What Job Hopping REALLY Means to Hiring Managers

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Have you heard the phrase “job hopper?” Was it directed at you or those around you? What exactly does it mean and it is really as bad as people seem to say it is? Before you can know whether or not it is a problem it is important to know what it is, what it does, and why it has a bad reputation. Let’s take a closer look.

What is job hopping?

When hiring professionals view a resume full of multiple professional jobs lasting less than a year each, that aren’t specifically labeled as short term temp assignments, they raise the red flag on that candidate. Why? Because there is still a sense that if someone is unable to keep a job or is unwilling to stay at a job for less than a year they may have some problems with performance or commitment. But the dates on the resume only tell part of the story which is why the onus is on the applicant to sell themselves the right way, regardless of their tenure.

Conventional wisdom tells professionals that they need to stay in one place for as long as possible or for at least two years, whichever comes first. But what that doesn’t take into account are the legitimate reasons why someone might want to make a transition sooner than that.

The professional landscape is changing. Some people now believe that staying at a company for longer than a few years is actually too long. The truth is, of course, somewhere in the middle.

Here are three things to consider when it comes to job hopping.

  1. Are you being fulfilled professionally? The millennial generation is teaching the boomers a thing or two about professional development and loyalty. If a job is not fulfilling in creative ways or progressing the goals you have for yourself professionally, it is time to look for a new one regardless of how long you’ve been in that position. You want to find a company with similar values where you may be able to make a long term home. Days where you don’t want to go to work should be few and far between.
  2. Have you been given another opportunity? Sometimes an opportunity falls into your lap and you simply have to take it. Many recruiters look for passive candidates. These are people who are still employed and not necessarily looking for a new job. Companies like to hire passive candidates because they possess the skills that are perfect for their needs. You may work for a competitor or you may have a specific background that is hard to fine. In any case, your loyalty to your current employer may not actually be the most advantageous move in your career. Consider the options closely.
  3. How do you position your previous jobs for a new employer? If you have made a number of transitions throughout your career you may find yourself in a position to explain them to a potential employer in the future. It is your job to describe why these moves were advantageous not only to your career but for the companies you were working as well. Focus on your accomplishments and why these accomplishments led to new opportunities in new organizations.

Do you want to know how to navigate your job search if you’ve been classified as a job hopper? The recruiting experts and VincentBenjamin can help. Check out our various locations in Phoenix, Denver, LA and Orange County

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