Are you afraid job-hopping will hurt you?

Are you afraid job-hopping will hurt you?
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The question of how changing roles/companies often, or “job-hopping”, will affect one’s ability to land jobs in the future comes up quite frequently when talking to candidates.

To say it plainly, there is no one answer. Every position one takes throughout his or her career has different variables that arise that make it difficult to give one clear, precise answer on whether or not “job-hopping” will have a substantial impact on the future of one’s career. That being said, with my years of experience as a recruiter and consultant, I believe I have enough knowledge about the issue to give a few of my own general ideas on the topic that may be helpful.

These are 5 of my own basic ideas one should do their best to follow:

1)       A potential candidate never wants to come off as being a “jumper”. A basic rule of thumb is to stay with any one job for at least three years. However, do not make it a routine to stay with a job for three years and split, as that might cause concern to a potential employer.

2)      Sell yourself. If your resume shows you having multiple roles lasting under three years, then it may count against you in the final evaluation of the candidate slot. Having said that, if your resume shows at least one long stay, then roles that are under three years on your resume will not likely affect your chance of getting an interview and it is something that you may want to address face-to-face.

3)      Do your best to get a strong recommendation. If you do have an issue with a multitude of shorter roles less than three years with no long term stays, then you may have some trouble landing an interview as many organizations will eliminate you from consideration before you can address the issue. Although, this is not always the case and a having strong referral from within the hiring organization can overcome this.

4)      Every industry (and company) is different. These are just generalizations I have made from my years of experience, but everyone has their own trends and ideas behind choosing potential candidates. Many specializations are unique, such as IT specialists for whom none of these generalizations apply to.

5)      Sometimes movement is understood. When a young adult enters the job market for the first time, it is expected for them to move around more as they learn more about themselves and what they want to do. Also, if you have had a very long stay in one environment, employers understand that it may take a short stay or two to find another environment you can adjust to.

However, in my opinion, it is best to worry about the choices in front of you rather than what affects those choices have down the line. What’s most important is getting to the best position to succeed.

That being said, if you are one who has trouble staying in one place for any length of time, it may behoove you to work this lifestyle into your career planning.

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