Job-Hopping: Career Killer or Savior?
Tania Khadder | WomenCo.
July 08, 2009
Job-hopping as an asset
It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but some experts now say there are benefits to job-hopping — and not just for the employee.
For one, they argue, it can help those early in their career figure out what they want to do. Let’s face it: no personality test or career adviser can compare with real world experience.
On her blog, Brazen Careerist, career expert Penelope Trunk wrote about job-hopping as a path to career stability. In her post, says it’s “nearly impossible to find something right without trying a bunch of options”
Trying different jobs also means building a more diverse skill-set.
“[Job-hoppers] continue to hone their skills and develop new ones,” says Ron Katz of Penguin HR Consulting. “And not just the tactical/technical skills. They also develop the strategic skills, the ones that transfer from job to job and assignment to assignment.”
And what effect does all that hopping around have on performance?
Trunk says job-hoppers tend to be top performers because they have no choice but to deliver results. “If you don’t need to get another job anytime soon, then you don’t need to perform well in the next six months. You can coast,” she says. “Job hoppers don’t coast or their resume will look bad.”
Another benefit to job-hopping, at least in the short term, is monetary gain. Career consultant Tammy Kabell says you can negotiate a 10-15% salary increase with a new company, a significant gain from the average 3-5% you’ll get annually if you stay put.
And it’s not just the job-hopper who benefits. “Employees that move from company to company are like bees collecting pollen… and sharing that info with a new employer each time they come on board,” says Kabell.
“This is especially evident when a smaller employer hires someone who has experience from a large company. That employee brings with them excellent training, policies, procedures – basically the best practices of companies with much larger budgets and possibly a longer history and therefore a longer evolution than a smaller or newer company.”