By Perminus Wainaina
One of the red flags that recruiters usually look out for on a job candidate’s CV is job hopping. If you have held several positions in a relatively short period of time, that is cause for concern for employers.
This is because it costs the employer money and other resources to recruit and train a new employee. Having you leave for greener pastures sooner rather than later therefore adds up to a bad investment.
What Employers Think Of Your Job Hopping:
- You are a poor worker– Some job hoppers have the right interview skills and can therefore land a great job. They however cannot sustain the job due to poor performance and have to keep moving jobs to avoid termination.
- You have a ‘difficult’ personality– Personality traits can make it hard to fit in a workplace. If you are rude or dishonest for example, you will not last long in a job.
- You have commitment issues– Your relationship with your employer is like any other i.e. commitment is expected. A CV with numerous job hops implies you are hard to please and are always looking out for the next big opportunity.
So in light of the above perceptions, is there any good reason for changing jobs frequently?
The truth is that job hopping, if done correctly, can help you land your dream job and attain job satisfaction. Think about it this way:
- Job hopping can help you earn more money in a shorter period of time. This is because successive employers are willing to pay more for your skills.
- Job hopping can increase your skill set and give you a broader perspective of your field as you work in different organizations and industries.
- Job hopping can help you change careers if you are not satisfied with your career path.
- Job hopping can help you find a job and workplace you love, with good bosses and colleagues and a friendly work environment.
Tips For Smart Job Hopping
How then do you go about changing jobs without being stigmatized by potential employers?
Job Hop Vertically, Not Horizontally: Ideally, the point of job hopping is to find greener pastures.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, changing jobs laterally to work at the same position in another firm with not give you any career mileage. In fact it slows down your progress. Keep up the job search until you find a job that gives you not just more pay, but a more senior position with increased responsibilities.
Focus on Your Transferable Skills: Some skills such as communication, project management and problem solving are valuable across all industries. Building these skills and attaining new soft skills will ensure you are still a strong candidate for jobs despite being a job hopper.
Emphasize Your Achievements: When writing your CV, highlight what you were able to achieve in the different roles rather than the job responsibilities. A track record of success across various industries is a testament to your abilities and may earn you that top job.
Have A Plan: Don’t change jobs for the sake of it. Every new job should play into your long term career plan i.e. give you new skills, expose you to a specific industry or offer mentorship opportunities. Use your networks to look for opportunities that meet such criteria and avoid taking jobs that take you off your career path.
Know When To Leave or Stay: After a few moves, you will learn how to read the signs and make job changes at the opportune time. Remember, you want to avoid things such as redundancy or an employment gap in your resume.
Don’t Burn Bridges: The most important tip for leaving a job is to leave cordially. Burning bridges with employers or colleagues can have you blacklisted in the industry and stall your career- sometimes for good.
If you are thinking of changing careers or you need a solid plan to advance your career in 2019, a professional career coach can help you make this leap into your dream job.
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR & Recruitment consultancy firm based in Westlands. Through personalized career coaching he assists mid level and senior professionals get solutions to complex and challenging career issues that they are facing. Click here for more on career coaching.