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Hopping for Success: A Good or Bad Idea?
After some research, I found two sides of the story to determine how much job hopping is too much. As an employer for over 17 years, I can tell you I’m not fond of resumes where one has six or seven jobs in two years. In fact, that’s the number one thing I look for in a candidate and then promptly dismiss the resume.
On the other hand, there are employers who don’t mind job hopping for the very young (ages 20 to 25). The reason? One must find the right career choice, so more jobs early in a career is okay, right?
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Considering the Factors
Today’s workforce is faced with economy challenges. By that I mean more and more employers are not offering benefits such as healthcare or retirement plans. Wage freezes prevent companies from offering continual raises or promotions. Some companies have cut down on employee incentives such as holiday parties, year-end bonuses and reward programs.
With all the negatives, some feel job hopping to find the right career may be the only way to obtain the right job. But where does one draw the line?
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To Jump or Not to Jump
Again, as an employer, the thing I hate to hear most from employees is how the guy down the street can offer a better opportunity than what I am offering. If you do this, expect me to lose some respect for you. Why? Most employers look at this as a threat. Because they’ve worked hard to own or manage a business and they have a lot invested in you, they really don’t need threats from employees.
To determine how much job hopping is too much, ask and answer the following true or false questions. We’ll get to the results later.
- I will never advance in my career?
- I don’t like the work I’m doing?
- I am so bored everyday?
- My boss doesn’t appreciate my work?
- I will never get a raise at my current job?
- I will never move up the ladder at my current job?
- The benefits at my job are terrible?
- Discipline is more important to my boss than praise?
- I can get a better job anytime I want?
- The technology we are given is out-of-date?
- I wish we had sick or personal days?
- When I requested a vacation, it was denied?
- I feel way overqualified for my job?
If you answered true to the above questions, you should move on, because the company you’re working for only cares about profitability and the bottom line—not you. In addition, when you go out and seek new opportunities, don’t be afraid to ask some of these questions during the interview—although not right away. Let the interviewer guide the session but feel free to ask about opportunities, advancement, job performance appraisals, benefits, training and technology—at the right time—when you are asked if you have any questions. Employers and interviewers love questions, they don’t like those who sit there and pose not one single query.
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The Other Side
If you do jump from job to job and find no one will hire you, try answering these true or false questions.
- If I put forth a little more effort, I think I’ll be able to advance?
- I like the work I’m doing?
- I’m happy with the pay scale I’m receiving?
- Benefits could be better but at least I have some?
- I feel comfortable bringing questions or concerns to my boss?
- I receive praise for a job well done?
- The company offers some sort of training program?
- The company is interested in new technology and employee tools?
- The company feels strongly about annual performance reviews?
- Employees receive bonuses or incentives, and annual parties are the norm?
- Employees have an avenue to gain help no matter what?
If you answered true to these questions, the company does indeed care about its employees even if it struggles in the economy it faces. Why job hop away from a company that is trying? Here, it’s clear the employer listens to employees and wants to do better so even if you think the guy down the street will offer you something better, will you just be burning a bridge where you could have a great career?
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Sure Signs You’re Guilty
You can search long on the World Wide Web and you’ll find different guidance on job hopping. The generation gap has a lot to do with this but in the long run, experienced business owners don’t take too much negativity from their employees and that includes leaving a job as soon as the orientation period is over—you haven’t even given the job a chance right?
If, however, you think of a job as a privilege (which it is) and not part of your civil rights, expect your employer to notice this quality.
As I said before, some employers may look at job hopping differently than I do here, however, you can bet the farm the majority will agree with my views.
If you take a look at your resume and you’ve had lots of jobs in a short period of time, you already know the answer on how much job hopping is too much—especially if you can’t find a job. Employers notice not only the gaps in employment but the frequency in changing jobs.
This advice doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to reach the top of your career. What it does mean is allowing fair employers to help guide you and offer you the ability to climb up, either with the company where you work or to pursue other interests. If you do want to change careers, perhaps a career assessment or plan is in order before you move on.
Employers that have long-term employees may be disappointed when an employee decides it’s time for a change, but they won’t stop you, nor will they be angry.
Employers who feel and see your disinterest and know you are always updating your resume, won’t care what you do and most likely won’t take the time or money to invest in developing your skills.
Remember, ask questions during the interview when asked, be honest and open, and above all, if you know upfront you’re only taking the job until something better comes along, politely decline the job. The employer doesn’t need the expense of hiring and training you only to have you quit.
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Suster, Mark (2010) Both Sides of the Table – Never Hire JobHoppers - http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2010/04/22/never-hire-job-hoppers-never-they-make-terrible-employees/
Khadder, Tania - Monster – Job Hopping, Career Killer or Savior? - http://excelle.monster.com/benefits/articles/3643-job-hopping-career-killer-or-savior
Jean Scheid has been a business owner or over 17 years and has employed hundreds of people.
Bunny - MorgueFile/floppy2009
Jump - MorgueFile/Lu311
Internet - MorgueFile/ppdigital