It’s really cute when the Easter Bunny does it. But hopping is not so appealing to potential employers. They fear that their investment in your training might leap right out the door before they’ve seen any returns. And instability in a team setting can cause slowdowns in productivity and progress throughout an organization.
But is job hopping really so bad? In today’s work culture, it’s certainly more accepted. The days of a lifetime with the company and a gold watch after 30 years are long gone. Job hopping can be much more palatable to an employer if:
- You’ve been at most jobs for at least two to three years.
- Your positions represent a clear increase in responsibilities or duties; in other words, you’ve grown your career and/or been promoted.
- Your job hopping can be tied to a legitimate life event, such as a move or a family obligation. This is only reassuring to a potential employer if he or she believes that the life event isn’t a frequent one.
- You can offer great references from your previous employers, who will speak to your commitment and follow through.
If your job hopping is largely a result of workplace conflict, dissatisfaction on your part or dismissal by your employer, then job hopping becomes a much greater red flag. You may wish to engage in some career counseling with a career coaching agency such as Merrfeld to determine whether your field is a good fit; whether you need to advance your job skills; or whether you need some training in interpersonal communication or realistic expectations.
If you determine that you’re on the right path and that the job that you’re pursuing is a good match, then you can address job hopping with a potential employer by citing some positives:
- You’ve had a variety of experiences in different companies, so you’ve been able to observe and assimilate best practices.
- You’re flexible and adaptable.
- You’ve been able to flesh out your skill set and establish a broad network of contacts.
Emphasize too that you’re committed to the position for which you’re applying. Don’t be surprised if an employer wants you to sign a contract specifying a term of employment. If you do so, be absolutely sure that you will complete that term or risk significant damage to your ability to secure future positions in your field.
Job hopping can be a challenge to your job search. But with some careful thought as to whether you need to make a change and a spotlight on the positive with potential employers, you can leap this hurdle and land in a great spot!