Is Job Hopping the New Normal?

job hoppingAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, today’s typical employee stays at each job for 4.4 years (source: Forbes). Compared to earlier generations, this is very little time at each position! Before you decide whether or not this job-hopping trend is for you, consider some of the pros and cons of doing so.

The Pros:

Taking a position and knowing that you could be at that company for as little as 2 or so years (instead of committing yourself to 10 years at the company) can be quite a liberating feel for a job seeker. Have you ever been unsure if a position is a perfect fit for you but still quite interested in taking the job in order to learn more about its industry? Without having the feeling that you’ve trapped yourself for the next 10 years, you can take that position! If it turns out that that particular industry isn’t for you, you can say that you at least tried it and move onto the next position in a relatively short amount of time.

Having several more positions than the average person did 50 years ago allows you to gain a greater understanding of your professional goals and desires. Since today’s job hoppers will have a greater exposure to different companies and positions, they will have more experiences to compare to one another. With that, they’ll be able to (hopefully!) better understand the type of position and company that is best for them. Then, when they are ready to settle into a position with the intent of staying there longer, they’ll be more prepared to make that decision.

The Cons:

For some employers–but not all–seeing a job seeker with a history of quickly changing jobs is a major turn-off. Depending on the company and position, guessing how long a job candidate would likely be willing to stay with the company could be a major factor in the hiring process. If you have a history of job hopping and are worried about running into this scenario, make a point to let your interviewer know that you are now looking to be with a company for an extended period of time. There’s no reason to hide your job hopping history. Talk about it openly and speak accurately about your current goals.

For some employees, it can be very satisfying to work with a company for a decade or more. You have the opportunity to see the company grow and evolve, and also be a contributing part of that process! Not only that, but you’ll also have the opportunity to develop close relationships with your co-workers. It can be comforting to have a company that can feel “like home” to you.

What’s your take on the newer job hopping norm? Comment below!

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