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The pros and cons of job-hopping

Published on Friday, 08 Jul 2011
Photo: Bloomberg

Changing jobs for pay may offer short-term gain, but it can be detrimental to your long-term employment prospects, writes Emma Charnock, regional director of recruiting experts Hays 

The job-for-life culture may have vanished, and it’s now widely accepted that people will likely hold several jobs over the course of their career. However, those candidates with a good history of tenure with their previous employers have a definite advantage in today’s job market. This is because in the wake of the global financial crisis, employers are more risk averse. Many have experienced the consequences of a ‘job hopper’ – they’ve invested time and resources in training a new staff member only to see them walk out the door one year later to chase a higher salary elsewhere.   

As a result, they view with caution any job applicant with several instances of short tenure on their CV and are wary of employing them based on this track record. 

For some candidates, a move after a short tenure to another firm or organisation for a slight increase in salary is viewed as a positive step. Given the shortage of skills, there are also candidates who are in a good position to negotiate and achieve a higher salary by moving, and they will do this repeatedly to benefit financially in the short-term.  

While this financial benefit is a definite pro, the biggest downside of job-hopping is the long-term risk. At Hays, we have seen cases of candidates who have held four positions over the past six years being passed over for an interview by employers who would rather wait for a more grounded candidate with a stable CV.  

So, rather than chase a slight increase in salary for short-term monetary gain, candidates are well advised to think of their longer-term career goals. Look for opportunities that will allow you to develop your skill set and acquire the relevant experience to steer your career in the direction you ultimately wish to pursue. Demonstrate commitment to an organisation and build on your expertise.  

Remember, as a result of your expanding experience, your salary will naturally rise over time to reflect your unique repertoire.  

Article contributed by Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people

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