Job Hopping or frequently changing jobs or roles has been prevalent in the corporate world for many years. There were always a certain group of professionals who believed that changing jobs regularly, offered them many benefits like better salaries, richer experience, and above all they came across as highly ambitious professionals too. In recent times, the millennial workforce has started seeing more benefits in job hopping. This has resulted in shrinking tenures in each role. While this was a mere observation, it was not until I read Robert Half’s survey report substantiating the same that I realized that this was a changing trend.
Many young professionals find many motivating factors to change jobs regularly than get ‘stuck’ in one even for a couple of years. In fact, according to Robert half’s report, around 75% of professionals between the ages of 18 and 34 believe that job hopping can be beneficial to their careers. That’s a huge number of young employees. While better salaries are a definite factor, most of these professionals also feel that job hopping creates an impression of being ambitious. This is where I disagree.
Why Job Hopping ≠ Ambition?
In one of my previous blogs, I had mentioned about my chat with a senior professional (Rajiv) who had changed 12 jobs in his career spanning 18 years. He claimed that these job changes allowed him to be viewed as a master at his craft. But, he was not really getting the kind of offers that he was looking for. The problem with Rajiv was the lack of a plan. However, his job-hopping preference was not making things easier for him either. Here are some reasons why job hopping is not perceived as ambition by many hiring managers and CXO’s:
Let me ask you a question – if you are hiring a resource for your team and come across a candidate who changes jobs every 8 months (on an average), will you hire the candidate? Even though the candidate has worked with several organizations and been in varying roles, the fact that he is a job hopper is enough to create an element of doubt in your head before recruiting him. Why? Because you consider him as a flight risk. After you invest your time and effort in training him and bringing him in sync with the organization’s processes, the candidate would already be looking at other jobs!
Ambition should be about growth and excellence
An ambitious professional is one who desires growth in designation and responsibilities while delivering optimum results. Job hopping simply means that you are finding jobs in the market and are taking them! As a job hopper, one of the most difficult interview questions is – why have you been changing jobs so frequently? Growth comes with learning and mastering your skill, not by merely being aware of the various aspects of the skill.
Jack of All trades vs. Master of one (or few)
In every organization, there are certain employees who have been in different roles in the past. They have a ‘fair’ understanding of how to perform all kinds of tasks within the purview of their department. The catchword here is ‘fair’. This means that if the organization is looking for someone skilled to take a certain responsibility, then it won’t settle with ‘fair’ knowledge. It will look for a candidate with mastery in the role. Hence, being a jack of all trades does not do much in the advancement of your career. While I don’t disagree with knowing how things function, but I do not recommend changing jobs for the same.
Don’t get me wrong. Job Hopping has certain advantages too – but it does not portray you as an ambitious professional. A job hopper is highly adaptable and is change-friendly and is sought by many fast-changing sectors. All I am saying is that if you think that job hopping is going to make your job search easier, then you might want to think again. Or better still, talk to a couple of hiring managers and see what they say about frequent job changes.
At Change Ur Story, we understand that a successful career requires the foundation of knowledge, skill, experience, and expertise in your chosen career path. We always encourage professionals to spend some time with themselves and think clearly about how they want to approach their careers in the long run – after all, a career is a marathon and not a 100m sprint! Through our Career Coaching Programs, we help these professionals in making the right decisions and crafting a career path that is rewarding in all aspects. If you have been hopping jobs and want to re-strategize your career, then drop us a line without delay and let’s get working on creating a successful YOU.
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