Critical Tactics for Job Hopping
By Barb Miller, Marketing Manager, DRI & DCA
Job hopping is becoming more readily accepted in today’s workforce. The stigma of not staying in one position or at one company for very long, is fading away. According to Mashable, 18 months is now the socially accepted minimum for staying at a job. In the past, staying for only 18 months would trigger a negative reaction and employers would ask for a reasonable explanation such as a company layoff or plant closing.
In May 2014, Career Builder surveyed 2,138 hiring managers and HR professionals and 55% have hired job hoppers and nearly one-third have come to expect workers to job hop. In fact, the stats show that by the age of 35, 25% of workers have held five jobs or more. For workers ages 55 and older, 20% have held ten jobs or more.
As you map out your career strategy that includes stops at several employers, there are a few critical tactics you should think about:
Have a large, resourceful network. Social and professional networks are more active, wide-reaching, and influential than ever before. Networking is vital in today’s competitive market.
Keep your range of skills honed. With each new position comes a new set of challenges. Take full advantage of development opportunities and be willing to learn from other respected professionals in your industry.
Know what you want to get out of every job change. Before making a move, have an explicit understanding of what the new position will add to your experience base, mastery, and personal maturity and satisfaction.
Your next move must be rational. Have a plausible explanation for each move you make. Employers will want to know why you are making a job change. Stay away from saying things like “it sounded like a good idea at the time” or you’ll raise eyebrows.
Be prepared to stay in each job long enough to learn something. This is where 18 months comes into play again. Staying 18 months is considered acceptable and usually the point at which you develop new skills, receive your first formal employee review, and possibly a salary increase.
You are what you were last. Your most recent job and resume reflects your career path and what you want to do with your life. When meeting a potential new employer, don’t veer from your story. Your resume and how you answer interview questions, should be in sync.
If you would like to mention another critical tactic when job hopping, please comment below.