Job Hopping On The Rise: Is It Bad?

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1. Introduction

For a very long time, people's only concern was to bring food to their tables every night; and, at most, provide a satisfactorily good life to their families. To fulfill this, they stayed loyal to one job for most of their lives and waited for a promotion or a raise. This was the drill for many years. But with the advancement in resources and growing importance of 'self' in society, today's generation is all about adventure and new experiences. Many millennials believe that committing to a job is as big of a responsibility as a marriage. In both cases, when one commits, s/he has to give his/her best to it and try to sustain it. And you don't know what you like until you do it. For this reason, they prefer to explore themselves and their true potential before committing to one job, much like dating.

job hopping

Table Of Content:

  • Introduction
  • What is job hopping?
  • Is job hopping normal?
  • Why do people bump jobs?
  • Reactive decisions
  • Company culture
  • Wide open job market
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Intention to learn new skills
  • Benefits
  • Likely to be top performers
  • They bring a lot to the table
  • Fast learners
  • Cost effective
  • Can predict a company’s downfall
  • Drawbacks
  • Loyalty is an issue
  • Loss of benefits
  • Looks terrible on the resume
  • Stressful
  • How to cover for job hopping on your resume?
  • Camouflage
  • Make the job history look smaller
  • Provide reason
  • Highlight your skills
  • Things to consider before hopping from one job to another
  • Take your time
  • Determine your goals
  • Check your funds
  • Leave on good terms
  • Be prepared to explain
  • How to break the loop?
  • Employee engagement
  • Plan retention while hiring
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Work life balance
  • 2. What is job-hopping?

    Job hopping or job bumping can be typically defined as working in a string of jobs for less than two years. Considering the above analogy, job-hopping is like speed dating. Frequently changing jobs leaves the employee with new experiences in a brief span. This helps them to widen their choices of employment. But this also keeps them from promotions, bonuses, and of course, seniority that comes along with staying at the same job for a more extended period.

    3. Is job-hopping normal?

    A survey was conducted recently in the US regarding the job-hopping trend. The survey aimed to understand people's opinions on job-hopping and identify some most common reasons behind it. In that survey, it was concluded that three out of four employees at US companies do not remain at their jobs for more than five years. So is job-hopping the new normal? The answer is yes. The same survey shows that switching careers is becoming common in the US. While baby boomers might think differently, millennials are not only accepting it but also following it. 75% of the survey respondents said that they don't plan to stay with their current employer for more than five years. And 52% accepted that they left their job voluntarily within the past five years. Further, 31% of participants said they planned to stay at their current job for less than one year, while 35% of employees were actively searching for a new job while still being employed.

    4. Why do people bump jobs?

    There are many assumptions as to why people hop from one job to another. It's not always the employee's fault the s/he keeps jumping from job to job. Many times there are several other reasons that facilitate this type of behavior.

    4.1. Reactive decisions

    Humans are designed to react to stimuli that their surroundings give them.

    It is normal, but some people are as reactive as a soda can. They fuzz over even the smallest of the inconvenience. Such people are called impulsive decision-makers. If they experience some kind of inconvenience at work, they jump to conclude that it's not the right fit. After all, the grass is always green on the other side. These people never try to adjust or adapt to new or even mildly unfavorable conditions, and they are still in the sense of urgency.

    These people lead to leap towards the first opportunity that seems right, only to realize later that everything that glitters is not gold. Then they are back at the starting point and try to run away from that situation as well. After some time, it becomes a pattern; it will be most appropriate to say that it becomes a vicious cycle. People are continually reacting to threatening situations, hopping to the new job, again finding themselves in unfavorable conditions and too tempting to bump away.

    4.2. Company culture

    Some workplaces can have a very toxic work environment, to a point where employees feel anxious to work every day. This type of situation can manifest itself in the form of degradation in mental and physical well-being. These effects have many physical warning signs, easily observable by anyone, like weight gain, sleeping disorders, depression, or anxiety every time before work. In addition to making employees sick, toxic work culture can hamper people's growth and affect self-confidence negatively.

    4.3. Wide-open job market

    Many times people are overqualified for their jobs or are underpaid. They struggle a lot to make ends meet. And in an era of a broad open job market, it won't be surprising if an unsatisfied employee seeks a more meaningful job elsewhere. It is fundamental human nature to go towards better. To prevent such scenarios, the employer must look after his/her employees and pay them sufficiently enough as per their jobs.

    4.4. Dissatisfaction

    For some people, a stable job, promotions, or bonuses are not enough. They want to feel satisfied and want to go higher on their career graph. They get bored quickly and want to find more challenging things. Once they have mastered a job, they can't stay in that position for long. For those people, if their growth stops at their workplace, they will start looking for better opportunities even if they are being paid well.

