Job Hopping: Progressive Career or Restless Slacker?

BreakingModern — Previous generations were warned against changing jobs frequently, since too many short tenures on a resume could be seen as a sign of flakiness and disloyalty. However, the days of landing a job after graduation and staying in that job until retirement have faded. In fact, in some ways job hopping today shows your ability to be productive and active in the changing workplace. Career

“In today’s marketplace, if you are with only one or two organizations throughout your career, you are not seen as a risk taker and it can be a deterrent for some hiring managers when considering you,” says Stacy Pursell, CEO and executive search consultant for The Vet Recruiter. “In today’s marketplace, the average person changes jobs every 3-5 years. It is important to get experience with more than one company to see how different companies operate.”

Learning from Watching

As Pursell points out, today’s young workers personally watched their parents suffer through downsizing and layoffs after showing loyalty to their employers. This has created an environment where employees work to strengthen their own careers, developing skills that will help them progress. Instead of feeling content with merely earning a paycheck, career-minded professionals are expected to show a career progression, with each step building on the person’s previous experience. Candidate profiling is even more prevalent in today’s recruiter-heavy employment market. An experienced recruiter can scan a professional’s resume and get a good overview of that person as a worker. This makes it vital to work hard on the resume, since without a good resume a candidate will never get the chance to explain frequent job changes. Before applying for your next job, review your resume and make sure it shows a logical career progression. Career

The Downside

The problem with frequent job changes is that each employer views the subject differently. Job hirers come from many demographics and backgrounds, which makes it difficult for a candidtate to know whether their work history does well or ill for them. Some employers will see even a two-year tenure as a bad thing, while others will be forgiving of an employment period of only a few months, as long as the employee moved to a better opportunity. When reviewing your resume, an employer’s primary concern is that they’ll invest money into training you, only to have you move on the second you begin to feel restless. If you have an extremely high number of short tenures on your resume, consider explaining those periods in italics under the description of each position, as demonstrated here.

Let’s look at it this way — if an employer launched widespread layoffs due to economics, an employer is likely to be far more understanding than if you left of your own accord to travel Europe. Job hopping can be seen as both a good and bad thing, depending on the employer. The perception of short tenures is shifting, with long-term employment in one position sometimes seen as a negative. For best results, an employee should include only the most-recent positions and explain excessive job changes in italics on the resume. In the end, honesty will lead an employee to the best position.

For BMod, I’m .

First/Featured image: © WavebreakmediaMicro / Dollar Photo Club

Second image: © nito / Dollar Photo Club

Stephanie Faris

Author: Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris is the Simon & Schuster author of two middle grade novels, 25 Roses and 30 Days of No Gossip, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan chapter book series. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she worked in information systems for 13 years. Her work is regularly featured on a wide variety of blogs and websites, both under her own name and as a ghostwriter. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Neil.

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