09 Mar 2020
Millennials are notoriously known for changing jobs too often – reputably known as being “job hoppers”. Some employers tend to view these frequent career shifts as mirroring a lack of patience, passion or dedication, and a prioritisation for job opportunities which offer immediate rewards. The reality however, is that job-hopping has not only become commonplace, but at times also necessary. Each year, freshly graduated students transition to a job-based lifestyle, hoping to break into their industries and find stability in their employment. Several however, end up spending years jumping from one job to another, collecting valuable experience and exposure, before finally settling into their dream job. Even then, many chose to relocate to another place of employment after a number of years in order to avoid stagnating at their place of work.
Decades ago, job security was of utmost importance when looking to get hired. People wanted to swiftly make the transition from university to the workforce, and disappear into a firm that would have them employed until hitting retirement age.
Nowadays however, things have changed. As the world becomes increasing globalised, with new technologies constantly being developed, no employer can guarantee lifelong employment. It is no longer the employer who controls job security, but the employee himself.
According to an article by Forbes magazine, it is the so-called job-hoppers who are the most successful in the workforce. One of the reasons for this is that unless the company you work for is growing at a very rapid rate – recording 30% annual growth or higher – it is near to impossible to guarantee new experiences and opportunities.
Moreover, staying with the same corporation for a long number of years often means your role at the company will become automatic. This can not only make work boring and dull, but could also mean you are missing out on meaningful opportunities and experiences which could potentially be gained by joining a new firm. Working can as a result become comfortable and mundane, lacking new challenges to face and hurdles to overcome.
Changing jobs frequently means you are submitting yourself to the interview process each time. Although this may sound tedious, this can help you redefine yourself and clearly establish your worth in the business or industry. Moreover, the more jobs you visit, the more comfortable you will become with the interview process – which often frightens many.
In today’s day and age, where everything is constantly in flux, companies could refuse to employ people who would have been hired at one firm for decades. Although experience is often a must when it comes to job hunting, employers are often on the lookout for those with experience in the industry, and not at one specific company.
On the other hand, changing jobs too often could reflect signs of uncertainty and impulsivity, which are traits no employer will appreciate. If you are serious about your job, it is recommended to at least commit to one full year in your position, before pursuing a career change.
Jessie West, an HR professional, resume writer and career coach, strongly abides by the one-year guideline. “There is no hard and fast rule on this, but employers generally want to see that you are able to stay with a company at least that long. Anything less could be a red flag for a lot of hiring managers,” she explains.
Victoria Sawtelle, community manager at Uptowork, recommends at least two or three years of experience in a particular industry, before shifting to something completely brand new. Nonetheless, Sawtelle also affirms that changing jobs is beneficial. Not only can it solidify your professional experience by inviting new challenges and opportunities, but it could also lead to incremental increases in your salary.
“For more experienced professionals, job-hopping every few years can help you build your salary and skills faster than you might in staying with one company. It may not be such a bad thing given the de-stigmatization of job-hopping and, for women, it may be a way to increase your salary if you didn't negotiate as strongly the first time,” she says.