Times have changed. The days of a one job career have become but a distant memory. While changing jobs was once considered taboo, at the very least unwise, should the opportunity even present itself, it now seems “job hopping” is the new norm.
A LinkedIn study backs up what we’ve already concluded: that young people change jobs considerably more than their parents did. In fact, Millennials jump jobs, on average, four times in the ten years following college—nearly double the bouncing around of the previous generation.
“A college degree used to slot you into a 40-year career. Now it’s just an entry-level point to your first job,” says Guy Berger, LinkedIn economist.
“Once a (fill in the blank), always a (fill in the blank),” has also gone by the wayside. Today’s grads don’t shy away from pulling up roots—shallow as they may be—and diving into an entirely different industry. Driven to seek greater challenges and be given more responsibility, Millennials are ever on the lookout for their next career move. The new title and the pay raise that often accompanies such a move are a welcome reward for their efforts.
But employees can’t accept all the blame for the “new norm” related to frequent job changes. The shifting landscape of the workforce, including how quick management is to adjust down their labor force numbers, has contributed to the rise in job hopping. If the business hits a slump that forces layoffs, understandably, it’s back to job hunting for those unfortunate employees. That’s just way it is.
Whether it’s a result of downsizing or the fleeing of an unsatisfactory employment scenario, “hoppers” need to be aware of the red flags raised should the work experience section of their resume become too lengthy. No one wants to appear unstable, unreliable or undesirable. Nor do they want to leave HR personnel afraid their company would be but a brief stop in a long list of work addresses.
So, be prepared to explain why you haven’t stayed in one place very long. Note: “explaining” is not the same thing as giving excuses. Craft answers that succinctly explain the legitimate reasons such as relocation or layoff, and in brevity clarify the less tangible career building motives that encouraged the past changes.
Is it possible to change jobs too often? Yes. A few months here, barely a year there, then after only several months at your current job, you’re searching again? It will be difficult to explain that much change. Make a conscious choice to strike a balance between leaping toward the next big challenge and establishing some seniority that will translate into stability.
At Myelin Resources, we take our mission to impact companies positively and enhance careers seriously. We welcome the opportunity to provide career development opportunities for qualified candidates. Contact us today.