    4.5. Intention to learn new skills

    Some people are trying to learn new skills that can offer them many professional benefits over the long term. Let's say you are recruiting for the position of a digital marketer for your brand. There are two employees in the last round, and one has six years of experience in digital marketing. At the same time, another has lesser expertise but also has a background in content writing and understands the creative elements of successful advertisements, and also can work with photoshop or other design tools. The latter can produce more effective schemes and promotions for marketing. This gives him an upper hand in the interview.

    5.Benefits

    Job hopping is not always bad. Many recruiters still have a stigma attached to job-hopping, but in reality, they can be superstars who changed their jobs merely because they are so good. They are continuously offered many new and higher-level opportunities. Here are reasons how job jumpers can prove to be very valuable:

    5.1. Likely to be top performers

    It is not easy to change jobs so frequently. To achieve them, One has to either be very talented or be out of their mind. Leaving a position to look for a new one brings along a lot of instability and financial insecurity. If you are not talented enough, there are chances that it takes way longer to find the next job, and chances even are that you never find one. The fact that job hoppers not only find new jobs easily but are also not intimidated by the potential consequences of quitting jobs proves that they are too talented to stay unemployed for long. There is also a good chance that these people switched their jobs because they were offered a promotional opportunity or were offered a job from a more prestigious firm. And if that is the case, it is evident enough of their skills and value in the market.

    5.2. They bring a lot to the table.

    According to CareerBuilder, 25 percent of workers under 35 years of age have already had more than five jobs in their short careers. Jumping from job to job, trying to learn new skill sets to adapt to their new position, awards these job jumpers with plenty of new skills that other regular employees might not have. 

    Additionally, these job jumpers also know your competitors. Having worked in so many firms earlier, there is a good chance that they might have worked with one of your competitors and are familiar with their strategies and goals. Hiring them will give you an upper hand in the field.

    5.3. Fast learners

    These job jumpers rotate from job to job. To perform well in their new job, they need to adapt fast and learn faster about their work culture, rules and regulations, and best practices. It is like training someone's mind all over again, sometimes starting from scratch. To achieve that without losing One's sanity, they must be a quick learner, or they won't be able to adapt to their new office. These fast learners can benefit your firm in ways you could have never imagined. They also have impressive communication skills. It is not easy for a newcomer to be able to build an identity in a firm that has so many employees. For that, communication skills are essential. Some job jumpers can also be 'people pleasers.' And if you work with a firm that has to deal with customers on a daily basis, nothing is better than playing with a people pleaser on your team.

    5.4. Cost-effective

    Many employers are under the impression that they will lose their training investment if their newly hired employee jumps early. But the truth is that there is a high chance that you won't even have to invest much in their training in the first place. Jumping so many jobs, it is apparent that they already had undergone a lot of training by their previous employers and they might need least to no training from you. This fact will save you a lot of training investment money.

    Apart from saving money from training, you will also save money on their salary. By rule, a firm pays less to a newcomer as compared to their existent faithful employees that have worked with it for quite a long time. A newcomer has to work his way up to bonuses and increments. Now, if we think about it, an employee who has worked in the same firm for almost all his career won't have much knowledge about events going on at other firms. Therefore, the ideas they come up with may or may not be effective enough against competitors' strategies and tactics. A job jumper, on the other hand, having worked in many different companies, will indeed have more exposure and knowledge about other companies. Using this knowledge, if he comes up with an idea to help his firm grow, the probability of working wonders will be high. Also, most of the job jumpers are millennials. So being young and vibrant, they will be able to devote more time to their work than an older employee. Cutting it short, this simply means that a newcomer will provide way better services at the cost of almost half to your old, long-staying employees.

    5.5. Can predict a company's downfall

    These job jumpers have an exclusive trait that not most employees have. It is to see when their company has started going downhill and might crash shortly. By paying close attention, they can figure it out and leave the company searching for a new one before it goes bankrupt. A smart employer can use these 'psychic powers' for his/her benefit.

    6. Drawbacks

    A coin has two faces. Similarly, there is often more than one aspect to the same thing. Job hopping is not always right. It too has drawbacks, both for the employee and the employer.

    6.1. Loyalty is an issue

    Change is inevitable. If you own a business, it is guaranteed that it will go uphill somedays and downhill others. During the company's downfall, you'd expect a loyal employee who sticks by your side in helping you to bring back good days. You can't find that loyalty in a job hopper. If your company starts going through difficult times, job hoppers will be the first ones to quit. This will lead to further economic loss to your company for finding a new employee to fill in the position. Apart from that, it will also decrease the morale of your other employees. If a talented and skilled employee quits, it leads to instability in the staff, making employees skeptical.

    6.2. Loss of benefits

    It is a well-known fact that company's offer bonuses, increments, and promotions from time to time to their faithful, long-term employees. If you are a job hopper, it means you switch jobs every two years. This won't give you enough time to establish yourself in the company. When you start getting some recognition in the firm, you'll switch and have to start all over again. Due to this, you will stay deprived of the benefits of a long-staying employee.

