This article is part of The Ascender, the Highrise platform for articles and resources.

Is Job Hopping Bad? (Pros, and Cons & Tips)

Andrew Langat
July 18, 2023
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"Job hopping can be a great way to learn new skills, gain new experiences, and boost your salary. But it's important to do it strategically and to make sure that each move is a step towards your long-term goals." - Alison Green

Chances are that if you are reading this, you have had more than one job along your career path, and you may not necessarily qualify as a job hopper. That said, you can identify one or two job hoppers in your profession. They seem to never last on a role and it's hunky-dory for them.

Changing jobs frequently is commonplace, and reports suggest that a job for life is now a relic of the past. The great resignation has brought this into focus.

Job hopping is more predominant with younger workers — millennials and Gen Z—, with the former lasting for an average of three years and the latter staying at a job for an average of two years.

Fun Fact: The average person will have 12 jobs during their lifetime.-Zippia.

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What Is Job Hopping, and Is It Bad?

Job hopping is frequently changing jobs. This might be by design or through factors like the need to learn new skills, the need for leadership development, to find better company culture, mental health concerns, difficulties with the current workplace, or the realities of modern work where contract jobs are increasingly becoming the norm.

There is no clear answer as to whether job hopping is good or bad. It all depends on individual reasons and adaptability skills. For others, such as remote workers, job hopping is the modus operandi, while in some professions it can give an impression of a lack of commitment and impulsiveness.

In this article, we shall review, the benefits of job hopping, the pros, cons, and tips on how to do it successfully.

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What Are the Benefits of Job-Hopping?

1. Increased salary & benefits

A case for a higher salary is one of the compelling reasons for job hopping. Unsurprisingly, it works as one often leaves when a better job(read: more money) becomes available.

A 2022 Pew research on government data revealed that most U.S. workers(60% of the sampled) who frequently change jobs reported improved compensation.

Fun Fact: If you stay at a job for more than two years, you will likely get paid 50% less than those who job opt.

This research mirrors one done in the U.K. by the Office of the National Statistics(ONS) that revealed that workers who changed jobs within a year reported a higher hourly wage than those who stayed.

You will likely receive a 10 to 20% salary increment when you switch jobs. Compared to the average increase of between 3 to 4%

2. Career Advancement

Job hopping means constantly meeting other professionals interacting with different leadership and management styles, and establishing new relationships that you could otherwise not benefit from in your current job.

All these experiences add to your career advancement as you can leverage past experiences when moving to your next job. It is also, important to add that career advancement need to be seen as a journey that can be spiced with a track record from different

3. Exposure to different work cultures

Job hoppers get to experience different work cultures ranging from fast-paced, results-oriented culture, collaborative, team-oriented cultures, or the casual, laid-back culture.

This exposure can create a great work ethic and an impressive work history that can be leveraged in a career ladder resulting in:

Increased understanding of different perspectives:

When you work in a diverse workplace, you are exposed to different work perspectives and ways of thinking. This can help you to become more open-minded and tolerant of others' viewpoints hence enabling you to create a better workplace.

Improved communication skills:

Working with people from different cultures can help you to improve your communication skills. You will need to learn how to communicate effectively with people who may have different communication styles and levels of English proficiency.

Enhanced problem-solving skills

Working in a multicultural environment can help you to develop better problem-solving skills. You will need to be able to think critically and come up with creative solutions to problems that may be unique to a particular culture.

Increased creativity and innovation

A diverse workforce can be a source of creativity and innovation. When people from different backgrounds come together, they can share their ideas and perspectives, which can lead to new and innovative solutions.

Enhanced global career opportunities

If you are interested in working in a global environment that leads to more fulfilling work exposure to different work cultures can give you a competitive edge. Employers are increasingly looking for employees who have experience working in a multicultural environment.

4. Skill development

According to a Forbes article titled "Why Job Hopping Is OK," job hopping can be important for skill development as it allows individuals to transfer their skills to new industries or roles.

This can help them to build a diverse set of skills and become more adaptable to changing job markets.

Additionally, a Harvard Business Review article titled "You Need a Skills-Based Approach to Hiring and Developing Talent" emphasizes the need for a skills-based approach to hiring and developing talent, rather than focusing on specific job titles or experience. This means that individuals who have a diverse set of skills developed through job hopping may be more attractive to employers who value adaptability and a willingness to learn.

For example, an individual who has worked in marketing, sales, and customer service may have developed strong communication and problem-solving skills that can be applied to a variety of industries. They may also have experience working with different types of people and in different types of environments, making them more adaptable and able to handle change.

Another example is an individual who has worked in different roles within the same industry, such as moving from a junior analyst to a senior analyst to a project manager. This person may have developed a deep understanding of the industry and a variety of technical skills that can be applied to different projects or companies within the same field.

Employee with his boss

6. Expanded professional network

Job hopping can help you gain new skills, experiences, and perspectives that can make you a more well-rounded and attractive candidate to potential employers. It can also help you increase your salary and advance your career more quickly than if you stayed in one job for a long time.

