Almost everyone can relate to the experience of feeling unfulfilled at work. Sometimes people become so miserable in their jobs that finding new employment truly is the best solution. However, certain workers move so frequently from one job to another that they are viewed as job hoppers by prospective employers. In today’s post, we define job hopping, offer a self-assessment to see if the term applies to you, and examine the advantages and risks of being a job hopper.
What Exactly is a Job Hopper?
Job hoppers do not show loyalty or commitment to any role or organization. Rather, they “hop” from one position to the next. They do not spend enough time to truly master their duties and gain veteran wisdom from long-term experience in a specific industry, company, team, or function. Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area companies often view job hoppers as a business risks, because it is uncertain whether they will remain in new positions long enough to deliver significant returns on the initial investments of recruitment, training and orientation.
Length of jobs held is not the only indicator of job hopping. Certain individuals on the “fast track” to success may rise vertically through a number of positions, especially early in their careers. As opposed to these high-achieving individuals, job hoppers are characterized by lateral, not vertical movement on the organizational chart.
Pop Quiz: Are You a Job Hopper?
To determine if you may be seen as a job hopper, consider the following questions:
- In the past ten years, how many of your jobs have been longer than two years? How many have been shorter?
- Of your jobs during the past 10 years, what percentage of those have you left voluntarily (resigned or quit)?
- On average, how long are you at a new job before you start looking at job listings again?
- Over the past ten years, how many of your jobs have been fulfilling?
- Thinking about your current position, can you see yourself at the same company, in the same job, in three to five years?
Benefits of Being a Job Hopper
First and foremost, job hopping promises change and excitement. The initial period at any new job is a tremendous opportunity, and you get to experience that over and over again. In addition, you can quickly gain new skills and knowledge during training and orientation. Most importantly, job hopping gives you the chance to try out many new industries and positions, which may help you in determining where you want to focus the next phase of your career.
Drawbacks of Job Hopping
There are many disadvantages to job hopping, including the risk of not being selected by prospective employers, as described above. In addition, frequently changing jobs discourages the formation of lasting friendships with your colleagues. There simply isn’t enough time to build deep connections with others. Also, leaving a position in the first or second year will not give you insight into long-term business processes including product lifecycles, strategic initiatives, and large-scale project management, all of which typically occur over several years. Finally, there may be a direct financial risk to job hopping: leaving a position too early can mean losing employer contributions to retirement accounts. These are just some of the negative consequences of job hopping.
In next week’s post, we will propose an alternative to job hopping and suggest some resources for achieving clarity regarding your career path.
If you are searching for a role in accounting, administration, finance, human resources, marketing or operations in the San Francisco Bay Area, call us today. Menlo Partners Staffing, a Peninsula based temporary staffing and employment agency (650)752-6193.