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Much Ado about Job Hopping: A look at the positives and negatives of quickly switching from job to job

​For many years it has been a fairly common opinion that candidates with a multitude of short-term jobs behind them are undesirable employees. However, the employment market has changed dramatically in recent times and with so many opportunities to choose from when it comes to earning a living in the modern world, switching jobs is more and more being seen as an asset rather than a drawback.

So, what are the benefits of quickly moving from job to job? And why could it potentially hinder future job applications? Let’s break down the details.

Positive Arguments for Switching Jobs

Trial & Error

Career paths are by no means in short supply these days. Some traditional ones, some modern ones, some you probably never even dreamed of during your career sessions at school. With all of this choice, it seems only sensible to trial a variety of options so that if you do decide to settle into one vocation, you’re 100% sure that you’ll be doing what you love and loving what you do.

Skill Development

Career success and satisfaction aren’t necessarily just gained from climbing the ladder to the top spot. Many candidates have broader ambitions and want to develop experience and skills in different industries, IT tools, working environments, etc. Sometimes the only way to do this is to move to a new employer.

Professional Networking

Working in a variety of businesses means building relationships with a variety of people. Logically, the more connections you have, the more doors will open, and this can only benefit everyone in the long run! As the saying goes - it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Salary & Package

While it’s not encouraged to change jobs just for the sake of a higher salary, if a candidate’s skill set and experience is genuinely undervalued in their current role it can have a negative impact on day-to-day motivation, so it’s only natural to look for a more competitive package that is in line with the wider market.

Positive associations with changing jobs

  • Ambitious, driven, relentless

  • Someone who is keen to take on new challenges and never rest on their laurels

  • Adaptable, flexible, can adjust to different working environments / changing priorities

  • Able to foster new relationships and get on with all types of people

Negative Arguments for Switching Jobs

Missing Out

Leaving a business quickly means not having the chance to get to know the company fully, the future plans, the opportunities that may come if you stay, not to mention the benefits gained from committing to a business on a longer term basis. E.g. extra annual leave days, bonuses, etc.

Missing Out 2.0

You also run the risk of leaving before being eligible for promotions / salary increases. You may decide to switch jobs so soon that you miss out on a promotion meaning your stuck at the same level for yet another year.

Unrealistic Expectations

Moving from job to job just for salary increases is risky because you could get to a stage where the money you’re asking for doesn’t realistically match your experience / skill set.

CV Assessment

As the first step in the screening process, it’s inevitable that employers will make assumptions based on CVs when considering who to invite to interview.  You may not always get chance to explain in detail your reasoning for short term roles, so if there’s a lot of them on your CV you could struggle to secure interviews.

Negative associations with switching jobs

Potential employers may worry that:

  • You are not loyal, a quitter or get bored easily

  • You will leave them quickly just as you’ve left other businesses, and they will have to start the recruitment process again meaning further time / financial costs

  • That there is an underlying reason for you leaving businesses – managed out, negative conduct, etc.

What to take away from this?

Employers should try not to prejudge CVs and keep an open mind when it comes to reviewing a candidate who has done a little job hopping. If a candidate has the right skills for the job, it can be worth at least having a discussion with them in an attempt to alleviate any concerns. You can’t tell just from a CV what has been going on behind the scenes - life isn’t always straightforward!

Candidates should ensure that they are giving jobs a fair chance before giving up and moving on to the next one. And if you do decide that finding a new job is the right choice, have strong reasoning for this and be certain that you can explain it during interviews - don’t give the interviewer any doubt that you’re committed.

If you need any advice about where next to take your career, or what to include in your CV, feel free to get in touch with our expert consultants -