themselves chasing the fictitious job that’s “just right” (think baby bear’s porridge), only to find they’ve left a perfectly good job prematurely.

Finally, if you quit at the first sign of difficulty, you may miss out on potential progress in the role. Many employees take a while to find their feet, and patience is a virtue! Don’t give up before you’ve given the role a fighting chance. Furthermore, excessive job-hopping prevents candidates from a range of benefits: growth within the role and company, long-standing relationships with colleagues – and perhaps even that pay rise or promotion you were aiming for! 

 Regardless of the potential perils of job-hopping, do we believe that candidates should proceed with caution? Absolutely. If you could benefit from one-to-one advice from the experts, get in touch with Mason and Dale Recruitment today. 

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