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The case for job hopping: 4 good reasons to go

Fed up with your current position or thinking about jumping ship for a more lucrative opportunity? Here are a few reasons why that may not be such a bad idea.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 12, 2014 12:35PM

This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyConvinced that you should remain loyal to a job, even if you absolutely loathe the thought of being there each day? Maybe a better opportunity is at your fingertips, but you fear the long-term consequences of making the move.

Resume © Dynamic Graphics, age fotostockIt may be time to adjust your mindset: The days of hiring managers frowning upon the resumes of those with cameos in the workplace are coming to an end in a number of industries.

A press release about a recent survey by CareerBuilder said, "More than half (55 percent) of employers surveyed said they have hired a job-hopper and nearly one-third (32 percent) of all employers said they have come to expect workers to job hop."

According to the survey, the industries where job hopping is most common are:

  • Information technology -- 42 percent of employers expect employees to job hop.
  • Leisure and hospitality -- 37 percent.
  • Transportation -- 37 percent.
  • Retail -- 36 percent.
  • Manufacturing -- 32 percent.

However, job hopping is something that's considered more acceptable from younger employees. CareerBuilder said:

While employers may be more accepting of job-hoppers, their expectations still tend to vary based on the candidate's age. Forty-one percent of employers said that job hopping becomes less acceptable when a worker reaches his/her early to mid-30s (ages 30 or 35). Twenty-eight percent find job hopping less acceptable after the age of 40.

With all of this in mind, here are some arguments to strengthen the case for job hopping:

1. Longevity = lower pay 

It appears that loyalty is overrated, especially if you want to increase your income.

Cameron Keng, a contributor to Forbes, says the average raise this year will be 3 percent, which he said really amounts to less than 1 percent after inflation is factored in. But those who change jobs will end up getting a much more substantial bump in income. He adds:

In 2014, the average employee is going to earn less than a 1 percent raise and there is very little that we can do to change management's decision. But, we can decide whether we want to stay at a company that is going to give us a raise for less than 1 percent. The average raise an employee receives for leaving is between a 10 percent to 20 percent increase in salary. Obviously, there are extreme cases where people receive upward of 50 percent, but this depends on each person’s individual circumstances and industries.

So, what incentive do you have to stay if money is your motive? My point exactly.

If you accept the recession as a reason to settle and take the loyalty route, you may miss opportunities that are far more lucrative.

2. The quest for clarity

What do you want to do with your life? If you have yet to answer that question, sticking around at a job that you hate probably isn't the wisest thing to do. In fact, loyalty has the potential to hinder the process of finding your calling, which could lead to bigger issues, like depression, later on.

3. Increased demand for talent

More than ever, companies are scouring through the piles of eligible candidates for those with the most impressive skill sets that can boost their bottom lines. They're willing to spend money to get them on board.

Says Katie Simon on LearnVest:

(M)any companies are starving for skilled workers -- and may pay as much as a 25 percent salary increase for a 10 percent increase in employee productivity. The very businesses that have lowered the raise norm have set up their high performers to hop jobs for better pay.

4. Versatility

Adaptability is a good thing. Some recruiters value it because it means you're willing to conform and use your array of knowledge and experience to advance their organization. Versatility also means you are able to adjust to a variety of personalities and company cultures without sacrificing performance.

Just be sure you're prepared to handle the challenges that come with new terrain.


While there are pluses to job hopping, there are drawbacks, too.

The last thing you want is management fearing that you'll become disengaged at some point and jump ship like you've done at your last few jobs. Too many short jobs on your resume could make some managers unwilling to hire you.

The CareerBuilder survey found that "43 percent of employers won't consider a candidate who's had short tenures with several employers."

And their worry isn't baseless. Contributor Jeanne Meister wrote at Forbes:

Talent acquisition managers and heads of human resources make a valid case for their wariness of resumes filled with one- to two-year stints. They question such applicants' motivation, skill level, engagement on the job and ability to get along with other colleagues.
These hiring managers worry they’ll become the next victims of these applicants' hit-and-run job holding. For companies, losing an employee after a year means wasting precious time and resources on training and development, only to lose the employee before that investment pays off. Plus, many recruiters may assume the employee didn't have time to learn much at a one-year job.

The decision to job hop ultimately depends on your industry and personal preferences. If you are struggling to make ends meet or saddled with debt, it may be in your best interest to go for a more lucrative opportunity. Keep in mind that it's generally acceptable when you're young and new to the working world.

On the other hand, if you can ride the wave, then relax and get those years in so you can establish a track record as a stable and serious employee.

More from Money Talks News

Aug 12, 2014 1:37PM
Employers show no loyalty why should we.
Aug 12, 2014 1:51PM
The employers are the ones that have created this by not taking care of the people that have proven success.  Why gamble on the next employee.  The grass isn't always greener on the other side so fertilize and cultivate more qualified employees.  The pursuit of a strong bottom-line has been the root cause of too many bad decisions.  GREED!
Aug 12, 2014 1:58PM

Times in the workplace have changed from a loyal-friendly environment to hopper-friendly environment.

Those of us in the millennial generation have already seen the disadvantages of being loyal and sticking around at the same place for too long. We have seen our parents get laid-off their jobs after 25+ years of being loyal.  After 25 years of being there and working hard... and they still put your name down to let you go...  In the end it was really about the money.

Then when our parents were unable to get a new job, they realized that their lifelong job had funneled their skills into something that could not be used elsewhere.  Very unfortunate for these individuals.

