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Job-Hopping: Career Suicide or Savior?

Job-Hopping: Career Suicide or Savior?

Tania Khadder

June 29, 2009

Job-hopping. It’s career suicide.

That is, if conventional wisdom and my father are to be believed.

They tell us to stay at a job for at least two years. That the longer you stay in one place, the more dependable you’ll appear. And the better your chances for success when you do look for a new job.

They tell us that too many jobs in a short period of time makes you a flake.

Forget job offers. Instead, you’ll be getting offers of advice on how to mask all that job-hopping on your resume.

But how bad is job-hopping really? Is there anything to gain from all that moving around? Let’s find out!

This article will look at the benefits of job hopping its role in this economy, the right and wrong way to do it, and how to put a positive spin on it the next time you’re looking for a job.

We all know career dynamics have shifted dramatically over the years. Gone are the days where college grads joined a company and stayed for life, rising through the ranks to win that ultimate workplace trophy: the corner office.

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Workplace dynamics are changing

According to Business Week’s Richard Florida, people under the age of 30 change jobs almost once a year (compared to the national average of once every three years).

And really, it’s not surprising. Workers feel less incentive to stay put. Pensions, in the traditional sense, are virtually obsolete. We’re increasingly paying the price for our employer-sponsored healthcare. Loyalty is no longer about putting in your time, or paying your dues. It’s about providing measurable value and being rewarded for it.

Corporate culture has changed, and employees are responding to it in the only way that makes sense to them.

Chris Murdock, recruiting expert at LandingJobs and former “Senior Sourcer” for Yahoo, says job tenure – and expectations around it – have changed. “It used to be that people would stay at a company for life, but nowadays, if you’ve been in a company two years, you’re the seasoned professional,” he says. “Some even think if you’ve been at a company for five years, you should move on. That it’s too long.”

Are There Really Any Benefits to Job Hopping? >>


Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?

Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?