The days of staying with the same company from graduation to retirement are over. More recently, people are changing jobs quite regularly. Workers born between 1957 and 1964, for example, held an average of 11.9 jobs between the ages of 18 to 50, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Whilst, younger workers are more eager to switch jobs frequently. When the global staffing firm Robert Half polled professionals of all ages with college degrees, they found that 64 percent think that changing roles every few years can be beneficial.
According to more research by the University of Phoenix on job switching, they found that
The survey also revealed that the most common reasons for changing jobs include inadequate financial compensation, exhaustion, lack of upward mobility, and loss of enthusiasm.
The Job-Hopper’s Report: Where are all the job-hoppers going to? looked at job switching trends in America. It found that:
- The job switching rate is highest in the administrative and support services and accommodation and food services industries, and lowest in utilities, education and health services, and manufacturing.
- Workers usually leave their industries when they switch jobs, but the rate they jump to other industries hasn’t changed much in the past decade.
- In a tight job market, employers increasingly are hiring job seekers who are already working, as well as those who lack credentials previously demanded, such as a college degree.
- Also, employers are adjusting recruitment strategies by offering more generous pay and benefits.
How often to change your job
HR professional, resume writer and career coach Jessie West stands by the one-year guideline. She proffers that you should at least commit to one year in your position before looking elsewhere or pursuing other positions within the company. This is because all companies operate within a fiscal year and it is almost impossible to learn all there is to learn about the company in a shorter time frame. Staying at your job for just a few months also leads to the assumption that you are not committed to your professional development and that you have a hard time coping with new challenges.
Victoria Sawtelle, community manager at Uptowork, recommends at least two to three years of experience within a particular field before moving on to something new. She adds, “Most employers want a few years of experience if you plan to move up in either position or pay scale.” Employers will be more inclined to offer you a higher-level position once you’ve established yourself as a qualified professional in whichever line of work you’ve chosen.
Why Switching Jobs Often Is A Good Idea
According to Liz Ryan, a former Fortune 500 HR Senior Vice President and contributor for Forbes, the following are all good reasons why you should switch jobs often:
- When you stay in the same organization, you gradually lose touch with the outside world. Your field of vision constricts and you begin to focus on internal priorities (who’s up and who’s down politically your next position, and your current goals) rather than focusing on the larger world outside your company’s walls. One of the biggest dangers of staying a job too long is that you fall behind what is happening in your industry and the wide world beyond it.
- Unless your company is growing very fast — experiencing thirty percent annual growth or more — it is difficult or impossible to give yourself the new experiences, new challenges, and range of muscle-building activities you will naturally encounter by changing jobs.
- When you change jobs often, you never get out of open-and-curious mode. You’ll accumulate new learning (and just as important, a comfort level with “incompetence”) much faster by throwing yourself into new-job territory more often.
- Every time you change jobs, you get to (and have to) re-establish your value. Every time you change jobs you get to redefine yourself on your own terms. You can rationalize the decision to stay in your previous role any number of ways, but the truth is that the only thing you will ever have to sell to an employer or client is your expertise, and the only way to grow that is to grab every new learning opportunity you see.
- The more often you change jobs, the more comfortable you will become interviewing and negotiating.
- When you change jobs more frequently, you’ll learn to evaluate employers as much as they evaluate you.
- When you stay put in one job for a long time, you can begin to perform your job mechanically. Your supply of new ideas will begin to diminish and then die out. You need fresh “glasses” to keep a channel open to the collective consciousness or wherever your best ideas come from
- The more companies you work for, the more your reputation in your business community can grow. The more companies you work for, the more people you will know. The more companies you work for, the more comfortable you will be walking into new business situations and figuring out what’s important.
- The longer you stay in one company — even if you change jobs internally — the more set and solid your box will become. The more often and more fearlessly you step out of your comfort zone, the more your comfort zone will expand. If you don’t actively enlarge your comfort zone all the time, you will become your own worst enemy. You will start to believe that you are your job title. You won’t see your own vast possibilities.
Why Switching Jobs Is A Bad Idea
There are 2 sides to every coin and whilst we have looked at the advantages of frequent job switching, we need to also look at the disadvantages.
1. Your Jobs Are All Over The Place
You want your work history to paint a clear picture of you as a professional. Your CV should tell a story, even if it doesn’t show a linear progression up the corporate ladder. If you’ve spent most of your career jumping from one unrelated gig to another, that could send up a red flag that you’re still trying to figure out who you are and what you want professionally.
2. There’s No Clear Forward Movement
Ideally, you should change jobs because you’ve come into a better opportunity. Perhaps a new job pays more, or it comes with a better title. If that kind of forward movement isn’t clear on your resume, it could be taken as a bad sign by hiring managers. The problem occurs when every job change is a lateral move or step back. Your job history should show advancement within an organization and/or industry. Otherwise, your job hopping past could work against you in the future.
3. You Lack Passion For Your Work
Your employment history should show that you’ve been working toward finding your way. It should indicate that you’re passionate about something, a cause, an industry, or a type of technology. If your resume makes it seem like you’ve simply been trying to land as high-paying a job as you can get, employers might assume that’s your primary focus.
4. You Hold Jobs For Months Not Years
Job hopping is fine if it’s done for the right reasons and in the right way. But, it’s hard to justify job changes when they are super frequent. It’s one thing to change jobs every few years to earn more money, learn new skills, or take on a fresh challenge. A resume that shows job changes every few months isn’t sending that message. If you tend to stay at jobs for less than a year, a prospective employer will expect you to do the same with them.
5. You Seem Short-Sighted
You should treat your career more like a marathon than a sprint. Sometimes, job hoppers aim for short-term gains rather than long-term goals. But, doing so could damage your career. For example, maybe your resume shows you’ve worked with a few different failed start-ups. Or, maybe you’ve gotten involved with organizations that don’t have the best reputations. Companies don’t like seeing an employment history that demonstrates this type of career approach. Steadiness and consistent progress are better. It shows an employer that you know how to work hard on a sustained basis.
The truth is, however, that job-hopping has become more of a necessity than ever before. More college graduates enter the workforce each year hoping to land their dream job in the industry they’ve just spent four years learning about, and it’s not quite as easy as it used to be.
As a result, millennials have to settle for jobs
they believe will get them one step closer to their goals; they accept jobs
outside of their desired field based on availability and financial need. For
these reasons, it’s become less alarming for young professionals to change jobs