I’m getting my CV and my mind ready to get back into the job market. Looking over my CV, I’m reminded of how many jobs I’ve had and how unmotivated I was to stay in any of those roles for very long. Infact, except for one of them, I really couldn’t get out fast enough! I haven’t been in any job for up to two years before *shock…horror*. Pretty sure that makes me a job hopper.
I was doing a bit of reading and it looks like women are more likely to be job hoppers than men. That makes sense as women can go through a variety of life changes that makes it necessary for us to redefine our lives. Pregnancy and childbirth being prime examples, as I would well know. According to Robert Half, 64% of employees think job hopping is a good thing. I don’t know who was surveyed (where they were based, how many there were and which generation they were from).
I haven’t gone into any role planning to leave but I have looked forward to leave a few roles shortly after starting. Thinking about it really hard, I’ve always had the problem of knowing how bored and unmotivated I will be in the job that I’m going into but hope it will be a while before I reach that stage. I’ve also moved because I didn’t like my working environment and once, for more money. Unfortunately, the money didn’t stop me disliking the role any less than I did. I’m sure that last one is the reason for most job hopping.
Why do people job hop?
- Better money. Like in my case, it was an easier way to get a higher salary. I took the experience I’d gained with me and slotted myself into another role that required the skills I had but paid more. Sometimes this is quicker than waiting it out for 3-5 in one role in the hope of promotion or getting a pay rise.
- No feeling of loyalty to your employer. Millenials are probably most guilty of this. Seeing the economic crash and being aware of how easily employees were let go after dedicating lifetimes to their employers may have taught us that no employee is indispensable to a company. You have to look out for your own career first. Your own livelihood. We’re generally different from the generations before us who saw value in starting and growing with an employer for twenty plus years of their lives. Then again, maybe employers are less loyal to their employees now than they used to be back then.
- When the economic situation is good, it doesn’t take you being an expert in a niche field for your skills and experience to be in high demand. It’s in those good times that searching on sites like monster.com and indeed.co.uk will bring back a thousand results regardless of your field. You might start to wonder why you’re staying in this job you started six months ago when there are many of the same opportunities out there that will pay you almost twice your current salary.
- Disenchantment. After being in a role for 3-6 months and getting to grips with the basic structure of the company and the role itself, it’s not difficult to become disenchanted, disillusioned with the tasks that may now feel mundane.
Moving around so much not be to your benefit, as you can imagine, and here are a few reasons why:
- Employers will undoubtedly question why you’ve moved around so much. That might lead them to wonder if the training they will provide you, should they employ you, is worth their time and money. They might not even get past your CV because they may not think an interview is worth their time.
- How secure will your job be? In the event of any job cuts, I’d say employers are more likely to get rid of the person who’s there 9 months and hasn’t stayed at any previous job longer than a year or two. Surely it’d be him/her over the employee who does a mediocre job but has been at the company for seven years…? I suppose that’s only true if you think companies are loyal.
- You won’t get the opportunity to be put forward for promotions or make use of any employee development programmes. Such programmes make you more valuable to the company but also contribute to your own growth and employability.
Despite the three points above, I do think that a bit of hopping about is absolutely necessary in extreme circumstances where your management treats you badly, for example. I really do think that it can even be a good thing. I believe it largely worked in my favour in the past because I was gaining a fairly varied set of skills but focused within a specific section of the industry I’ve worked in. It can also be a good thing because it gives you the opportunity to expand your network. Also, it’s not just better money you might get elsewhere. It’s also better benefits or a better job title. A better job title as manager or team leader, for example, would stand you in good stead for your next role.
Job hoppers like myself would typically be advised to take a step back to evaluate what we want out of a career, where our passions truly lie. Argh. I must say I struggle to think of ways to live comfortably off my passions. Honestly. And well, you know, I have responsibilities. Do I just say, life is too short to be miserable or just okay in a job or do I chase what makes me happy and hope I can survive off it? How happy can you really be if you’re broke? I imagine these are questions that most 9-5ers have battled with.
There is a lot less to consider by way of loyalty, etc. if you own your own business…but entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted.
Okay. I’ve written way more than I planned to. It’s just all my thoughts on this issue tumbling out here as I try to sort them out.