10 Reasons Job-Hopping is Your Only Chance

Oct 22, 2012 -
Get our best career advice delivered to your inbox. Sign up today! Gen Y came out of college exploring one job to another (to another). But when the recession hit, many said the days of job-hopping were over. Yet there’s no reason to be scared into longevity at your current position. Here are 10 reasons to keep job-hopping:

1. Job-hopping allows you to widen your choice of jobs, not narrow it

When you have more experience in a wide range of positions, you’ll be able to increase your skill set. As long as you’re comfortable and adept at describing your transferable skills, you can easily act as a chameleon and morph from your current position to your dream job. However, if you don’t know what transferable skills are, you may need to stay put.

2. No need to impress people you’ve never met

Many people, primarily HR managers, warn against job-hopping so you can theoretically impress another HR manager in the future—one you haven’t met yet. Besides the fact that you probably won’t be on the same career path a few years from now, let alone in the same industry, there’s no reason to build your career around what HR managers want. Instead, impress yourself. Keep your own commitments and promises, and you’ll be fine.

3. Loyalty no longer exists

Your company is not loyal. Your boss is not loyal. Employees are never put first. More than ever, every job is unstable. It’s now more secure to build your own unique career from scratch. So don’t show loyalty to a company that is not loyal to you. Now, that doesn’t mean ignoring your work or being disrespectful to the people who put money in your bank account, but it does mean being realistic in your career planning.

4. Job-hopping is a precursor to the future of careers

Careers are no longer linear. Instead, you will piece together positions and opportunities to fully form your career puzzle. You’ll have six to eight jobs before you’re 30, and you certainly won’t settle into the same company for the rest of your life after that. As the idea of careers shift toward more contract work and portfolio careers, you can prepare by realizing results quickly and providing massive value.

5. Your network—not your resume—gets you jobs

When you job-hop, you expand your network tenfold. You meet more people: coworkers, managers, partners, influencers, leaders. And it’s your network, not your list of positions, that will get you in the door at the next job. While you can and should apply with your cover letter and resume, when your network can recommend you for a position, it is much easier to advance your career.

6. Get a substantial raise and title upgrade

It’s better to find a new job that pays well and has a great title than to try and convince your existing company to give you a raise and a promotion. After all, you signed their contract. And it’s cheaper for them to keep you in your place. When you ask for a raise, you’ll likely only receive a two to three percent increase. When you job-hop, the typical increase in income is 20 to 30 percent. Enough said.

7. You don’t know what you like until you do it

A slim minority of us fall right away into careers that are representative of our dream jobs. Everyone else gets stuck in jobs we hate. While you can try to journal and vision-board your way into a soul-enriching career, it’s quicker and more effective to try several different positions until you discover what you truly enjoy. Action is quicker than thought—so don’t guess; go out and do.

8. Companies don’t move as fast as results

From startups to large corporations, every organization is fighting against some sort of barrier, whether it’s lack of money or lots of bureaucracy. You may bring stellar results in the first three to six months, but by the time a year rolls around, your plate is likely devoid of challenge and meaningful work. Job-hopping means you always have relevant tasks to work on and can continually create positive impact.

9. The recession is a great excuse for high-performers

Naysayers warn Gen Y not to job-hop since it supposedly looks bad. But when Negative Nancies hunker down, it’s the perfect opportunity for high-performers to get out and fight. The recession is your excuse, as a high-performer in particular, to take risks and reap big rewards. If it doesn’t work out, well, it’s been a bumpy ride for everyone. But the odds are in your favor.

10. Your talent is desperately needed

If you love your job, then for goodness sake, hold onto it with all your might. But the truth is, the majority of Gen Y is disillusioned and dissatisfied with their careers. The longer you stay in a position that doesn’t fulfill you, the longer you cheat the world of your unique talents and gifts. So whether you love picking out an accent pillow or get pleasure from financial projections, go on: get after it! Rebecca Thorman's blog Kontrary offers tips to create the career, bank account and life you love and is a popular destination for young professionals. Her goal is to help you find meaningful work, enjoy the heck out of it and earn more money.