In the past, job-hopping – the practice of holding multiple jobs in a relatively short span of time (about two years or less) – was considered unheard of. Back then, it was common for employees to find one job and stick to it for the rest of their professional career, and it’s been that way for many generations.
But things are different now. In Singapore, Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index found that 49 per cent of the local workforce would consider leaving their jobs this year, and another study noted that one in four workers plan to switch jobs this year. In the midst of this Great Resignation, it’s clear that more people are taking the leap. The trends have changed, but what about opinions on it among employers?
Job-hopping, as seen by employers
In general, especially among older generations, job-hopping was deemed as a red flag to employers. To them, having employees who change jobs frequently can be costly – not only would they already have put in resources to train you, there’s the additional work of rehiring and spending the same resources in training your replacement when you leave. The process can take up time and money, so hiring managers are understandably hesitant to hire candidates with a history of job-hopping. But that stigma has lessened to a degree.
The concept of being loyal to one single employer is becoming more rare, and employees who want more from their jobs are more willing to take a leap of faith if it means greener pastures. And as people change their jobs and careers more frequently, employers have begun to accept this as the new norm.
Job-hopping – should you do it?
So, here’s the million-dollar question: should you do it at all?
Realistically, everyone will go through a little job-hopping in their professional career, especially when you’re just starting out and want to figure out what works for you. And it does come with its own set of benefits – so long as you don’t make it a habit.
Explaining it to employers
So, you fit the bill of a job-hopper to employers, and during your interview, they bring up your job history with some questions. How should you answer them?
The most important thing to do is to show that you’ve gained experience and knowledge from your past positions. If you know how to explain your job-hopping in the right way, you can even turn it into an asset to get the job you want.
Regardless of your reasons for job-hopping, understand that like all things, it should be done in moderation. And sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Give some thoughts to whether your job really isn’t for you before you decide to take your leave. Be sure to assess the pros and cons of doing it, and if you really must go, at least do so respectfully and ethically.