Millennials’ Claim to Fame: Job Hopping

It is becoming harder and harder to recognize any similarities in today’s workforce to that of previous generations. One of the major differences developing discussion is that of job hopping. Something that was once unheard of and looked down upon is now happening every day, for one reason or another.

So what is job hopping, necessarily? Well it’s certainly not being laid off or being the victim of a company’s closure; which again, is something that is unfortunately happening at a more rapid rate than in previous generations. However, it is leaving one company to move to another for any other reason, usually every one to two years.

Now, there will be mixed reactions to that time frame – some of you read the above statement and thought, “One to two years? That’s barely enough time to get a single project started and under your belt as a success.” Others will have read that thinking, “Sounds pretty normal.” Both avenues of thinking are correct.

Where once workplace stability and comfort was what we looked for, today we are striving for endless success. Whether it be due to the fact that we have grasped onto the concept that climbing the ladder takes patience and time and we are searching for ways around this process, or because we do not see stability as a comforting option any longer due to the previously mentioned layoffs and company closures – either way, today’s employees are never not searching for a better opportunity, even when they’re not “actively” searching.

The unfortunate side of job hopping becoming more of a standard is that, no, one to two years in a position is rarely enough time to see a project from its start to its completion. Sometimes, in seeing something grow and change and turn into a finished result over a long period of time workers become filled with a sense of satisfaction and pride. Job hoppers will have already moved on before feeling this way.

Why? Sometimes referred to as selfish, today’s employees are job hopping for many reasons – to obtain a diversified skill set, to have multiple projects listed on their LinkedIn profile rather than one from start to finish, to receive better pay, in hopes that they might find “the perfect fit” with just one more move, or sometimes even if they become disinterested in their current position and see no solutions as quickly attainable… Other than job hopping, of course. Not until compensation, level of flexibility (workplace schedule) and company culture are all harmonized in the employee’s eyes will the product or the finished result matter or weigh into their decision to stay or go.

So, is it okay? More now than ever, yes, job hopping is “okay.” Take that with a grain of salt, though. There will always be Human Resource Specialists who will frown at your resume when it has ten jobs listed all with one year put in, but there are fewer and fewer every year.

If you choose to go the route of a job hopper, be ever aware of what that might say about you to others who do not yet know you. Be prepared to explain yourself and your motives, to prove yourself and show the value in your work rather quickly, and never underestimate the power of professional relationships. You’ll need past employers to speak well of you to ensure you’re hired somewhere else – and let’s face it, they might have to do so once a year.

Written by: Melanie Scherr