Whether you’ve just joined the workforce or are looking for your next job, you might hear people say that it’s typically best to work for a company for at least two years before moving on. Older generations believe that working in the same job for decades meant that you were a high achiever and well respected within the company. However, younger generations, such as millennials and Gen Zers, have found that job-hopping and leaving positions before their two years are up can actually benefit their careers.
While having the same job at the same company for over a decade looks good on a resume and provides future employers with peace of mind, it might not be the best way to enhance your career. How many companies you should work for in your career will depend on many factors, including your personal preferences, career growth, and goals. Leaving jobs every couple of years, or job-hopping has its benefits and drawbacks. This article will discuss the pros and cons of job-hopping so you can decide how many companies you should work for in your career.
Among older generations, job-hopping is seen as a lack of commitment to working or a company. However, job-hopping has become the norm as work environments have changed over time. Job hopping is on the rise, especially among the younger workforce as they try to find a career path. Whether they went to college or not, many workers find jobs in fields they aren’t passionate about just to keep the money rolling in so they can afford their lifestyles, which means they’re prone to hop when a better opportunity comes along.
Additionally, many companies are now operating remotely, have recently laid-off workers, and are trying to adapt to the digital age. Recruiters and hiring managers understand that prospective employees have likely changed jobs a few times in their careers, no matter how old they are, but they’ll still ask why someone left their previous position.
Benefits of Job Hopping
Changing jobs throughout your career can benefit your career as long as you’re making the right decisions for yourself. Here are the benefits of job-hopping.
Many people leave their jobs because another job offers more money. Things aren’t like they used to be; people in their twenties can no longer afford to buy their own homes or start families, so a higher salary is more than enough motivation to leave their current work situation.
Many people change jobs to get a faster bump in salary. While they might eventually get a promotion at their current job, many people can’t wait for their boss to recognize their hard work and dedication, so they’d rather leave and find a company that is at least willing to pay them more. Ultimately, job-hopping is the fastest way to earn more money so you can afford a better life for yourself and your family.
Even if you’re not getting a higher salary, you might choose to leave your current job for a position that will allow you to grow within the company. For example, many recent graduates take jobs just because they can get them and start earning money. However, once someone finds an opportunity in the field they studied in college or something they’re more interested in, they will likely take a new job to start on their career path.
Job hopping can also advance your career by allowing you to learn new skills quickly and gain valuable experience that you can build upon throughout your career and at your next job. Additionally, changing jobs can provide professional development opportunities so you can find a higher-paying job without waiting for the boss to notice your hard work, so there’s no reason to wait years for a promotion for a job you might already be doing.
Change in Location
Job hopping allows people to move to new locations and experience different lifestyles. Most employers don’t offer employees the chance to live anywhere they want, but looking for jobs in different cities helps you learn about the different places where you might want to settle down before you buy a house and raise a family.
Employees typically don’t quit their jobs because they don’t like the work; many employees leave jobs because they’re in a toxic work environment. Even though it’s a hot topic and employers should all care about the health and wellbeing of their employees, many work environments are still high-stress and can be damaging to an employee’s health and wellness. Many people leave jobs as soon as they start to experience a toxic work culture because they know it can be draining and lead to burnout.
Disadvantages of Job Hopping
Job hopping comes with many benefits to workers, but employers might be hesitant to hire people who have left multiple jobs in just a few years. Here are some of the disadvantages of job-hopping.
Difficulty Finding Work
Hiring managers are always hesitant to hire people who have had multiple jobs in the last few years or haven’t been able to hold down a job for more than two years. The reason why finding a job might be more difficult for job hoppers is because their resumes may appear inconsistent, or they might show a lack of dedication or interest in their career. Of course, many hiring managers understand that people leave jobs for a variety of reasons, so you might still land an interview; just be prepared to answer questions about why you left those positions so you can allow the recruiter to determine if they’re recruiting the right person.
Some job-hoppers might hop through different companies but within the same field. For example, someone might be building up their skills in website building, so they may have worked for multiple digital marketing companies over the last few years. However, other people may hop around with no pattern whatsoever to their decision. These people may have worked as an assistant somewhere and then as a carpenter somewhere else. Inconsistent experience can make it look like you haven’t acquired many skills, or the skills you have acquired won’t be strong enough to perform the job duties.
Leaving a job is stressful, but leaving many jobs within the same five to ten-year span can become even more stressful because you’ll lose your benefits like health insurance and a retirement account. Additionally, you’ll need to look for work as soon as you leave one job so you can continue to earn money. In some cases, the stress might be worth it to find your dream job, but in others, you should consider the impact leaving a job could have on your family.
How Many Companies Should I Work For?
There’s no clear answer to how many companies you should work for in your career because it all depends on your goals, preferences, and where you want to work. However, it’s typically best to try to stick with a job for at least two years and not have too much inconsistent experience.
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she shares knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, or financial tips. During her free time she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.
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