The jury remains out on job hopping. Most people agree that the stigma is mostly gone, particularly if you’re in the unique brand of circumstances that makes it the wisest move for your career. But there are still pros and cons—even if you think it’s all good or all bad.
Job Hopping Cons
- Employers might hesitate. If you have a track record of loving and leaving, so to speak, employers might be hesitant to hire you. Or worse, they might put you on the chopping block first if or when lay-offs are in order. At least before you’ve had a chance to prove your loyalty in this Basically, they fear you’ll jump ship at the first sign of trouble. And, to be fair, they have no counter evidence!
- Lack of satisfaction. If you don’t stick around long enough to really get stuck into a company and reap some of the slow-release long term benefits of loyalty, you’ll miss a potentially truly enjoyable part of your career.
- Relationships are in danger. Gaining experience by job hopping might get you a bunch of bullets on your resume, but it won’t necessarily get you a good recommendation and it won’t help you build the kind of relationships that make for a long and successful career. The last thing you want to do is give the impression that you’re unreliable.
- Greener grass syndrome. If you get into a pattern of job hopping, you might start to fall victim to the trap of always thinking that the grass is greener in some other job or other career. Try to find a place to settle down when you can and when that would be appropriate. Otherwise, you’ll develop a long list of shallow experiences and expertise, and never reap the sweet rewards of loyalty.
Job Hopping Pros
- Finding yourself. If you’re not entirely sure what you want to do with your life, a few job hops early on can actually be very useful in saving you valuable time. Just be mindful to figure out what you like and start pointing yourself in that direction with some force and purpose.
- Variety is fun! They don’t call it the spice of life for nothing. You get that many more opportunities to make sure you find the right fit—as well as a fresh take on things with each new company. But remember, the novelty wears off very quickly. Make sure to get accustomed also to the routine of working a job for more than a few months.
- Networking, networking, networking. You can amass a truly powerful network by job hopping. Just make sure you’re actually making lasting connections and not just blowing through people for the sake of it.
- A cash increase. Jumping to a new position, when done right, almost always ends up with you making a bit more money—often more than a routine raise.
- You’ll grow as a person. You’ll meet more people, you’ll work in a broader range of diverse fields and institutions, and you’ll be exposed to a much wider variety of information and resources. This can really build your versatility, and indeed, your attractiveness as a long-term hire in the end, provided you shape your experience mindfully.