Job Hopping: Law and Order AE

There are hundreds of opinions out there regarding job hopping, some say it’s killing your career, others say it’s the new norm and that it’s completely harmless. It’s something that the team at Abroad Experience face nearly everyday, and usually CV’s that show too much change is more likely to receive a red light over a chance. If you look at your resumé, how many jobs on it are listed? How long did you work in each position for and do you remember the reason you left? If the pages in front of you have 1-2 years in the last 8 different companies, it looks like you’ve got the  case of the job hopper.

job hopping

Mug shot & Interrogation

This is not something to generalize: everyone is different, we have different goals, life situations, skills, etc. Certain profiles can fit the job hopper’s lifestyle, like freelancers for instance. They never have plans to stay at a company for long, a year is usually  too much for them, they get a job to cover maternity or aid in the development of a project which only lasts a few months, and then move on to the next gig. This is considered acceptable in job hopping terms.

But then there are ones who have the same job for every different company they work for. Say for example you are a sales professional, and for the last 6 years you have worked for 5 different companies with the same title: sales executive. So what is the situation? Why have you only stayed as a sales executive and have had the same tasks in every one of your jobs? Do you want to be more challenged? And if you’re happy with the responsibilities of a sales executive: Why couldn’t you stay as one for longer in at least half of the companies?

Another common job hopping profile which comes along often is the one who changes positions and titles in an upward motion. This makes sense, you might have left the last job because there was no room to grow so you moved on to the next. But there must have been an opportunity in one of those roles to have changes in responsibility. Loyal and hard working employees in most cases will have a chance to make their way up within their department or company. So what happened? Was it really the case of there being no room or was there some sort of falling out?  

And sometimes there are the cases of the one who jumps from company to company in completely opposite or non-related roles. This might be the hardest one to crack. How are companies supposed to know whether you are serious about the job you’re applying for? Have you just been testing the waters to find what you love to do? Almost everyone is in search for their dream job- or at least a job they won’t complain about too often. But 1-2 years in several different roles will seem far too inconsistent and you may come across difficult.

Testimony

All of these questions will need answering, and you can answer them before they’re even asked. A letter of recommendation and set references may give the recruiter/HR person more confidence in your application. If you display confidence by inviting the person to check your background, the job hopping will look less suspicious. Honesty and transparency is key: Perhaps you left due to health issues, had a falling out with a manager, there was a change in management where they had to let you go, the closing down of a department/company, or there was simply no room for you to grow.

The Verdict

HR professionals and recruiters spot inconsistencies quickly, and if your story just doesn’t seem to add up, your chances at the role are slim to none. In the case of being let go, ask your manager for their honesty for why they’re firing you. Many may say that there was a change in budget or structure, but sometimes that’s just an excuse on the companies part. Why do they give these reasons? Because firing people and confrontation sucks, and blaming an external reason is easier. But you as a job seeker need to know exactly why, maybe it was because you were easily distracted, or you couldn’t separate personal and work life well enough, your performance was poor, etc. These reasons can be taken as constructive and be brought into your next role as traits to work on, so that there you will stay happily for many more years than just one.

Are you “job hoppy”? What is your opinion on it?

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