Expanding your professional network can also be valuable for your career. By connecting with people in your industry or field, you can learn about new job opportunities, gain insights into the latest trends and developments, and even find mentors who can help guide your career growth.

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What Are the Disadvantages of Job-Hopping?

Job hopping comes with disadvantaged that can include:

Difficulty finding employment

Many hiring managers see multiple jobs in your job history especially held for a short duration(less than a year) as a potential red flag. This can potentially disadvantage you in the interview process as it can pass a message of poor loyalty or that you lack commitment.

To overcome this, you need to explain job hopping. For example, state why you left your previous jobs. Was it because of a lack of professional development, poor leadership, or a toxic work environment?

Avoid vague reasons such as "personal reasons", or "looking for a new challenge". To a hiring manager, this can be the first sign that they are dealing with that as soon you onboard, you will be looking for the next employer.

Gaps in employment history

Gaps in employment history are periods when you were unemployed. This can range from a few months to a couple of years. Whereas there are some valid reasons for this such as mass layoffs, medical leave or just taking time off, if the reason is attributed to job hopping, this can potentially affect your prospect in the job market.

That said, you may improve your odds of employment by adding what you did outside employment. For example, did you learn any new skills that have enhanced your technical skills? Did you get time for coaching and mentoring from a career coach?

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Tips for Job Hopping Successfully

In an unpredictable work environment, It is recommended that you constantly interview as part of career development. This can also mean, that you will job-hop regularly. Whereas there is no set number of how much job hopping you should do, when you decide on this, you need to do it strategically. Here are some vital tips to successfully job hop.

Be strategic about your moves.

Don't just jump from job to job without a plan. Make sure each move is a step forward in your career.

Have a clear understanding of your career goals.

What do you want to achieve in your career? Once you know what you want, you can start to look for jobs that will help you reach your goals.

Be prepared to explain your job hopping

Hiring managers will be curious about why you've changed jobs so often. Be prepared to explain your reasons in a positive way. Some of the reasons can include:

  • Limited opportunities for career development
  • Company restructuring
  • A need for a career change
  • To find a better fit

Highlight your skills and accomplishments

Your resume and cover letter should highlight your skills and accomplishments. This will help hiring managers see why you're a valuable asset to their team.

Be confident

Job hopping can be seen as a negative thing, so it's important to be confident in your abilities. Show hiring managers that you're a valuable asset who is worth the investment.

Use a functional resume

A functional resume focuses on your skills and accomplishments what you bring to the table , rather than your work history. This can be a good option for job hoppers, as it helps to downplay the fact that you've changed jobs frequently.

Be prepared to answer questions about your job hopping.

Hiring managers will likely ask you why you've changed jobs so often. Be prepared to answer these questions in a positive way. Explain that you're looking for new challenges, opportunities for growth, or a better fit with your career goals.

Network with people in your field

Networking is a great way to learn about new job opportunities and to get your foot in the door. Talk to people you know who work in your field, and attend industry events.

Be patient(things may not always work your way)

It may take some time to find the right job. Don't get discouraged if you don't get hired right away. Keep applying for jobs and networking, and eventually, you'll find the perfect fit.

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When Should You Stop Job Hopping?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on your individual circumstances and career goals. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should start to slow down your job hopping after you've been in the same job with your current employer for at least two years.

Why is this important?

This will give you enough time to learn and grow in your current role, and it will also show hiring managers that you're not a serial job hopper(that you just don't do it for the fun of it).

What is a job-hopper personality?

Job hoppers are typically people who are always looking for new challenges and opportunities. They may be bored easily, or they may be motivated by the idea of constantly learning and growing.

Research by Madhura Jayaratne and Buddhi Jayatilleke, titled Predicting Job-Hopping Motive of Candidates Using Answers to Open-ended Interview Questions established that HEXACO personalities are more inclined to job hopping.

Job hoppers can be valuable assets to companies, as they can bring new ideas and perspectives to the table. However, they can also be seen as a liability, as they may be more likely to leave a company after a short period of time.

This can be an additional expense to a company as they need to constantly go to the job market to look for new candidates.

Inspiring, isn’t it ? Want to learn more about connecting self-awareness to professional development? Get in touch today.

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Let Highrise Teach You How to Job Hop Better

At Highrise, we work with growth-minded professionals to provide valuable insights and skills that can contribute to job hopping in a more effective manner. By participating in Highrise, you will gain a deeper understanding of your own authentic style, identify barriers that may hinder your career progression, learn how to leverage your strengths, and develop the ability to navigate conflicts with confidence.

Job hopping requires careful consideration and strategic planning to ensure that each transition contributes to professional growth and success. Highrise can assist individuals in this process by helping them cultivate their leadership abilities, enabling them to make informed decisions about their career trajectories.

Signup today and learn how you can take charge of your career.

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Andrew Langat
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Andrew Langat is an experienced content specialist in Leadership, Productivity, Education, Fintech, and Research. He is an avid reader and loves swimming as a hobby. He believes that quality content should be actionable and helpful.