Career Management

Job hopping is a common phrase that is used for workers who jump from job to job. As a candidate you have to be aware that recruiters are going to be looking for gaps in your work history and if your CV has lots, this will put you behind your competition. It’s best to make sure that, if you get through to interview stage for a role, you have valid reasons for why you left your places of work.

For instance, if you’ve had four jobs in the last two years then the interviewer is going to want to know your reasons for leaving.

Recruiting is a time consuming process and finding the right people to fit the role and company can be difficult – when someone leaves a job it can upset the balance of the company. Every time a job hopper leaves a company the HR team have to spend time filling the role, which is why interviewers will always ask for reasons why you left your previous place of work. If an interviewer suspects that you might not want to stick around for the long term they could disregard you straight away – always make sure that you are prepared with your interview answers as you don’t want to be put on the spot (and look like a proper job hopper):

The types of job hoppers:

  • Necessary Hoppers: The necessary hoppers feel that they have served their time at their place of work and they have given all they can give. They have decided that they are leaving and that is that.
  • Boredom Hoppers: Boredom hoppers tend to have short attention spans so feel they need to change their job regularly to keep it interesting.
  • Opportunity Hoppers: Opportunity hoppers can’t resist a good offer, as soon as they smell the hint of something better, they hop!
  • Career Hoppers: Career hoppers just can’t decide what they want to do. Their job history usually resembles a job board’s vacancy list (Chef for six months, Scuba Diving instructor for three months, Shop Keeper for four months).

The positives of job hoppers:

Usually, recruiters like us see job hopping in a negative light but there can be positives to someone who has job hopping tendencies:

  • Diverse working environments: As job hoppers will have worked in a range of companies they will have usually experienced a range of diverse working environments, which can make an employee more adaptable to change. If an employee gets ‘set in their ways’ it can be very difficult to make changes within a company, someone that is already familiar with this would not be as fussed about adapting.
  • Range of skills: Working for a wide range of different companies can increase a candidate’s skill set, this diversity could prove a very useful asset for your company. Often job hoppers will have worked with a range of professionals, this will have increased the variety of skills that they have as they will have learnt from these people.
  • Larger network for contacts: Generally job hoppers will have more business contacts than someone that has been in the same company their whole life. Employees with a large network of contacts could also prove useful for your company.
  • Experience of different size companies: Different size companies often have unique ways of working, an employee that has experienced first-hand what has worked and what hasn’t worked could prove extremely useful.
  • Drive and enthusiasm: Often job hoppers can add a boost to a company’s productivity, as everyone wants to make a good impression when they first start a new job. Although, there are some exceptions some job hoppers can be extremely lazy which could be the reason for the job hopping.
  • Fearless approach: Job hoppers are usually not afraid to try new things, in some situations this fearless approach could prove quite useful for your business.

How to avoid job hopping:

If you are a job hopper and you are wanting to find a way to stay satisfied within your job for a more than a few months then you might want to pay attention to some of the pointers below:

  • Get promoted within your company: Why move to another company to start all your hard work all over again? You could boost your enthusiasm within the same company by taking on more responsibility and being promoted. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities within your company, when they arise approach the relevant person about the opportunity.
  • Take on new challenges in your role: Ask to take on new challenges within your role, this will stimulate your brain and also show that you like to be challenged. If you impress your employer this could lead to a promotion, which is also a good reason to challenge yourself!
  • Keep yourself busy within your work: If you are busy within your role you will not be thinking about your next job hop, keep yourself motivated by setting personal and achievable goals within your role. Making job lists can also help keep you on track and organised.

Final thought:

The grass is always greener on the other side, except when it isn’t. In reality every job has its ups and downs. If you are in a difficult position at work, make sure that you’ve weighed up every aspect, good and bad, of your job before rushing into any final decisions. If all else fails and you have tried your best, it’s probably time to move on.

RELATED: Job Hopper? 6 Quick Fixes to Cover Resume Gaps

Author: Daniel Briggs is the Marketing Manager at Blue Octopus Recruitment, an award winning online recruiter. From Yorkshire and proud.


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