How Job Hopping Can Benefit Your Career

There’s the idea in the work world that too much job hopping will hurt your career. Job hopping is moving from job to job every year or two or less. People may think that employers will question their company loyalty, skill development and dependability, but haven’t we seen in this economy that employers aren’t loyal to employees, even the ones who have stuck around for a long time? The vagaries of the economy have made employers less dependable as well. I am constantly struck by the fact that it is really the middle class, those who I thought were most financially stable, who have taken quite a beating in this economy.

People were reluctant to job hop during the recession, thinking that these moves would hurt them and leave them without a job. Some have moved on to running their own businesses, while others are now job searching. For those who have not been fired and have been doing the work of several employees, what will you get out of your hard work? Will you get to keep your job at the same level of work? Will you get a pay raise when things get better? Will your company hire more workers to help you? Or will nothing change? All things to think about.

There are times when it is good for your career development to move from job to job quickly. Here are a few:

*You are in a career such as higher education career or academic advising where it is difficult to advance because of working in a small office with no room for promotion. The next promotion may be in a job at a different institution.

*You are in a career where the needed skill sets change quickly, such as IT and help desk work, and the company is not investing in new training.

*When staying at a job means you are making less money and have fewer opportunities to learn new skills.

*You are managing a short-term project which is coming to an end and do not want to start another project with your company.

*You are on a career trajectory to an upper management level position where you need not just targeted skills, but a breadth of experience.

You still need to manage your career wisely even when job hopping. People may shy away from start-ups because they initially may make less money there than in their old positions, but venture capitalists and even angel investors who provide money for start ups without traditional, clear business plans are well on their way to jumpstarting the economy. New ideas means learning new skills that can keep you on the cutting edge of the job market.

Make sure you are choosing jobs that will maximize the opportunity to learn new skills that can further your career. Demonstrate to employers that you are dependable by showing up on time, participating in meetings and meeting work deadlines. Finish the projects to which you have committed before moving on if possible. Good management of your career moves can help you advance even in a weak economy.

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