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Job Hopping: Is It Time for a Career Change?

career change

Back in the day, people changed jobs once, maybe twice in their lives and that was it. Workers who switched jobs more often risked being branded a job hopper – which wasn’t something to be proud of. Many employers considered job hoppers to be disloyal and unable to offer added value. In the last few years, however, there’s been change of mentality. High potentials who regularly expand their horizons at the beginning of their careers are applauded rather than shunned. Are you ready to make your next career move, or is it better for you to stay put? Continue reading to find out.

What is job hopping?

Changing jobs from time to time over a long career doesn’t necessarily make you a job hopper. There is, after all, a difference between job hopping and developing a dynamic career. Generally speaking, job hoppers explore new horizons every one or two years, and have a continuous record of doing so. People who change jobs because of health reasons, because they have been dismissed, or because their employer has gone bankrupt are not job hoppers.

A change of mentality

So how is it that one person can be branded a notorious job hopper, while another person who made just as many career moves can still be considered reliable? Much depends on the person’s profile. There are, for example, certain jobs where it’s unusual to keep working for the same employer several years in a row.

Take digital profiles, for example. In the IT sector, it’s quite normal to switch jobs every year – especially at the beginning of one’s career. You get to gain as much knowledge of different domains and environments as possible. If developers and project managers, for instance, stay at the same company for too long, they risk their learning curve becoming stagnant. Much depends, however, on growth opportunities and how much employers are willing to invest in training and coaching. Another great example of a sector where job hopping is a common phenomenon is the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) industry.

Is it better to postpone your career switch?

In many other sectors, however, regularly changing careers is considered not done. Just think of the construction industry or other sectors in which continuity is a must to provide quality. Evidently, job hopping doesn’t ruin your chances of finding work. Nevertheless,  it does limit your options, especially when it comes to popular employers who can have their pick of talented and highly qualified candidates.

Are you really in need of a career change? A short checklist

Is it high time for you to look for a new job? Or should you stay on for just a little longer? The decision is entirely yours. Why change jobs if, for example, you still get a lot of satisfaction from your work? Nevertheless, there are some signs to look out for:
• There are no more growth opportunities.
• Your job doesn’t challenge you anymore.
• You no longer feel you’re learning new things or improving yourself.
• The company culture has changed (due to restructuring, for example) and no longer suits you.

In any case, discussing your options with an expert is a step in the right direction. Batenborch has extensive experience and expertise helping people who want to make a career change. Feel free to contact us for a chat.

Caroline Reyniers
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