How Job Hopping Will Make You A Better Employee

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Over the years, job hopping among millennial employees has been associated with laziness, a lack of drive and commitment — all negative traits employees want nothing to do with. Yet a 2014 CareerBuilder study found the positives of switching between jobs — when done strategically — are quickly outweighing the negatives, and that job hopping is more beneficial for a long, prosperous career than once thought.

In fact, employers are coming to expect college graduates to hop between jobs when finding their footing in the working world. With 25 percent of workers having five jobs or more by the time they reach 35, there is a method to this job-hopping madness.

Here’s why job hopping is advantageous for your career — and how you can use it to impress future employers:

Boost Your Knowledge

Look back on every job you’ve had. From the waitress job you had in high school to your current position, you probably learned at least a few things along the way, right? Imagine gaining new knowledge in your field at a few different companies — all of the skills you learned about different work tactics and other insights will make you a more well-rounded employee wherever you go.

Impress employers:

Use your breadth of knowledge in an interview to talk about how you go above and beyond your role, regardless of the type of job or the demands and challenges it presents.

Increase Your Wage

Let’s face it: we work to support ourselves. While money isn’t everything, it is definitely important, and you can use job hopping to either receive a bump in pay from the get-go, or to negotiate your monetary terms in an interview.

According to a 2015 Gallup survey, 49 percent of US workers employed for three months or fewer said their reasoning for taking a job was strongly influenced by salary. You will advance faster up your career, and financial, ladder with more experience under your belt.

Impress employers:

Knowing when to negotiate the salary you think you deserve — and when to walk away — is crucial for both you and the employer. It shows your potential new boss you’re serious about the position, yet doesn’t leave you feeling like you were cheated and on the hunt for yet another job.

Develop Your Connections

Just as important as gaining new knowledge and skills, job hopping also opens the door to build up your professional network.

At any job, you strive to form positive relationships with at least a few of your colleagues and supervisors, who can be key players in your next career move.

Impress employers:

Sometimes, it’s all about who you know. Use your connections to your advantage — referrals can help tremendously when looking for a new job and can lead to opportunities you didn’t even know were available.

Change Your Scenery

A different commute to work, a new office view or a new favorite lunch spot are all unique ways to keep you motivated at work everyday.

In fact, the Gallup study found that switching companies provides an initial boost to an employee’s engagement, as 33 percent of workers who have been with a company less than three years said they were engaged in their work compared with 29 percent of those who have been with a company three to nine years.

Impress employers:

Use your knowledge of places around the city like shops and restaurants to show employers your personal side. Cultural fit and personality are often big hiring factors when interviewing for a new position — and everyone loves food.

What are other advantages of job hopping?

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, LinkedIn.