Job hopping is a common phrase that is used for workers who jump from one job to another. As a candidate, you have to be aware that recruiters may look for gaps in your work history and if your CV has many of them, this will put you behind your competition. It is best to make sure that if you get invited for an interview, you have valid reasons for why you left your places of work so often.
Often, people job-hop because they're making reactive decisions. They experience some kind of dissatisfaction at work – a bad week, an overly challenging client, an irritating co-worker – and they quickly determine it's not the right fit. They suffer from "greener grass syndrome," where they begin to believe that anything would be better than the situation they're currently in.
As a result, they find themselves filled with anxiety and a sense of urgency. They're ready to move and they're more inclined to make rash decisions. They aren't proactively looking for the right opportunity; they're merely reacting to their current circumstances. These people inevitably leap at the first (potentially) good thing to come along, only to find it isn't all they had hoped for. Then they're right back where they started. They get anxious to move and inevitably make another bad decision.
This is the vicious cycle of job hopping. Once it starts, it's difficult to stop. You're constantly reacting to the present rather than being proactive about the future. This is the mindset that has to shift in order to break the cycle.
Not all employers are on board with a job-hopping candidate. Recent studies show recruiters believe that the single biggest obstacle for an unemployed candidate in regaining employment is having a history of job-hopping or leaving a company before they have been at a company for a year.
Some HR practitioners disregard resumes that show tenure less than two years at more than one job, while some look to see the candidate’s potential. It can be a risk for an employer to put in time and resources with a job-hopping candidate.
The view on job-hopping varies by employer, and that employer will make the choice whether or not job-hopping will be an asset or a liability for their company.
From both the employer and employee standpoint, there are several negatives with job-hopping:
- A job-hopper may be seen as disloyal and as a flight risk. An employer may be hesitant to make an offer if they believe the employee will not be around for long.
- Finding reliable references and contacts may be a challenge since a strong professional and long-term relationship may not have been established.
- By resigning after a short term, there’s no ability to see the long-term effects of your hard work.
- There will be a decreased possibility for promotion and other company benefits that typically follow with longevity.
- Jumping from one job to another in a short span make you look like you are not in for merits or awards because you don’t stay with a company for a long time.
Job-hopping can turn you into a risky candidate, signaling to HR that you may leave the company high and dry within the year. Build a strong resume by advocating for yourself at your current company before you consider leaving — you will build great references this way and enjoy longer tenures in each position.
Each career move is important and should be carefully considered. Do your research on your current and desired employer and determine what’s best for you based on your professional goals. If you can make the career change without hurting your long-term plans, then go for it.
If staying with your current company will get you to where you currently want to go professionally, consider reevaluating your goals in the future when the time’s right. Regardless of your decision, make sure it’s well thought out, properly vetted, and you’re 100% committed to your decision.
The grass is always greener on the other side, except when it is not. The reality is that every job has its ups and downs. If you are in a tough and challenging position at work, make sure you have pondered and assessed every aspect - what is good and bad before rushing into final decisions. If all else fails and you have given your best, it could be the best time to move on.
Yes, the grass is always greener on the other side. But remember, the grass is greener where it’s watered.