Although serial job changers often faced negative perceptions in the past, it's acceptable to be a job hopper in 2017. The desire to start with a company and stay with it for 20 years is not as common. In fact, according to a 2016 news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median employee tenure was higher among those 55 to 64 of age, at 10.1 years, than those 25 to 34, at 2.8 years.
What this means is that younger workers are less likely to stay with the same employer over the long term, and they often go into the labor market with this intention in mind. Employers have also begun to adapt and recognize that job hopping is a growing trend and their employees are going to job search. According to a study from CareerBuilder in 2014, 32 percent of employers expect their workers to be job hoppers. Although the perception of job hoppers is changing, you might still face some stigma if you decide to hop around a lot. So how do you turn this desire for something different into a benefit rather than a detriment when you're conducting a job search?
Tell Your Story
Use your cover letter, summary statement and resume to tell your story. Show you've become a job hopper because of your desire to advance in your field or hone new skills so you can be the very best employee possible. Don't be apologetic about all your job changes. Instead, exude confidence in your ability to learn new things, adapt and become immersed in your industry. If you've changed industries but are still looking for the same type of position, indicate your desire to advance your skills in other fields, which is why you became a job hopper.
Put a Positive Spin on Your Last Position
You're probably going to be asked why you left your last position or the one before that. You may even be literally named a job hopper. But even if you hated your last position or the people you worked with, you need to find the positives in the situation. Don't talk negatively about your previous employer or any of your co-workers, and don't get overly emotional, even if it was the worst experience you've ever had in your life. You can explain that maybe the job wasn't the right fit for you or you weren't being engaged enough and you really wanted to be a part of a team. Put the desire to change jobs on you and not on your past employer. You don't want to get embroiled in a blame game. And if you're working in the same industry, you never know who is in your previous colleagues' network.
When you're on the search for a new job, don't leave gaps in your work history. Put your decision to be a job hopper in a positive light, and show prospective employers you have the talent to take on new challenges.
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