Job-hopping is about moving from one company to another in order to advance your career. We’re not talking about internal promotions or lateral moves to expand responsibilities or for further training.
Discussion of the job-hopping question is complex, because the implications of job-hopping are very individual and personal. Much of it depends upon your age, compensation, function, supply/demand equation in the marketplace and the current economy. There is not one answer for all situations. However, let’s review some of the considerations you’ll need to assess for yourself:
- Over 3 million people changed jobs in June 2018 with a strong economy, but salary compensation is still lagging from the past 10 years of economic malaise. The labor market is beginning to tighten, which puts pressure on companies to increase pay to both keep their high performing employees, but also to maintain their competitive positions.
- Younger employees with higher education and better state-of-the-art technology skills will tend to do better than their counterparts who are older, have less education or work with older technology. With the economy strong, coupled with low unemployment, it makes it easier for the more skilled employees to leave one job and quickly find another.
- On the other hand, older employees who have kept up with technology and are in management positions can command a premium if they are in high demand industries that are growing faster than the gross national product gains.
- Some industries are being overwhelmed with programs and systems replacing hourly workers. These employees are feeling the brunt of the transition. Automation is replacing employees, giving companies a competitive advantage. Coupled with offshore manufacturing, there are fewer employees, plus a downward pressure on wage gains.
- The great equalizer is skills training. Two factors are at work: Larger companies can afford to invest in their people while smaller companies that can’t find qualified workers are at a disadvantage. New skills, however, make employees more productive and more valuable. Those same higher level skills force higher wages and greater opportunity for those skilled workers to find other positions in the open marketplace.
So what does this all mean to you if you’re seeking a higher-level job?
- Get all the education, certification, credentials, training and development that you can
- Focus on attaining the highest state-of-the-art technology or functional skills that you can
- Changing companies within an industry is easier than changing to a different industry
- Stay away from companies that are automating, shrinking their workforce or in a merger
- Be flexible. Many times opportunities can lead to careers you many not have considered
But be careful, because if the economy drops precipitously, the last employees in may be the first employees out the door. Too many short-term jobs may brand you as a perpetual job-hopper who can’t remain loyal to one organization for any length in time.
Most employees leave an organization for more responsibility, money, and training or to move out of a hostile environment. Make sure you know why.
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