Job-hopping doesn’t have many positive connotations, and it can be a red flag for many employers. Despite the negatives, there are some advantages to holding a number of different jobs in a short time period. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of job-hopping can help you decide if changing jobs is the best career move.
Adaptability – With rapidly changing technology and globalization, adaptability is crucial for career success. Those who switch companies or industries often know how to adapt to knew situations, and they may even thrive on frequent change.
Job Search Expertise – One enviable skill of job-hoppers: finding a job. Workers employed for many years at the same job forget how to navigate the job market and get behind on the latest hiring trends. Changing jobs frequently means you’ll never have an out-of-date resume or be out of practice on interviewing.
Variety of Experience – By changing jobs frequently, you’ll have knowledge of a variety of industries, procedures, and software. The main advantage with having a variety of experience is qualification for more jobs.
Lack of Loyalty – One major problem potential employers have with job-hoppers is a lack of loyalty. Some frequent job changers just haven’t found the right company, but others have a problem sticking with any job.
Association with Negative Traits – Despite the increased acceptance of switching jobs or careers, many employers still have a negative view of job-hoppers. Short stints at several different jobs may indicate a lack of focus, direction, maturity and other positive attributes.
Less In-Depth Knowledge – While frequent job changers might have a wide variety of experiences and a little knowledge about many industries, they often lack the in-depth knowledge acquired through many years in the same industry or company.
When does job-hopping become bad for your career? It depends on what’s normal for your industry and your career stage. Your reason for changing also matters. Changing jobs for growth opportunities is much more acceptable than changing just because you want more money. Temping, consulting, and freelancing offer great alternatives for workers that thrive on variety or change.
For more career guidance, read What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers