How Job Hopping Can Sometimes Be Helpful

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While many companies are looking to retain their talent, sometimes a job just doesn’t fit. Whether it is because of a lack of recognition, lack of pay or the job just doesn’t feel right; there are many reasons why some people choose to “job hop.” It’s easy to label that term as something sinister. Most people are told that job hopping is considered to be a big no-no in the workforce that can leave gaps on resumes or make potential employers question your dedication to any on position or company, but the Huffington Post recently blogged an article about just the opposite. “Career Lessons From A Serial Job Hopper” explains why job hopping isn’t always a bad thing and can actually help you advance.

Elizabeth Lowman of the article admits, “Confession: I have been in the workforce for 10 years and have held nearly as many jobs. In my defense, I have never started a job with the intention of only staying a short time — my reasons for leaving range from realizing the position wasn’t a good fit to being laid off to even moving to another state for my husband’s job. But the reality is, the work experience section of my resume is lengthy and I fall firmly into the category of a ‘serial job hopper.’” Again, while this might sound outlandish to some, she has actually found success in her endeavors and offers readers a few tips on the subject. She continues, “Older generations, my father included, held the belief that staying in a job for less than a couple of years showed disloyalty or unreliability. But while I admit that job hopping isn’t an ideal scenario, I have no regrets about my career’s ‘creative path.’ I’ve learned a lot about myself, and even more about my goals. If you find yourself defending — or questioning yourself about — a short-term stay at a job, let me share a few of the lessons I’ve learned.”

Here are two out of the four lessons she proposes:

1. No Job is Perfect, but You Don’t Have to be Miserable

It would be foolish to expect to love everything about a company or job, but I strongly believe in the right to have more good days than bad ones. Sure, in tough economic times when many consider themselves lucky to have a job at all, there’s less room to be picky, but there are always companies looking for talent.

So if you find yourself curled up in the fetal position on Sundays because you’re dreading work the next day — and this has been going on for months — it’s time to reassess your situation. It’s a good idea to start by trying to address the issue internally: ask your supervisor to adapt your position to better suit your interests, ask to pursue projects outside of your exact role, or even ask for a promotion.

But if things don’t improve, don’t be afraid of looking for a new job just because you haven’t ‘put enough time in’ at your current one yet. If you have desirable qualifications, hiring managers can be forgiving if you have a valid reason for moving on. I’m living proof.

2. You Can Learn with Every Step

There’s a lot you can learn from every ‘hop’ you make. Figure out what you like and what you don’t. And, even if moving on wasn’t fully your choice, you should look at the variety of responsibilities you’ve had as an advantage.

In my field of marketing communications, daily tasks can vary from PR to website maintenance to content development. In my job hopping, I’ve been able to dabble in a bit of everything — and I now know where my strengths lie as well as what tasks I most enjoy. I’m now better able to figure out how to find a good fit in my next job.”

To read more about what Lowman recommends, click on the link to see the whole article.

If you’re an employee or job seeker, have you found yourself job hopping, especially considering the more recent economic forecast? How has it helped or hurt you?

As a hiring manager, have you noticed employees job hopping more frequently? Does that deter you from making a hiring recommendation? How has your company combat “serial job hoppers” to retain talent?


About Kate Gamble

Known to have her hands in a ton of things at one time - Kate is a confessed news junkie and proud Dean’s List grad. Whether she’s working the PR or HR side of her brain, her computer’s mouse or her Dremel (she makes handcrafted jewelry too!), Kate delivers the energy, commitment, and detail-orientation that are a perfect mix for Alstin.