Why Frequent Job Changes May Not Be Bad For Your Career

John Krautzel
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Conventional wisdom states that employers consider frequent job changes on the part of a prospective employee to be negative. Job hopping supposedly indicates that a person lacks reliability or loyalty to his employer. However, opinions are increasingly beginning to change on this subject, with hiring managers holding a more open mind when they see frequent job changes on an applicant's resume. In fact, frequent job changes might even be good for your career. Here's why.

Willingness to Take Risks

Just because an employee stays in the same job forever doesn't mean that he's happy at work or throwing himself into the job with full gusto. Many people stick with their jobs out of fear of the unknown. A person who changes jobs often demonstrates a willingness to take risks and try new things, qualities that can be extremely attractive and valuable to an employer, especially in creative, entrepreneurial or marketing fields.

Smart Response to a Weak Economy

While the economy is in recovery mode as of 2015, many years of recession have made it hard for some smaller companies in particular to stay afloat. Those who stayed with their sinking ships often ended underemployed or simply out of work as their employers closed their doors for good. Job applicants who show frequent job changes on their resumes may have been the smart ones, recognizing the negative warning signs at their companies and jumping ship in time to save themselves. Employers may want to recognize and reward the quick thinking of such applicants.

Additional Skills and Achievements

An employee with a history of frequent job changes may have picked up far more in the way of additional skills and experience than a person who has stayed in the same spot handling exactly the same responsibilities for many years. An employee with greater skills and experience is clearly of more value to an employer. If your resume makes you look like you've been job hopping, make sure your cover letter deals with any questions an employer may raise by pointing out how you have grown and become more skilled through the variety of positions in which you've worked.


In today's rapidly changing marketplace, the ability to go with the flow and change strategies on the fly can be a greatly valued attribute in an employee. Those who've undergone frequent job changes are supremely adaptable, having had to adjust to the different company cultures, processes and procedures with each change of position.

If you've gone through frequent job changes, step back from your resume to think about what you've learned through your experiences. Find ways in which your varied job experience can be seen as an asset by a prospective employer, and don't be shy about pointing out the value of your experience. As employers continue to change their attitudes regarding frequent job changes, you should find others appreciating what you bring to your new position.


Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Matthew that was a very cynical viewpoint. The job market is definitely improving and it's not just for those under 50. There are more jobs posted every day with employers looking for a variety of skills. Yes it is true that many companies are trying to go the part-time way but again this is a phase and it will change. It's hard to tell someone to hang in when they need a job yesterday but what is the alternative. Jobs are there - you just have to find one. Maybe try taking a step out of your comfort zone and going for a position that is different from anything you have ever done before. Try taking some of the free career assessments that are offered on the internet. You may be surprised at the results.

  • Matthew W.
    Matthew W.

    In an upper echelon pay scale, this is a good technique but. In the lower pay scale range, it is not nearly as productive. Time gives you a chance to build not just tenure but management position that you can take with you. I have jumped ship a few times watching the ship sink around my former employees. I have also missed the mark at a critical point. Good news! The job market is improving...except for people over fifty. Folks in that market still face the hiring blues even if it is illegal to discriminate. Excuses like 'skills out of date', physical capability not up to standards, ect. It is a good idea to bring the education up to date but little can be done if there is a medical condition. Worse, companies are not downsizing, they are hiring part-time employees in order to keep their medical insurance policies in line. In my experience, not a short time, this will lead to poor long term results every time. It can even cause a Fortune 500 company to be bought out or fail. Thus it is one more thing to watch out for when you vet a company you might work for.

  • Michael

    And how loyal are companies to employees? How many people are hired into a growth position only to be terminated when the company changes direction? The employee is now faced with a 'bad mark' on their resume for short tenure. This has become a new normal in the new economy.

  • Dwight Barber
    Dwight Barber

    You can have one year of experience repeated 20 times or you can really have 20 years of experience by learning something new at various companies.

  • Gary B.
    Gary B.

    Excellent article that people should use in the interviewing process to show the added value of experiences and strengths.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Michael this is not a new concept. Companies have been doing this for decades. The only difference is that now you get to hear about it instantaneously on social media. Companies have always brought people in for a year or two - even as permanent employees - in order to complete a project. Typically though, you will know going in that your time with them is limited. If you like the company, then it's a good idea to start asking around for additional projects that are coming down the pike and start getting your foot in the door for other projects. Sad but true - if you don't ask, they aren't going to come to you so you will not know about them until it's too late. When interviewing for a position, I would suggest that you ask if permanent really means permanent or if it means project base only. This way you won't get caught up in a bad situation again. Best of luck.

  • Michael R.
    Michael R.

    Many employers only hire permanent staff on a per project basis. Once the development work has bee completed, they'll just layoff people if there's no longer a match between a workers stills or career direction and the work required.

  • Anthony Michalski
    Anthony Michalski

    I also agree. The more diverse your skill set, the more capable you are of adapting to today's changing workplace.

  • Edward K.
    Edward K.

    Absolutely. I agree. Many people tell me that my skill set and ability to be right on with whatever comes my way...is from taking those risks and challenges to be the best.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Monica thanks for your comment. Great attitude you have! Yes, every job that you work, whether as a fill-in, a temp or permanent adds to your skill levels and experience. Great way to look at it!

