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How Job Hopping Affects your Career

In a bygone, long term and stable employment was the top desirable quality of an employee. Now, the balance has shifted towards a more dynamic and comprehensive individual across many paradigms. Working for 2-3 years with a company and then leaving is accepted these days. Plus Gen Y and millennials don’t want to be tied down for longer than that!!

Job hopping…What springs into your mind when you see this term? Do you think about all the advantages and knowledge that comes with moving? The instability and fear that he/she will move again at short notice? Was the individual unable to perform well in the previous role?

All these are valuable and important questions to ask when you see someone that has multiple experiences in a short period of time. I suggest you never answer them yourself, don’t jump to conclusions since you don’t know everyone’s situation. Get them to talk and you evaluate whether their story matches with their resume or experiences.

Let’s step away from an employer’s point of view and delve into potential candidates’ desire to move around even if the organization is perfect for them.

Job Hopping Good or Bad?

When you job hop, you need to have a goal and what you want to achieve. If you are hopping just because you are being led on by hearing “new and exciting” opportunities, you are doing it wrong.

To be successful in job hopping, you need to factor in what the employer may think about your experiences when you present your Resume. Red flags will pop up when they see you are staying at a full-time role for less than half a year.

As with many actions we take, there is a definite consequence. For certain employers, they like the adaptability of the individual while some will look down upon this. Long term or short term employment, you will be closing certain doors behind you and opening new ones ahead.

The experience that comes with working with multiple organizations and being exposed to their different methods and structure can be beneficial. If you are successful at every opportunity, you have the ability to adapt to working with people around you and to quickly immerse yourself in the organization. This means, you can quickly show a track record of success.

Have acquired the hard and soft skills associated with the different roles and organizations can mean this person can be more flexible, adaptable and accepting of change. While it’s a generalisation, some people who are of long tenure in a company, may not share these traits.

Important questions to ask yourself before hopping

The job market is continuing to expand and evolve with new organizations looking for talent and new roles opening up. It is easy to jump to an opportunity when it presents itself. You may be lured in by the remuneration, the organization’s brand value or “exciting” new challenges. Before you even begin discussion, ask yourself these simple but valuable questions about your career:

  1. What do you want from your career?

  2. Have you made the most out of working at your current role?

  3. Have you accomplished all the tasks and responsibilities when you first started?

  4. Why do you want this new opportunity?

  5. Does this new opportunity offer potential to develop?

  6. Is the opportunity out of your league?

Take Home Message:

Job hopping is a quick and arguably easier way of achieving your goals. If it is done right, you may have more opportunities open to you. If done wrong, you may be digging a deep pit that you cannot escape from. You must ask yourself the 6 questions before you make the decision to move. If you don’t have the evidence and experience to back your job moves, you will be frowned upon by future employers.

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