Double-edged knife: job-hopping

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9 ways to judge whether it will ruin your career or contribute to success

The end of a business era has come – that of permanence in the workplace and remaining in it from graduation to retirement. No matter how loyal you are to employers, you don’t have to stay in the same company forever, although changing jobs too often can be detrimental to your career. But done in the right way and at the right time, especially when the job is no longer appropriate, the change can benefit personal success and prestige.

This is the opinion of over 60% of employees of all ages, which is why we are witnessing an interesting job-hopping syndrome. But there are still those 40% who wonder if frequent change doesn’t work against them.

How to check if job-hopping works for you or against you?

1. You do it too often

The term job-hopping refers to the practice of occupying multiple jobs for a relatively short time, it’s accepted that “short” is a period less than 2 years. In the past, this style was seen as a frivolous attitude and lack of commitment, and even today for some employers it is a “red signal” in the job interview

In general, the concept of permanence is no longer valid and is not applied, especially in the context of a health pandemic. Covid has imposed new business rules that make it normal to work with a flexible schedule, remotely, positions are cut or other measures are applied in order to adapt to the change.

People born between 1957 and 1964 held an average of about 11 jobs between the ages of 18 and 50, and younger employees changed jobs even more often, every few years, according to statistics. In the last 10 years, the demand for jobs has been growing among the millennials – those born before 2002 and those after them – the representatives of Generation Z, who are still in the career orientation stage. But still, you can’t justify super-frequent job changes every few months.

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2. Your CV is cluttered

You break into several jobs, change positions and companies chaotically or you are methodical and follow your professional direction and hierarchy – however, your CV tells your work history and it should create a clear picture of you as a specialist.

Think about what it looks like in the eyes of the managers who flip through it. They are cautious when hiring when there are gaps in someone’s resume or it is strewn with unrelated skips, and they are always curious if the reason you left your previous job is valid.

3. There is no visible progress

Ideally, a person changes their job because they have a better opportunity: a higher position, a better salary, more prestige. The problem arises when every job change is a step away or backward from growth within an organization or industry.

The fact that there is no visible progress in your career may be perceived as a bad sign by employers – that you may not live up to the expectations they place on you in the future.

4. You lack passion

Managers are looking for professionals who love their work and enjoy doing it, because happy employees are more productive and it’s worth hiring enthusiasts, not tired, uninitiated and troubled people.

If your work history tells you that you are chasing money, not your dreams, that you are not passionate about a cause, industry or technology, you do not care about learning new skills or taking on new challenges, this may send the wrong message that you are not the right person for the job.

5. You are not a visionary

A winning career is one that develops like a marathon, not a sprint. Rapid and chaotic movements sometimes have an effect, but in the short term they are not suitable for long-term goals, so if your work history tells you that you worked piecemeal, for failed organizations or organizations with dubious reputations, you do not show a career approach and a clear vision of what you want to achieve. This is how they will perceive you until you prove stability and consistency – move up instead of spinning in a circle.

If the following signs are valid for you, despite frequent job changes, you have nothing to worry about:

1. You don't expect the job to be perfect

“When things are not going well, it requires strong character, perseverance and the search for smart and flexible solutions to problems and to turn the situation around. Those who have high expectations of work can easily give up, when facing injustice or if they do not see the meaning and constructive challenges, ” David K. Williams and Mary Scott write in their article” 10 reasons to stay at work for 10 years ” for the Harvard Business Review.

It’s good to reassure managers that you’re not one of those people who quits when they fail or things aren’t perfect, it’s smart to convince your future employers that you’re willing to face ups and downs.

2. Demonstrate commitment

The work commitment of millennials is much lower than that demonstrated by other generations, according to a poll conducted in 2020. It shows that a relatively small proportion of those born between the late 1980s and early 2000s – 29% feel emotionally and behaviorally connected to work or company. And another 16% are “actively engaged”, which means that they are more or less ready to harm their company.

This is not good, given that millennials are the most active generation from a business point of view. Even if you do not believe or do not want to stay at a certain job or position, it is important to reassure your potential employers that you are professionally committed and ready to work actively for common business goals.

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3. You want to learn

It is an advantage if your experience so far proves that you have learned new skills that benefit the job you are applying for. Changing jobs provides great opportunities to learn technologies, corporate practices and skills that increase your value. This makes you one of the strongest players, which every company seeks.

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Photo: Unsplash

4. It’s evident that you are making progress

Changing jobs is a grueling task – it requires negotiation, preparation of documents, adjustment to the new schedule, i.e., it is not always something valuable for both parties. However, when it is clear from the candidate’s CV that the job-hopping has led to professional growth, each employer will realize that they would win to have them in their team.

This employee is important because they will be productive. They change their job because they are looking for new ways to grow professionally, they overcome obstacles and have risen to a higher level because they are consistent, adaptable and enterprising.


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