Job seekers never had it so good. Innumerable opportunities, escalating salaries and recruiters consistently ringing in with even better opportunities.., the job scene today is brimming with optimism. Despite all the hope that it holds for job seekers, this period of excess, has had its fallouts. The most visible one being the birth of job-hoppers. Job hoppers are individuals who find it really difficult to commit to one job for a significant period of time. An inveterate job hopper is always on the look out for a change. Reasons for this behavior may vary from serious reasons like lack of growth opportunities to paltry excuses like lack of excitement or plain boredom.
Do you identify yourself with this situation? On an average, if you have changed 3 jobs in 2 years or if your resume looks like a travelogue with a lot of stopovers over a period of years, you may want to take a breather and stay put in the current job for at least a yr. While your argument that the job scene never looked so good, may hold true, there are reasons why you should think twice before making that immediate jump to another seemingly attractive job. The long-drawn effects may affect your job prospects at a senior level, when what matters to your employer is your experience, record of stability and degree of commitment to your job. Staying in a job for a significant period reflects your dedication to the job at hand. It makes you look like a person committed and sincere to your work and organization.
On the other hand, staying in a position for less time might have the employer questioning your loyalty, seriousness and ambition. Unreliable, Insincere, Unstable, Unable to work with others, may be some of the monikers that will be attributed to you, because of your fleet-footedness. In effect, a busy resume is like a red alert to prospective employers, making them think ten times before hiring you.
Critical reasons why you should not indulge in rampant Job hopping:
1) Can be a heavy dampener if you are looking to become a VP or CEO someday. As you go higher, the jobs get more challenging with demanding deliverables and targets. While recruiting people for Senior positions like VP, CEO, MD or CFO, recruiters look out for people who have stood their guns and have delivered on their job. If your résumé reflects your instability, employers may be compelled to reject you on the simple reason that you have had “short” stints and haven’t proven yourself well-enough. They will also be forced to assume that employing you may be a costly mistake!
2) Frequent relocation also affects your networking ability.
How can you expect to make, leave alone sustain valuable friendships and acquaintances when you flit from one job to another. You are so busy sifting through jobs that you don’t have the time to make friends who may be of help to you later. In short, not having any contacts not only reflects your poor social skills, it also affects your ambitions in the long run.
3) Loyalty pays. As a noncommittal employee, you end up missing out on a host of benefits that organizations pay their employees on a long-term basis. Employee retirement plans, health insurance benefits, social security etc are some cumulative benefits that accrue over a period of time and require stable investing; a privilege you may not be able to indulge in, if you are constantly on the move form one job to another.
4) First impressions matter. A busy resume makes recruiters suspicious about your competency and intentions, notwithstanding your talent. Further, a bad resume may end up with recruiters passing you up for a less-capable yet steady candidate.
5) Can hamper your personal life. The constant shifting form one job to another will end up disturbing your personal & family life and can leave you reeling with no constant support system in place.
Industry experts opine that job -hopping in the early years of the career is understandable and a fact they tend to gloss over while interviewing candidates. This is because, entry level candidates are , in a gestation period, busy trying to find their “niche”. Job hopping at the middle-level should be done but very judiciously. A good enough period for you then is anytime between 3-5 years.
“Take a leap, but only if there’s a safety net” is the professional advice that career professionals recommend to anyone looking for a productive career. What this means is while there may be opportunities worth taking risks for, a seriously career-minded person should undertake a strategic job-hop only after careful planning.
Here are pointers you need to keep in mind if you are considering yet another change:
1) Consider what is in it for you. When presented with an opportunity it is important for you to consider what the job offers you with regard to skill enhancement, growth opportunity, experience, changes in personal and professional life, job satisfaction apart from material aspects like salary hike, SOPs, insurance benefit etc. If the opportunity satisfies you on all the important criterion, take up the job. Else, it would be wise to stick on with your current job for the time being.
2) Have a valid reason for changing. Recruiters will give you a chance to explain your reasons for not sticking to your jobs. Make use of the opportunity by giving convincing and sound reasoning.
3) Try to walk the straight line. This means when a good opportunity comes along, check to see if the profile is in your desired career track. So, if you have been working as a HR executive for while and the new opportunity wants you to shift lines from HR to finance or BPO, take a reality check to see if the job will put your talent and experience into use. If it however means that you have to start the process all over again and hone absolutely new skills, it is advisable to take a back seat and let the opportunity pass by.
4) Always go one step ahead. Take up a job only when you know that it is advancing your career. If your current job profile is an executive position and the new opportunity makes you s manager, take it up. But in doing so, it is important for you to keep things and perspective and accept the job only if you are sure that you can deliver on it.
5) Finally, take a conscious decision to stay on the new job for at least 2 years before considering your next move. Habits die hard, yet once you have accepted the new job take a conscious decision on your first day to stay in the job and derive the utmost benefit.