Is Job-Hopping Good Or Bad for your Career? A HR Manager Spills the Tea

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Every now and then, you will receive new job offers. Now you have to decide between taking up the new job offer or remaining in your current company – what do you do?

Based on my experience as a HR strategist, let me share some pros and cons of job-hopping.

The Pros of Job-Hopping

My recommendation as a HR strategist is, you should job-hop:

1. If you’re stagnating in your current company

You should switch companies only under certain circumstances, one being when you’ve outgrown your current skillset – and you’re ready for something more challenging.

In fact, if you feel that your progress has stagnated within the company, looking for employment elsewhere would further your career elsewhere.

‘Stagnated’ in this case would be defined as: You‘ve put in long years of service, but you’re in the same position, and your pay raises have been insignificant.

2. If The Company provides non-existent job security

Most people consider job security to be: Getting paid on time consistently, a positive public image of the company etc.

It’s not surprising that most Malaysians are driven by money when deciding upon a potential job – Malaysians’ general salary range hasn’t increased by much in the past 10 years, while the cost of living and property prices have outpaced wage growth considerably.

And if a company is consistently late in paying salaries, it raises suspicion and dissatisfaction among employees.

To be honest, if your company tells you that they are not able to pay your salary this month, the next thing you should do is to search for a new job.

Like the passengers fleeing the Titanic, it’s every man for himself (unless you’re Leonardo Dicaprio).

3. For networking opportunities & developing new skillsets

Additionally, working different jobs in varied roles and industries gives you the opportunity to meet new people and expand your network.

You can develop new skillsets and broader perspectives under different working environments. These new insights will shape and refine your working style and character.

Lastly, you’d pick up useful skills to complete tasks and projects more efficiently.

The Cons of Job-Hopping

However, changing jobs regularly can put you in a more unfavourable position.

It increases your rate of rejection from future companies, as well as exclude you from the company’s future plans.

1. No confidence in employee loyalty

Did you know that job-hopping can lower an employer’s confidence in their employees’ loyalty.

Even while they are considering to hire you due to your impressive skillset and experience, there’s a chance that your new employer would be skeptical of your loyalty.

They might think, “What if he resigns tomorrow or before the project ends?”  At the back of their mind, they will always be prepared for the day you leave the company.

2. Excluded from succession plans

Succession planning is a strategy for passing on leadership roles, and sometimes the ownership of a company, to an employee or group of employees.

It specifically takes into consideration an employee’s years of service for the company, on top of his work performance.

If you’re viewed as disloyal, it wouldn’t be surprising if they exclude you from any of the company’s succession plans.

There’s no guarantee that you’d stay with the company for the next 5 years. To them, you’re just someone who’s filling in for the position and whom may end up leaving one day.

Ironically, your position might be the one that they’re planning to hire someone else to fill, in case you leave.

3. Lacking the full extent of job experience needed

You may be well-versed in your field, but job-hopping too soon could indicate to employers that you didn’t gain the full extent of experience in your last job.

Quitting prematurely could cut you short of the experience you need to perform a job to the best of your ability.

The next thing you know, you’re in a new company trying hard to adapt to a new environment.

At the end of the day, you’d just be someone who possesses a broad but superficial knowledge of your job, without being an expert in any skill. A jack of all trades, master of none.

But imagine if the time you took to adjust yourself to a new work culture was used instead to hone your skills at your current job, and focus on negotiating a promotion and a payrise.

You would then be in a secure position to ask for what you’re worth, because you earned your stripes and proved it.

4. Potential employers may find the expected salary to be unjustified

If you’ve read this article up to this point, you pay have noticed that all the points are interlinked. One thing always leads to another.

My last point is: Most people job-hop for better pay, but they might not actually be qualified to receive a higher paycheck with the level of skills/experience they possess.

I’ve come across many potential candidates asking for a (to be honest) ridiculous salary based on their last drawn salary.

After closer examination, I realised they simply do not possess sufficient work experience for the job.

In my opinion, it is a very distorted conception that every new employer should pay you a certain percentage more than your current salary, just because your current employer is paying you more than your previous employer.

Employers pay you based on your working experience, skillset, capability to do your job with  the highest efficiency etc – not based off your last drawn salary.

In Conclusion

In my line of work, I’ve reviewed countless resumes of job-seekers who possess the right skills for the job – but due to their tendency to job-hop, the hiring managers have rejected their application outright.

Some candidates might feel that they are being treated unfairly because of these hiring practices, but I would disagree with that assessment.

On the other hand, I’ve come across more long-term-thinking candidates who are more aware of these issues.

They choose to serve in their company for a longer period before making a jump, solely because they do not want to jeopardise their career for the instant gratification of getting a higher salary.

I hope that these insights would enable you to make more calculated career decisions in the future. Best of luck!

Do you think job-hopping is good or bad for your career? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.

For more articles on career advice, read What to Expect When You Go Through a Career Change and How To Discover The Job You Love.

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