Is Job Hopping a Change for Good?
Posted Sunday, November 15th, 2015


There was a time, not so long ago when businesses frowned upon job-hopping. With this earlier generation of workers, the term “Job-Hopper” was regarded as a very undesirable label for any member of the workforce.

It was loosely defined as pattern of changing companies every year or two of one’s own volition. That was also a time when many members of the workforce retired after 20-30 years working for the same employers.

To be considered a “Job hopper” meant you were not committed to the success of the company you worked for. Instead, you were only committed to your career advancement and increased personal earnings.

In an earlier time and day, the professional with less than a 10-year stint with the same employer was an exception. Changing an employer then, also made it challenging to fully integrate into the culture of a new employer since everyone else had been working there for decades.

How have the changes in today’s employment cycles made job-hopping a good thing?

First it is important to be reminded that “change” is a constant force in business.

Change in employment has resulted in the average professional changing their job approximately every 3-5 years. Sometimes, it is the result of downsizing. Sometimes it is the result of a recruiting effort. Sometimes it is the result of the professional simply finding them self in front of a better opportunity then their current business situation.

Business culture has changed so businesses are more aware of the need to grow through innovation and new ideas. New ideas and innovation don’t always come from within an organization. Fresh ideas come from outside many times. Business culture has also changed so it recognizes that a professional does not need to spend decades at the same business in order to be able to make significant contributions.

With the change in business culture, one of the values of new talent to an organization is:

“Can the new talent help us solve and resolve issues that we can’t currently figure out?”

This represents a philosophical shift from the past. It once was a requirement for the newly hired professional to thoroughly understand the business before being hired. As an example, companies built on brilliant technical innovations have less of a need for another technical developer and more of a need to someone with strong business experience. What they don’t have …is what businesses most need.

So how does today’s changing employment world directly affect the individual professional?

-First, the individual changing their job every 3-5 years gets a fresh start at each new job junction.

-They don’t need to carry the baggage of an embarrassing lapse in judgment made 10-15 years earlier when they were younger and foolish.

-They get to walk in the door and reset impressions on day 1. For example, leaving the previous employer as a “Finance” member and starting the new job as Director of Accounting provides the newly hired employee with a jumping off point that starts with a leadership title where no one is still thinking of them as just a member of finance.

-In my opinion, today’s employment focus is not where the professional has been but instead: where the professional is going. By starting a new role every 3-5 years, career advancement can be accelerated and the smart, qualified talent can deliver the best value to their employer and to the business marketplace.

-The frequent change in employment forces business and the professionals to be mindful of their decorum and professionalism. You could be competing against your next employer. How well that is handled really matters today. If the business handles it poorly, the best talent will not want to join them. If the individual handles it poorly, the best businesses will not want to hire them.

Are you thinking about where your business has been or are you thinking about where your business is going?

Are the constant changes in business today your path to growth?

What are you doing to embrace CHANGE?