I Quit! 6 Different Ways Job Hopping Affects Your Career

how job hopping affects career prospects

Are you the kind of person who doesn’t stay on a job for more than two years?

If yes, you’re not alone. 64 percent of workers in the United States favor job hopping, up from 42 percent in 2014.

It is clear workplace traditions have shifted significantly, and perhaps it’s a generational thing. Unlike boomers who could stay on one job until retirement, millennials live for the hop. They’re always on the lookout for a new job in another organization.

But is job hopping a good thing? Does it have a positive impact on one’s career?

Continue reading to learn the different ways job hopping will affect your career.


Hop to a Higher Salary

Do you feel like you’re being underpaid in your current job? Or has your boss been promising you a raise that’s never forthcoming?

Switching jobs could be all you need to earn the salary you deserve. A 2017 survey established that workers who switched jobs during the first quarter of that year got a 5.2 percent salary increase, compared to a 4.3 percent increase for those who didn’t switch.

In terms of real money, a job switch can add anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 to your current salary. Considering that most workers in the country are living paycheck to paycheck, this increase can make a big difference in your personal finances.

However, you’ve to weigh whether an increase will make your life better before hopping. For instance, if getting that higher-paying job means moving to a city where the cost of living is much higher than in your current location, then the raise might not add much to your bottom line.


Employers Don’t Like Job Hoppers

Before the prospect of switching jobs for a higher salary gets you excited, bear in mind there’s a good chance you might not get that job anyway!

You see, most employers don’t love job hoppers. They want people who have a tracked record of loyalty; people who will stay for the long run. And it’s easy to see why.

With the cost of replacing an employee reaching 33 percent of that worker’s annual salary (it would costs a company about $16K to replace a worker on $50K a year), most employers will reject a serial job hopper.

So if you are already on your third job in as many years, you better have a delicious explanation for your hopping habit; otherwise, expect to receive regrets from most potential employers.


Job Hopping Enhances Your Diversity Skills

At a time when companies are rightly being called out for not embracing workplace diversity, a worker with a diverse background is more attractive to employers.

Job hopping boosts your diversity awareness.

When you work in multiple companies in different locales across the country, you’ll meet and interact with people from diverse cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds. This improves your interpersonal and teamwork skills, meaning you can build rapport and effectively collaborate with just about anyone.

With your rich diversity skills, getting employment in the modern workplace won’t be a big challenge. Yes, we’ve already said job hopping hurts your chances of getting hired, but assuming you’re going toe to toe with another candidate who isn’t a hopper but lacks diversity skills, our money is on you emerging tops!


Could Potentially Slow Your Career Progression

You want to progress your career. We all do.

But if you’re a compulsive job hopper, you might want to hold your stride and consider whether hopping is your best path to the top. Most employers prefer promoting from within because internal hires adapter better to new roles, and it's cheaper. 

If you’re currently working for a company that loves to promote from within, you’ll likely miss out that upstairs role you’ve been eyeing. Besides considering performance, merit and ability, and educational qualifications, employers also look at length of service when making internal promotions.

If you’re a serial job hopper, you might tick the first three boxes but lose out because of your short length of service. So if you want to advance your career, stay put.

That being said, there are instances when job hopping can take your career to the next level.

Although promoting from within is preferable among employers, the truth is only a handful of workers will get the promotions. If you’re not among the few, switching jobs could be your only way to the top. There are still several employers hunting for external talent to take up managerial positions.


Grow Your Professional Network

This is a no brainer, really.

Switching jobs often means you’ll have new colleagues, most of whom will join your professional network. On the other hand, staying with the same company for several years obviously limits the number of people you will interact with on a professional level.

Growing your network packs some powerful benefits. You’ll get fresh ideas, gain access to job opportunities, and get career advice and support when you need it.


Last In, First Out

Layoffs are part of running a company. Sometimes employers have to downsize their workforce in a bid to cut costs or avoid redundancy.

No worker wants to get caught in a layoff, but if you’ve recently moved to a company that has layoff plans, you’ve every reason to be worried because of the unwritten last in, first out policy.

Put yourself in an employer’s shoes. You need to lay off some workers. Will you push out people who have been loyal to your company?

No, really. Let’s be honest.

You’ll likely ship out the most recent hires because they’ve got no deep attachment to the firm anyway. 


To Hop or Not to Hop?

If you were sitting on the fence regarding job hopping, you’re probably still undecided. That’s because we cannot say, for certain, whether switching jobs regularly will harm or benefit your career.

It all depends on your tact. If your job hopping is a result of well-calculated moves, you could reap the benefits. But if you’re hopping because hopping is a thing, you could ruin your career.

Stay tuned to our blog for more career insights.

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