Job hopping can actually help your career.
This article is interesting, as it’s written by a millennial who feels that this is the norm. Oh, Gen-X had it covered long before millennials. Gen-X was the first generation that really didn’t have the backing of “the establishment”–there were fewer jobs or companies where you could stay there your entire career. You could say that I’ve been a job hopper my entire adult career–often not by choice. Layoffs were often a source whereby I was ousted when I wanted to stay. Even a more recent job I had was one where I really thought they would keep me and get me out of the cycle of contracting job after contracting job. Didn’t happen. I’ve come to the conclusion, much like this author, that the only way to move up and attain new skills and experiences is to embrace job hopping. In the technical communication world, it’s practically a given that most jobs are going to be temporary, contract jobs, even if they are “long term” (six months or more), and so it adds to your resume very quickly. Whereas this author has had four jobs in six years, I was realizing that between part-time and full-time jobs, I’ve easily had twice that many jobs (or possibly more)–and that’s considering I’ve had long unemployment or underemployment periods in that same six years! She is lucky that she’s gotten as big a pay raise as she has. In the same six years, I’ve only had one pay raise, and that’s with the new job I’m about to start.
“Job hopping” has become a norm, whether we like it or not. At least in the U.S. (although I’m sure it happens elsewhere), are trying to cut costs by not having as many employees, and by not having as many full-time employees, they don’t have to pay for company benefits like medical, dental, etc. I’ve often been asked by some potential employers why I’ve done so many contract jobs–is it because I like it? The answer is no for me. I don’t do contracting because I want to be a contractor. There are pros and cons to being a contractor. You have a slightly more liberal absence policy, because essentially if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. So, you can take more time off within reason–saves them money, but you lose money. You don’t know if your position will be extended or if you’ll have to look yet again for a new job in a few months, and it can take months (or as much as a year) to find the next job. You don’t have any security of benefits. Yes, you can still get laid off as an employee, but often you get a small financial package when you leave. When you are a recruiter, they just say, “Bye! Thanks for coming!” I’ve resigned myself that most likely, I will be contracting until I am ready to retire, but I’ll probably have to retire when I’m 75 or 80.
In the meantime, companies either have to figure out how to keep good employees longer to prevent the job hopping through internal opportunities and benefits, or create an economy of people who are always hopping around. That seems unstable in the long run.
What do you think about “job hopping”? Include your comments below.