Are you a ‘Job Hopper’
You may have heard of the term “job hopper” which basically refers to someone who constantly changes jobs. It doesn’t have the stigma it once did, but to employers its generally not an attractive attribute. But exactly how long is it acceptable before you move on from a role?
- The perfect length of service
In a perfect world you should try to stay in a job for a minimum of two years. It takes employers time and money to recruit and train the right candidate and they don’t want to risk making a poor investment. If you constantly change jobs an employer will question your judgement – why do you keep making the wrong decisions?
- What if there is no choice
Sometimes you don’t have a choice but to leave an employer after a short period of time, for instance you may have been made redundant, the employer may have moved out of the area, or your job role has changed. Furthermore you may have a horrible boss, or the workplace is stressful, or the job is not as described at the interview. If any of these reasons are true it may be worth explaining to a prospective employer in a covering letter with your CV why you need to find another job so quickly
- Question yourself before you job hop
Look at your CV, what does your work history look like? In other words, is this the first time or the third time you have been unhappy in a role? If there is a pattern of you staying in a job for only a short period of time maybe you are in the wrong career and perhaps you need to address this. We would say that three jobs in five years is acceptable to most employers, any more than that could put employers off.
- What is acceptable in your industry
Some industries view job hopping differently for instance it is more acceptable for people in the advertising or technology sector to move around more frequently. So if you are working in these sectors job hop as much as you like – employers won’t judge you – they will appreciate your varied experience.
- How old are you?
Employers are generally more forgiving of people who jump from job to job early in their career when they are discovering the right path to settle on. As someone becomes more seasoned in their career prospective employers will expect you to know what is best for you and not expect you to make silly mistakes.
- What is the benefit in staying in a job
If you can bear to stay in a job until you have another position lined up it puts you in a better position. You are more attractive to a potential employer if you are employed – your value drops on the job market if you are unemployed, so perhaps it is worth gritting your teeth and bearing with it if possible.
No matter how badly you want to leave your job or move on to something bigger and better, you don’t want to be branded as a serial job-hopper. When in doubt about the right time to leave, try to stay long enough to at least say you learned a new skill or gained valuable experience, this will help you with any future job search.
Happy job hunting