You’ve probably heard this career advice a million times: Be careful about short-term stays on your resume. Prospective employers want to see your commitment to a position.
The reasons for which people leave their jobs vary — perhaps they feel they deserve or want a promotion, more money, more autonomy and flexibility, or they seek to join the latest start-up in hopes that they’ll get rich quick. And those things are not necessarily bad. It’s just important to be careful about how you navigate your career path so your resume doesn’t end up being disproportionately long compared to your short duration in the working world.
Here are the pros and cons of job hopping:
Pro: Diverse Background
Someone who has a diverse background is often more attractive to a potential employer because they potentially bring new ideas and ways of doing things. If you carry this knowledge and experiences with you, and if you can apply them in your future work, it may offer new ideas and a surprisingly fresh way of doing things.
Con: Your job maybe less secure
If your employer is forced to lay off employees, you might be the first to go (given your track record of leaving companies quickly).
Pro: Powerful professional network
The more companies you work for, the more people you tend to know, hence building upon a larger social and professional network. With a powerful network, you’ll be able to reach out to people and information quicker and easier. This is definitely a win-win for you and your future employers.
Con: Lack of satisfaction
One of the greatest satisfactions in a career is to be a part of a product’s (or services) genesis and ultimate release. Where most products and services have a relatively long life-cycle, a job hopper will never experience such a satisfaction.
Pro: More opportunities to find the right ‘one’
This is an opportunity for you to figure out what you actually like and dislike. By getting experience in diverse fields, you will exactly know your worth and where you stand in the job market. When you will finally decide what to settle down after few year down the line, you will exactly know where you want to be.
Con: Your judgment may be questioned
The employer might wonder that you are prone to making poor decisions when it comes to your career. In case you’re laid off because you went to a company that went bankrupt is a totally different thing. Bad judgment is definitely not on the list of desired employee traits.
“One or two short stints might be acceptable if you went to a company that went bankrupt or were caught up in a layoff or just plain chose the wrong fit–but many of these might indicate you are someone who doesn’t have good judgment,” Cashman says. “Bad judgment is definitely not on the list of desired employee traits.”
Pro: You can move up in salary more quickly
Staying at one company for several months may not take you to what you’re looking for. However, hopping around might just get you and increase in your salary. It’s obvious that when you’re considering a change, then you’re surely looking for a better opportunity and a raise in your salary. Once you’re satisfied with your salary then try to stick there for a while.
Con: Lack of loyalty
Hopping around too much in a row, employers will start considering that as a disadvantage. They might just worry that it’s not worth the time, money and energy to provide you with training as you can walk out any time of the day. You have to be prepared to give strong justification for why you left each position.
Pro: Opportunity to show off your best attributes
For some companies, this is a selling point. You have the leverage to show off all your talents and experience. This will leave the impression on the employer that you are flexible, adaptable and a quick learner. So never underestimate and hide what all you have experienced so far, flaunt it if you get the opportunity!
Con: You may damage relationships
In this small world, employers may just cross check to verify your information. In an environment where relationships are more important than ever, gaining experience by job hopping seriously compromises one’s potential for developing deeper, more reliable contacts that can act as guarantors.
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