Job hopping can be a good thing
Staying at the same position for a long time is not necessarily a good thing, especially if you are working for a very SOP (standard operating procedure) driven company. Additionally work in government, the medical field, or non-profit sector can make a career change or job transition tough.
Job hopping contrary to popular belief can bring about many benefits and open the door of opportunities.
- You will raise your salary on average by 10 to 20%
- You can get passionate about something again
- You will develop new interests and expertise
- Your technical skills will improve
- You will meet new people and have the ability to develop your network
Switching jobs regularly is not looked down upon like it used to be, in fact, many companies will prefer to see several jobs on your resume. It was interesting to see that the average employee has roughly 11.3 jobs, and half of the changes came between age 18 to 24. (I have to note that the study sampled just a small population segment – those born between 1957 to 1964) It wouldn’t surprise me if this number is much larger now, especially with the rise of temporary labor which we discussed earlier.
It is true that some recruiters and hiring managers will see you having had too many jobs as a bad thing, but it all depends on what that number is.
As a general rule of thumb you should aim to last at least a year in a job, if you stay for just a few months, red flags will go off, and you will be less likely to be considered for a job.
Advancing your skills, however, is a good thing so job hopping can be seen as positive if it means that you are working on your own marketability and crafting your own career path.
Searching for a new job VS getting a promotion in your current job
Some people like to change jobs endlessly trying to find that ideal gig that works with their lifestyle. There are many reasons for changing jobs including looking for something in a better location, a better salary or just being open for new opportunities. You might even be forced to get a new job because in this day and age every job is temporary.
It has been proven that your average person will earn more money from switching jobs, as opposed to looking for a promotion in their current one (as much as 20% more pay has been reported in fact!)
Yearly salary increases according to SHIRM will remain at 3% to 4% for 2014. Great news for those who are making 500k a year. For many however this usually equates to a dollar increase. Getting a new job on the other hand could increase your salary quiet a bit (As much as 20%).
When you were first hired you probably started at a rate that measured up to you experience or the market rate at that time. Visit sites like Salary.com and Glassdoor.com to find out where you currently stand; many find it that they are underpaid by as much as 20 to 30%. A new job therefore could simply reposition you at a market rate that has most likely risen since you were hired.
The older you are, the harder it is to get a promotion at your current role and salaries tend to take a big hit when you reach middle age. It is much better for a person approaching this age to get a new job rather than improving on what they currently do in the same company.
You should be ready for a change before you take the plunge
There is no set time when you should think of leaving your current job and looking for something else; it’s a matter of trying something new and getting more skills, uncovering new interests and improve our financial situation
You should make sure that, with regards to the job you are in, you are learning things and not just sitting there as part of the furniture. If you are happy then there is no reason for a change, just make sure that the work does not become stagnant.
In other words, if your area of expertise is not expanding – when you feel like it is time to leave, you might struggle to find another job.
If you have been at a job for more than 3 years, you should take measures to try and improve and showcase your marketability. This could be in the form of going for a big promotion or changing your department and spreading your wings a little.
Take advantage of any tuition reimbursement, continued education, training programs, get them to pay for certification, send you to a conference, negotiate better pay, a new position, new projects, etc.
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
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