Are there benefits to being a job hopper? Maybe so, according to recent study. In fact, job hopping may be losing its bad reputation, at least among the youngest generation of U.S. workers, a new Accountemps survey suggests. Fifty-seven percent of employees between the ages of 18 and 34 said changing jobs every few years can actually help their career, compared to 38 percent of professionals between the ages of 35 and 54 and 22 percent of those age 55 or older. There were also differences by gender, with 47 percent of men and 37 percent of women reporting that job hopping is beneficial.
In the article should you hire a job hopper?, Minneapolis executive recruiter Diane Steele, says it’s important to take a number of factors into consideration when deciding to hire a potential job hopper. However, it’s time to change one’s thinking – and that the old days of an employee spending 20-30 years with the same company, getting a gold watch and retiring into the sunset are long gone.
“We will no longer see the employee who is tenured with the same company for 30 years, or ready to sign on for life,” says Steele.
Kurt Rakos, founder and Partner at Minneapolis-based SkyWater Search Partners, agrees.
“At SkyWater, we believe that each individual should be judged on their merits, taking into account the changing face of the employment market,” says Rakos. “The final decision will of course be influenced by the needs of employers looking for talent in an increasingly competitive environment.”
Below are some benefits of job-hopping, according to the accountemps survey and analysis on how to overcome the stigma of being labeled a job hopper
1. Earning higher compensation
If money is your primary concern, and your employer can’t offer a higher salary, look at the entire compensation package before heading out the door. Other benefits like telecommuting, flextime or generous vacation time can make up for a smaller paycheck.
Analysis: Many job seekers switch jobs because they are unhappy with their current salary. When analyzing a new salary take into consideration other factors such as insurance premium, commute time and other perks. If you’re current salary is lower than expected but your insurance costs are minimal, it may not be worth it to take a new job for a $2,000-$5,000 raise if your insurance premium skyrockets with the new employer. Also take into consideration the commute and cost of gas if driving to work.
2. Gaining new skills
Sometimes, you have to job hop to gain experience in a particular area — if you’re switching industries or seeking certain cutting-edge technical skills, for example. Just be sure you first explore professional development options at your current firm, such as company-sponsored training programs, tuition reimbursement, job shadowing and mentorships.
Analysis: Keeping up with new technology is crucial. Before moving on, ask your manager about future technology implementations and what it would take to get that at your current employer. Consider making a business case for the need. Will they support it? If not, then it just may be time to move on.
3. Moving up the career ladder faster
You might believe that you have to change companies to get the promotion you want. But before you start searching for another job, sit down with your manager and get his or her perspective on your career path. If expectations for the future don’t align, you can feel more confident in exploring other opportunities.
Analysis: A job title doesn’t always define responsibilities and opportunities for career growth. Make sure a new job provides the same growth opportunities or more, despite title.
4. Experiencing a new corporate culture
The company culture at your firm isn’t likely to change, and if you don’t mesh well with it, you may want to move on. Make certain, though, that it’s the culture you’re unsatisfied with versus other aspects of your job.
Analysis: If you’re happy at your current job, take that into consideration. Really assess the people you are interviewing with and ask about the corporate culture when interviewing for a new job. Will you fit in?
5. Looks better on a resume to have multiple employers
Employers like to see evidence of professional growth on a candidate’s resume, and job hopping can be a good way to show steady career progression. However, a Robert Half survey of human resources managers found that an average of five job changes in 10 years can raise red flags.
Analysis: If questioned about the amount of jobs, don’t bash previous employers, keep it focused on the importance of you achieving your career goals and finding the employer who is the best long-term fit.
“Conventional wisdom about the perils of job hopping has begun to shift, but professionals still need to look carefully before they leap,” said Bill Driscoll, a district president with Accountemps. “Changing jobs every three to four years is one thing; more frequent moves could indicate the inability to dig into a role and put employers on guard.” Driscoll added, “Professionals considering job moves should evaluate not only salary but also where they will have the greatest opportunity to build skills and advance their careers.”