In the past, having inconsistent work experience and changing jobs too frequently were serious disadvantages to job seekers. Nowadays, changing jobs many times during the course of one’s career is much more common; so common in fact, that people have taken to calling this practice “job hopping.” Today we’re going to take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of job hopping. Let’s get started.
Perhaps the most common reason for people to job hop is the pursuit of a higher salary or a better perks and benefits. Employers may agree to a salary increase after a certain amount of time, but depending on the current economic climate as well as other factors, it could be difficult for them to make good on such promises. In this case, employees might want to seek other avenues of employment in the event the cost of living has become too much for them to manage.
Another common cause of frequent job hopping is the search for a more suitable workplace culture. Whether it’s poor management, a toxic environment, or even a few troublesome coworkers, employees deserve to feel valued and respected at work. As such, leaving a bad situation in hopes of a more comfortable working experience is a perfectly valid reason for changing jobs multiple times.
Job hopping is also useful when it’s time to advance your career. Let’s say you’ve been with your current employer for several years and the position directly above you has recently opened up. If you have seniority and you’ve been putting the time and effort in, you could ask for a promotion. If your employer rejects your proposal and you don’t want to wait it out or you feel stale in your current role, you could start looking for other openings with that job title. Again, this is perfectly valid, and potential employers will appreciate your willingness to take on a new challenge. If you’d like some advice on how to ask for a promotion, check out our previous blog here.
Once in a while, we get tired of our surroundings and we might feel that it’s time for a change of scenery. If your current employer doesn’t allow you to relocate, you could try looking for a job in a new location. When it comes to potential employers and the hiring process, changing jobs due to a change of location should be reasonable enough, especially if you’ve been consistent in remaining on your chosen career path.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of job hopping is that it could make it difficult for you to find employment in the future. If you’re constantly changing jobs for no good reason, hiring managers might see you as flaky or disloyal, even when that’s not the case. In this scenario, it’s important to have explanations for changing jobs so frequently. Additionally, you could try spinning your job hopping as having given you varied experience.
When we encounter any kind of issue at work, it’s an opportunity to learn something new. If you’re constantly changing jobs at the first sign of trouble, you might be cheating yourself out of an important lesson. Of course, this is all within reason and you shouldn’t remain in a potentially toxic or otherwise dangerous situation. Use your intuition—if the issue is something you want to resolve, give it your all and see how things shake out.
Another problem that might arise from job hopping is the loss of healthcare benefits. Whenever you take on a new job, there’s typically a probation period where you must wait several months before your coverage kicks in. If you leave your current job, you’ll have to repeat that process before you can take advantage of your new healthcare benefits. This can be particularly troublesome if you have a chronic medical condition or are required to take a prescription regularly.
Life is full of transitional phases and it’s easy to succumb to stress during these times, especially when it comes to your income and paying bills. With a new job comes another interview process, a new boss and management style, new coworkers, a new commute, and many other changes. It’s normal to change jobs multiple times during your career, but if you’re constantly job hopping it could lead to unnecessary stress. Further, emotional problems such as anxiety and depression could develop as a result of that continued stress.
Keep in mind that you should always give a new job a chance. It can take some time to settle into new surroundings, get to know new people, and get used to new processes or management styles. In certain cases, you may get a raise once your probation period has ended, or once you’re hired full-time after working as a temp. The main takeaway here is job hopping can be advantageous in certain situations, but you should always look before you leap.