We all imagine our career will have a very linear path. You have an interest in a certain field, get educated or certified in it, get an entry level position at a company, then work your way up until you reach your desired level of power and income. This is often the thought process but it is not often the reality. The road to our dream position can be filled with bumps and setbacks, but what is becoming more and more common is one person jumping from company to company or even position to position before settling down, or never really settling down. Like any unique career there are pros and cons to being a “Job Hopper” so let’s take a look at some.
CON: Inability to Establish and Grow at Any Given Workplace
The major obvious con to being a job hopper is the inability to establish yourself in a given workplace and grow there. Depending on how long you go between your “hops”, it can be easy to sacrifice the steady growth that comes with working at one specific company for a long period of time. Most companies will offer you set salary and positional upgrades the longer you stay with them, but if you're constantly bouncing around you will lose this pathway.
PRO: Grow at Your Own Pace
The flip side of the con above is that job hopping can allow you to circumvent a company’s set growth periods. Let’s say that a company wants you to work at a certain position for two years before making you eligible for a promotion, however you feel that after one year you are ready to move up. Well this can be solved by leaving that job and applying for a new one at the higher position you believe you deserve and can handle. Obviously there is risk in this, but there is inherent risk in being a job hopper and scheduling your own growth can be a major benefit.
CON: New Companies May Question Your Loyalty
While job hopping may benefit you, a company you're applying to may see it differently. Companies see their employees as investments and they want their investments to have a financial return. A company wants to hire an employee who will stay there, work hard, and earn the position they were given, they want their employees to benefit the company. If you only work at a company for a limited amount of time you’re benefiting the company less than a long term employee would. Having five or more jobs over ten years on your resume may raise some eyebrows when applying and it could affect your candidacy at a new job.
PRO: Strengthen Your Resume with Experience
While many jobs on a resume might be an issue, one thing that has great value to any recruiter is a wide variety of experience. By having multiple jobs and multiple companies on your resume you are showing a recruiter that you are more experienced and qualified than their average applicant. Most Job Hoppers have a long list of skills on a given resume having had to fill in different roles and been exposed to different situations as a result of their eclectic experience.
In conclusion, any unique career has its positives and negatives and job hopping is no different. While it was once seen as a major red flag, today’s workplace is constantly evolving and job hopping no longer carries the stigma it once did. If that’s the path you want to take, you should take it, just know that not all will view it as the right call. But if you are able to be a successful job hopper the major reward you will get is the freedom to shape your own path.