We have to keep reminding ourselves: For the business/corporation, in the end it is all about the money.  Loyalty does not pay off anymore these days.

Aug 12, 2014 2:14PM
"Believer" is correct.  For Millenials, it just makes sense.  There is no loyalty from your employer  and companies no longer reward loyalty or service, nor do their offer pension plans. You just need to be careful that you don't change jobs frequently and look like a "job hopper." It is the best way to get a substantial salary increase or job promotion.  I graduated 2 years ago from college and was put on the PD plan.  I just quit my job with a Fortune 500 company to take a better job with a Fortune 100 company.  I received a substantial increase in my salary level (just a little shy of 6 figures) and better benefits.  It just makes sense.  I can invest the extra earnings and create a "nest egg" for myself.  I certainly don't expect any company to offer that anymore. 
Aug 12, 2014 2:45PM

The argument that the young job hop holds merit, as we have created a generation of people who see life in terms of short term gains. What the study did not take into account is the life reasons a person may have to job hop at an older age. My husband died when I was 38, and I had four children three teens and one 10 year old. I had to make choices about what was best for my children, and to complicate matters my youngest became suicidal,  I spent the next seven years balancing the needs of my children first and supporting us second. I would not change a thing, and if the fact that I had to change jobs and  work three or four part time jobs at one time does not impress an employer then that employer is the one missing out.

Life does not exist in a bottle, look around and see what makes a good employee

Aug 12, 2014 2:11PM

The psychological contract which once traded job security for employee loyalty has been forever breached.

If you have a job now, the nearest competitor for it, is probably sitting 20 feet from you now. This is not your Mama's job market.

The days of the employers giving two damns about their employees are long gone so it only makes sense that employees can't even think about loyalty to their employers. You have to earn loyalty, not expect it. The days of keeping employees for 40 years is long gone thanks to corporate America taking over every corner of employment.
Aug 12, 2014 5:12PM
The four reasons I was taught for job hopping were money, money, money and more money. Which by the way are the same reasons employers give when laying people off.
Aug 17, 2014 12:02PM
Why is it if they make the decision to replace me, it's business......but If I make the decision to leave, it's disloyalty?

Aug 13, 2014 9:51AM

8 out of 10 companies that I have worked for/with over 35 years are gone. 


so I "job hop" whether I like it or not.


if you work in manufacturing, that's simply what the industry does

Aug 12, 2014 4:22PM
i don't get the double standard -- companies frequently hire and fire at whim, or as it pleases their objectives, so why shouldn't it be the same from the employee's standpoint? 

As long as someone's frequent job hopping isn't due to separation from his/her previous employers due to gross negligence, something criminal or some other serious character flaw, i think anyone should be as free to leave a company  just because they wanted "a change"
Aug 17, 2014 11:41AM

Employers, with few exceptions view their employees as slaves, there is a culture of Master / slaves  in most work places.

Whenever an employer decides to "down size the work force" they have NO problem laying off people, 2 weeks before Christmas.

Why should the employee care about the employer?

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the Gander!

 The employer would say, "Its nothing personal, its just business"

 Remember this, a big reason that unemployment is high is because of "lean management" What that means is if a company has 3 secretaries, they lay off 1 and divide the work of the third up between the 2 remaining secretaries, then the remaining 2 are told, we hope you are not next, so their work load goes up by 50% but their is no pay increase. The CEO then gets a bonus because he has improved the bottom line!

Aug 13, 2014 1:13PM
That's horse$hit..  How many retirement parties have you been to lately?
Aug 12, 2014 7:31PM
Training & development??? What's that? Very few companies these days spend any resources at all on training & development. That spending item in a budget is among the most insignificant items for most companies, large and small. 
Aug 12, 2014 8:56PM
Versatility, as in "has worked in several industries" and or "in different type positions" has always been a negative to any interviewer who has "interviewed" me. Being more skilled and more experienced is ALWAYS a threat to a younger interviewer. Most positions are filled by people who have done EXACTLY the same job as advertised, PERIOD. Also, most of the people who have "interviewed" me in my career were inept at it, and usually were weak in other "management" areas as well. Most interviewers do not know how to conduct an interview that is anything other than canned junk and corporate double-speak.
Aug 13, 2014 11:15AM

Would it have been so hard for the author to have provided a working definition of what he takes job hopping to be before yammering about it for a page.

Also, how can it be the case that only 55% of employers have hired a job hopper?

Are they saying that 45% of companies still hire kids straight out of college and keep them for 40 years.

I'll say it again: finance journalism has reached a disaster point; I don't even know why I still read these things.  

Aug 12, 2014 5:57PM
This is the same mindset of people and their opinions on defending their country.  If it doesn't benefit them they don't care. The customer isn't right, their a mark; everything is revolving around money, and morality, loyalty or country is not on the list.
Aug 17, 2014 4:03PM
Pay, Benefits, job security, opportunity for advancement. You owe an employer the same amount of loyalty you receive, today it's most likely none. Keep your resume current, job feelers out and when you leave NEVER train your replacement.
Aug 17, 2014 8:49AM
Loyalty and morals toward employees have been thrown out the window by most businesses ripping workers of their fair wages and benefits all due to Obama government running rogue with violation of people's rights. Obama and crew are trying to take America down and make us par/equal to third world countries and "him" the King! Why are the people standing by and allowing it?
Aug 17, 2014 10:44AM
When you get ready to go home some night, and your employer says "hey, we don't need you anymore, we gave your job to China", that makes one tend not to be loyal to anybody! Who can blame someone to quit and get a better job?
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