Despite statistics to the contrary, people are still complaining that Millennials are job hopping more than any other generation before. For the college students looking to lead a successful career and build a strong professional brand, I have to ask:
Is job hopping bad for your career?
Before I jump into that, I’ll qualify my argument by saying that multiple job changes within a 2 year period isn’t a constructive strategy. To me, moving that quickly indicates that you have no direction, don’t get along with people, or can’t persevere through difficult situations.
Now that that’s out of the way, we have to admit that it’s difficult forecast the results of different (often complicated) career paths. At the same time, do we take quality of life into consideration, or simply salary?
The typical backlash against this “unprecedented” practice is that employers will hesitate to hire you or promote you because you’re more likely to leave again.
This is the age of information, ladies and gentlemen. Employers want you to stay because it’s cheaper for them. Don’t let their agenda dictate what’s best for you!
Here are 5 reasons why job hopping can be great for your career:
It Keeps Your Employer Honest
Employers don’t want their employees to discuss salary because it creates competition.
Since we’re having so much fun here, let’s imagine a world where salaries are discussed daily at the water cooler. What happens?
Naturally, those with the highest salaries will get lots of attention from the other employees. Before long, their performance becomes a benchmark which everyone can use to negotiate a higher salary.
Simply stated, it’s a nightmare for the human resources department.
Since that world doesn’t exist, one of the best ways for people to learn their value is to stay active in the marketplace. If you’re being underpaid, your employer isn’t going to tell you that. However, if you stay open to opportunities with other companies, you’ll discover your value after enough conversations.
This keeps the employer honest because they know you’re savvy enough to stay aware of your market value. If they want to keep you, they know they can’t get complacent.
You Stay in “Growth Mode”
People get comfortable when they stay in situations for a long time. It’s just human nature, folks.
Think of the last time you tried something new. It might have been difficult at first, but what did you learn? Who did you meet? Looking back, do you think it was it worth it?
I’m a big fan of being uncomfortable because if you’re always comfortable, that means you’re not putting yourself in position to grow.
Being around new people and facing new obstacles gives you opportunities to develop. This could mean new responsibilities, new skills, or a new outlook. Believe me – you can never be too well-rounded.
Negotiation Becomes Second Nature
Changing jobs every couple of years means you’ve got some practice negotiating your salary. You have negotiated your salary before, right?
Statistics show that 44% of people who ask for a raise get exactly what they asked for, and another 31% get some type of increase. What about the others, you ask? They’re probably changing jobs!
Being able to negotiate is a key business skill. It will not only help you land better business deals (making you a better performer), but it can also increase your salary if you know how to do it. At the end of the day, there’s no better way than through practice.
Don’t be the employee who stays at a company for 35 years without ever asking for a raise. It’s not 1955 anymore. If you don’t speak up for yourself and your salary, nobody will. Job-hopping will force you to advocate for yourself and your salary expectations.
Broad Networking Opportunities
There are tons of smart people in the world, but certain people seem to get more opportunity than others. This isn’t because they’re lucky – it’s because they develop a better network.
There’s a good chance your career will be heavily influenced by the relationships you take time to cultivate. As you can imagine, working for multiple companies increases your chances of coming across people you’re truly compatible with.
The obvious argument is that you might not spend enough time in one place to forge deep and meaningful relationships. However, there’s no rule that says you can only build relationships with your coworkers at work. In my personal experience, I’ve found that time spent with coworkers outside the office can be very worthwhile.
The more people you work with, the more networking opportunities you have. Just make sure you leave a great impression on people before you go to your next exciting job opportunity.
You Take Control of Your Future
You only live once! Is job hopping bad for your career if it makes you happy? I think not!
Quality of life is an important factor in how you perform at work, and ultimately, isn’t your quality of life the most important part of your life?
Do things that make you happy. If you want to build wealth in your 20s, do things to prepare for success in college. This way, you’ll have a clearer picture of how you want to conduct your career after graduation.
Don’t stay at a job out of fear, complacency, or ignorance. Stay aware of the opportunities in the market and take control of your future.
Is job hopping bad for your career? Not if you do it right.
All opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of Home at 30 and are in no way affiliated with any other organization or institution. The purpose of this blog is to give general education and information about investing, wealth, careers, and college; It is not intended to be professional advice.
Author: Josh Ramos
Josh has paid off $130k in student loan debt in 4 years. By founding Home at 30, he wants to help end the student debt crisis by helping students and young professionals make decisions that will reward them for a lifetime.