Job Hopping – Yes or No? When and Why? – Here are the answers

At the top of the motivational list for seeking a new place of employment is often an increase in income.

Additional reasons include wanting to face more of a challenge in a job, a lack of room for improvement or promotion in a current position and discrepancies with management practices.

Although theses are valid reasons for making a job change, one question that often comes to mind, is whether or not job hopping will be beneficial or harmful.


Job Change Impact

In the salary department, job hopping can be beneficial.

An ECA International Survey indicates that employees who remain in their current position will only see a four percent increase in their income, over the course of one year.

On the other hand, employees who make a switch in jobs, see anywhere from a 10 to 20 percent  increase in their paycheck. This can add up to a decent amount after a few hops.

According to Ahu Yildirmaz, lead economist at ADP Research Institute, the wage increase from full-time-job switching was most pronounced for workers aged 25 to 34.

“In general, younger job holders saw their wages rise much higher than the 35 [and above] workers. This is the time of life when workers acquire skills rapidly and enjoy frequent promotions. This dynamic slows considerably for mid-life workers, aged 35 to 54, and for 55 and above, it’s even slower.”

Employers value the skill set and perspective employees bring to the table when they have had several different jobs before arriving at their current company.

Employees who frequently engage in job change activity are often high performers and work hard to make a productive first impression, for the time that they will remain at a particular company.

These employees are likely to be the first to volunteer for new projects and have impressive problem-solving skills as well.


Job Stability Impact

However, there are benefits to remaining with one company over time as well.

At the top of the list is the opportunity to receive promotions at a faster rate than those employees who frequently make job changes. Many companies follow a policy of promoting from within the organization before seeking to fill a vacant job position with an outside employee.

Employees who remain at one company also learn valuable skills that make them more attractive to their current employer. They often become experts at what they do, develop good internal/external networks and understand the workings of their company inside and out.

Recruiters and hiring managers are often wary of frequent job switchers and prefer candidates who have stayed in their previous role for at least 3 years.

These insights come from a study by Professor Monika Hamori at IE Business School, who says that overall job hoppers do not prosper.


So What Should You Do?

While there will always be specific cases and exceptions, in general all this information suggests that to maximize earnings and promotions:

  1. You can change jobs more often till you hit 35.
  2. However, ideally, you should stay with a company for around 2-3 years.
  3. After 35, it makes more sense to stay with the same company for a longer period of time.

job hopping good or bad

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