    6.3. Looks terrible on the resume

    Though job-hopping is the new normal, frequent job-hopping for some employers is still a red flag. Studies show that an average recruiter spends 6 seconds going through a resume. And if that employer has a stigma attached to job-hopping, he will notice that in your resume and reject you. After all, 6 seconds is way too little to change someone's perception unless you know hypnotism.

    6.4. Stressful

    Job hopping, for whatever reason, can prove to be very stressful. While you switch jobs frequently, you need to adapt to new work ethics and settle in a workplace with entirely different social dynamics. This behavior of frequent job-hopping becomes stressful when a person cannot pay his rent or other installments due to consistent transition.

    7. How to cover for job-hopping on your resume?

    As we already established that though being the new regular, job-hopping is still not acceptable for many people. And by now, we all know that an average employee spends 6 seconds scanning your resume, and if you have a history of job-hopping, the chances are that you might be rejected. But there are times when you badly need that job, or that job was on your dream list for a long. In those scenarios, you wouldn't want to be rejected. Therefore, here are a few ways to get you the job despite your job hopping evident resume, but only if you could pull these off nicely.

    7.1. Camouflage

    Use the camouflage technique to move the attention of your recruiter away from the dates of your employment. Many people write their employment dates in bold or in some other font or put them in headings. Try to avoid these practices. Instead, try and write these dates at the end of the description. Also, try to avoid writing the month of employment, only involving the year.

    7.2. Make the job history look smaller

    Group your short-term, contract, or interim works under a collective heading like 'freelance work.' This will make your employment history look smaller while providing all the necessary information to the recruiter.

    Apart from grouping, you can also omit irrelevant information from your resume. When you apply for a particular role in a company, omit any job irrelevant to that role. This will further shrink your employment history column.

    7.3. Provide reason

    If there is any legitimate reason behind your job-hopping, make sure to mention that in your resume. Things happen, and if you stay honest and transparent about it, that will give your employer a chance to understand the situation better and increase the odds for you to bag that job.

    7.4. Highlight your skills

    Tell your recruiter why they should hire you. Highlight your education, certification, and skills. This will draw their attention away from your resume gaps. Make sure to add your knowledge in the field and company you are applying for. Bring it to their notice how you can add more value to their company.

    8. Things to consider before hopping from one job to another

    While some people switch jobs merely out of habit or for no solid reason, sometimes quitting your current job is the only option you are left with. If you have made your mind switch the job, try making the following considerations to make it more peaceful.

    8.1. Take your time

    Don't hop too soon. It will definitely look bad on your resume. Many employers look for an employee who has spent an average of at least one year at each of their previous jobs. If you decide to switch before that, try to mention a solid reason in your resume.

    8.2. Determine your goals

    Spend some time with yourself and dodge down all the goals you wish to achieve. Make a list of opportunities your new job will be offering to you. And then reflect whether or not this job change will fulfill your needs and wishes.

    8.3. Check your funds

    Changing jobs also causes a lot of stress on your pocket. The time period between quitting the job and finding a new one will come with a financial gap where you won't have any income. Even when you join, you won't be paid immediately. You will be expected to first work for a month before you get your paycheck. To avoid this financial gap, quit when you have already bagged a better opportunity or when you have enough funds to pay your bills.

    8.4. Leave on good term

    Make sure to leave the job on good terms. Inform your boss about quitting, serve your notice period and leave like a good employee. Many times prospective employers call their former employer to take their opinion about you. If that happens, you won't want your former boss to say ill about you.

    8.5. Be prepared to explain

    When your potential employers look at your resume, they will ask you for a reason behind quitting your former job. Make sure to put your point forth clearly. If you fail to do that, the likelihood of you getting rejected will go high.

    9. How to break the loop?

    If you are an employer and facing a lot of job-hopping from your employers, it might be causing some extra load on your pocket. This is the sign to look into the reasons behind it and follow the following tips to prevent it from recurring.

    9.1. Employee engagement

    Take measures to make your employees engaged with your organization. According to Wikipedia, an engaged employee is the "One who is fully absorbed by his/her work and, therefore, takes positive action to improve the organization's reputation and interests. An engaged employee has a positive attitude towards the organization and its values. Engaged employees stay loyal to their company and avoid quitting.

    9.2. Plan retention while hiring

    Many companies have policies regarding the serving period and job quitting. If your company also has one, communicate it to the employees during the recruiting period.

    9.3 Positive reinforcement

    Give credit to your employees and, if possible, also give them rewards for their hard work. This will make them feel more valuable to the company. This will also build a healthy relationship between you and your employees. It will prevent them from switching jobs.

    9.4 Work-life balance

    Be empathetic towards your employees. Understand that they are not just your employees, and they too have a life outside your office. Provide them their space and time. It will make work a lot less stressful for them.



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