No generation has mastered the art of job hopping like millennials. While Baby Boomers typically adopted the one-job-till-retirement strategy, millennials tend to change jobs more often. According to a 2014 report released by the Bureau of Labor Statics, workers aged between 24 and 35 tend to stay at a job for only three years. If you do the math –and we have- this means that by the time a millennial retires, he or she would have held fifteen to twenty different positions.
See Also: Job Hopping: Do Employers Expect it?
So, is job hopping a good strategy? Can it really help you achieve your professional goals? Keep reading for the reasons why you should not shy away from seeking new job opportunities every two or so years.
1. It Can Help Grow Your Professional Network
Networking, along with seeking advanced education, is one of the most effective career development tools. In today’s competitive market, getting a job could come down to who you know. Moving around different companies gives you the opportunity to meet people with whom you can exchange career information and career advice, and build professional relationships. Ultimately, a strong professional network will open your horizons to new and better job opportunities.
2. It Will Broaden Your Skillset
Sure, staying in the same job for a long time can enable you to develop and perfect your craft. However, in today’s modern workplace, employers are looking for people with diverse professional skills. While it is great to be an experienced accountant with exceptional financial skills for instance, you’ll be much more valuable to your next employer if you also know a thing or two about developing a financial software. Job hopping does not only give you the motivation to explore career options within your field, but it also helps you venture into other industries. This helps broaden your skillset and boost your prospect of landing better jobs.
3. You Will Gain Valuable Experience
Companies have different workplace practices, from what is ordered during lunch break to how business cards are dished out to clients. When you choose to go all the way with one company, you will only learn the company’s way of doing business. But when job hopping is your thing, you will become familiar with the workplace practices of several other organizations. This comes in handy when you need to settle into new workplace environments. In particular, this experience will come in handy if you have your sights set on finding employment in multinational or international companies.
4. You Will Earn More Money
If you have been stuck in a pay grade for too long, and there are no signs that your boss will award you an increase anytime soon, it’s high time you sought a new job.
Job hopping can help you earn much more. According to a 2014 article published by Forbes, employees who work for a company for a period of two or more years earn 50 percent less than those who quickly move between companies. In fact, job hoppers often get a 10 to 20 percent salary increase every time they find a new job. Essentially, a new job offer affords you the opportunity to negotiate a new salary. If you are equipped with all the tricks for negotiating a new salary then you could even end up with a 50 percent increase.
5. You Will Hop to the Top
It is never an easy feat to start out as an entry-level employee and work your way up to upper management. It is even harder when you choose to stay put in one company. But if you aspire to become a leader or manager in record time, you may have to embrace job hopping as a career progression strategy. Instead of waiting for a vacancy to occur in your current company, why not try out a new position in a new company. Even if you don’t make an upward move, don’t hesitate to take up another job that has greater responsibility. For instance, if you are currently a lead programmer in charge of five techies, you should consider taking up a similar position in another company where you will be in charge of twenty people. More responsibility means more experience which means that you can become more skilled which means that you’ll be eligible for senior roles.
6. Employers Prefer Hoppers
Although old-school employers may have a soft spot for loyal employees, the modern, savvy employer has an eye for job hoppers. A 2014 survey conducted by CareerBuilder revealed that about 55 percent of employers have hired a job jumper in the past. So if you have been worrying about how you will explain those hops in your CV, worry no more. Employers prefer applicants who have a history of job jumping because of the valuable information they are likely to bring along with them. Just as bees move from flower to flower collecting pollen, job hoppers acquire the business secrets of the various companies they work for. Since such secrets can help a new employer gain a competitive advantage in the market, you will always be considered a valuable hire.
Another reason why an employer may prefer to hire a job hopper is because he or she is more likely to be a top performer. An ambitious professional who hops to a new position whenever he has the opportunity to do so is far more likely to be more involved with his work than an employee who’s stayed put. This means that today’s employer would rather have a top performer for a few years, than an average performer for a decade. Winning is all that matters.
7. You Can Achieve Individual Fulfillment
Taking greater control of your work-life balance should be among your top priorities. Unfortunately, we live in a 60-hour week era where our sole goal is to earn a lot of money and rise to the top. Although working for the same company for too long entitles you to a few breaks, these may not be sufficient to help you get enough rest and recharge your batteries. Being a job hopper helps eliminate this type of dilemmas. You will have the power to determine how long you want to rest before chasing another job. In between jobs, you will have enough time to rest, redefine your goals, rediscover yourself and even start a side business.
Gone are the days when all one had to do was find a job, stay put, rise through the ranks and retire happily. Today, it is all about job hopping all the way to the top. But before you get excited and get on the move, it is important to note that job hopping can be a career killer if you don’t do it right. Don’t just leave your current gig for the love of hopping. With the economy becoming so unpredictable and unemployment levels shifting back and forth, it is advisable to have a reasonable job offer on the table before jumping ship. And when you leave, don’t burn bridges. You might find your current boss in your next interview.
Are you a job hopper? Are your on your fourth job already? Besides seeking greener pastures, what are your reasons for moving jobs so often? Hop into the comments section below and share your views.