  • Monica H.
    Monica H.

    I agree also. I have a tendency to say yes whenever someone asks if I can work for them as an assistant for a short period of time. They know me and know that I am happy to help. This helps us both. It get me a little cash while job hunting and it helps them accomplish a goal. Also, the experience, nine times out of ten, adds to my experiences and teaches me a new talent, task, or program.

  • shahin l.
    shahin l.

    I agree with this article very much. As I am a testament tot his article. I have been job hopping to support myself and my family, yes it is difficult at times, however it has molded me into being as adaptable as I ever was. I am able to blend in indefinitely to be a responsible hard worker. While learning am any different skills and attributes along the way. Being able to take all of those skills and mending them together into a huge melting pot to actually step away from A job and focus on your own career path. This coming from an entrepreneur.

  • Helen B.
    Helen B.

    The article makes a great deal of sense, and helps me to see it from a newer perspective. Having the advantage of seeing it from the employers point of view is an asset, and may help me be more comfortable in future interviews.

  • Trisha F.
    Trisha F.

    I loe the tone in which it was written! and the perspective.

  • Enamile N.
    Enamile N.

    and take my company to another level.

  • Enamile N.
    Enamile N.

    Thank you very much for this article, because this is exactly who I am. The article is true.As a chef by profession I have worked in different hotel establishment and in different responsibilities up to management level and also dealing with different clientele. Now I have more than 10 years experience and I've learned a lot and got more to implement and take my

  • Ryan L.
    Ryan L.

    "... have picked up far more in the way of additional skills and experience than a person who has stayed in the same spot handling exactly the same responsibilities for many years ... "the article said exactly what I am. I have learned many more skills and have moe change to use my skills and sharpen them.

  • Ana Gloria E.
    Ana Gloria E.

    Great article! Thanks for such a great tool!


    Having been in the banking & financial services industry for more than 35 years, I know first hand how employers have viewed job hopping as a major negative on my resume. In all, I worked for 14 major employers in my career and in most cases I could do absolutely nothing about the changes. However, the job and corporate culture experience I have acquired along the way has been very helpful during the interviewing process. Thanks for the article. It is good to see that many employers are finally beginning to recognize job changes in a new light.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks @Jacqueline. I also live in PA and know that what you are saying is true. Temp agencies are growing by leaps and bounds. Maybe we should all work at the temp agency itself! I wish it weren't true but it does seem that age is the largest common denominator across the board. Part-time low paying positions are becoming more the norm than getting a permanent position with a company and staying with them until retirement. Employers know this and are coming to expect to see a multitude of positions held in a short period of time The ACA certainly does come into play when companies are looking at the bottom line. However, I think that even that will change in the next few years. Not that it will go away but it will change to reflect the current employment status. I truly believe that our state and congressional reps are out of touch with reality and that we need to let them know what is going on. We need to get the attention we deserve. Anyone else feel that way?

  • Choon Kuee L.
    Choon Kuee L.

    Unfortunately, most employers in my country do not subscribe to the positive aspect of frequent job changes. I have frequent job changes due to circumstances beyond my control eg. Organization Restructure. Though my last permanent position had a relevant testimony, employers aren't convinced on my value.

  • Jacqueline Minarick
    Jacqueline Minarick

    I used to be hyper-sensitive about prospective employers reading my resume and questioning why I have had so many jobs in a short period of time, but now I find that interviewers find it less strange as time goes on. Those who need no explanation of reality because they live it too are the employers who I prefer to work for.

  • Jacqueline Minarick
    Jacqueline Minarick

    Nancy I agree about a long term job being your identity and I can relate to the expectation of having the same job for a very long time. I'm 47 years old. When I graduated high school in 1986 no one wanted to be labeled a "job jumper" because changing jobs made a person appear unstable and unreliable. Then NAFTA came into play in the 1990's and slowly so many stable occupations (especially manufacturing here in Pennsylvania) began to leave the country and to this day jobs were not adequately replaced. People my age and the generation before me never would have imagined workplaces going away at the speed that they did. I know that many people resented having to begin a new job every few years or less with no ability to acquire seniority with an employer because longevity and loyalty are a thing of the past. Two decades later temp agencies are booming here and if you ask anyone on the street where do they work many will have multiple part time jobs and they are underemployed and under paid. On another subject I think that the Healthcare Reform Act has some merit to it but I believe it will permanently negatively reinforce part-time job status and a full time job with a liveable wage and health care benefits will become even more elusive to the majority of people. Even though a huge part of the US population is in this category of being underemployed, the self deemed "experts of the economy" and also spokespeople of the US government still deny the problem and they perpetuate the double talk that there are jobs for everyone with adequate pay.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Mikhail - good for you! That is such positive, uplifting news. You are doing what you need to do in order to support your family. Many of us are in that same boat, moving from job to job just to get a paycheck. But the bottom line is that we are gathering unbelievable experiences along the way that will only help us down the road. Great job - keep it up.

  • ajay singh
    ajay singh

    Good article.

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