A recent Forbes article called, “Millennials, Stop Apologizing for Job-Hopping” just suggested that job-hopping is losing its stigma. Job seekers beware! While it is true that people are changing jobs more frequently, this doesn’t mean that hiring managers overlook this—and in fact, it’s a major red flag for most employers. Here are a few things we still find to be true about job-hopping:
Employers still want to hire people who they think will stick around for a while.
Hiring is an investment and employers want to see a return on that investment. You should convey your intent to grow with the company and stick around long-term. Before you start feeling trapped, remember that the term “long-term” doesn’t mean what it used to mean 20 years ago. These days most people think of long-term as 5+ years.
Employers are more tolerant of job changes—but only to a point.
As a job seeker, it’s still in your best interest to minimize the frequency with which you change jobs—especially if it’s your first job. We usually recommend that new graduates and people in entry-level roles stick it out for at least 2 years before making a change. For those in the middle of their career, it’s ideal if you have at least one role where you stayed for 5+ years, and then a few shorter-term roles in the 18 to 36-month range don't draw as much attention.
You need a legitimate reason for changing jobs.
Changing jobs is always a risk. Millennials reportedly care more about culture and feeling “good” about the work they’re doing. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations about the level of fulfillment you can expect from a job. Is a bad day or week a reason to start looking for another job? Usually not. Employers expect you to be invested in their company and not selfishly moping or jumping ship when you have a hard week or when something doesn’t go your way.
You should be able to discuss why you left a job without blaming others.
Practice discussing your reason for choosing to leave in a positive way. Avoid blaming others or listing selfish and superficial reasons. Positive ways to discuss your decision to leave include opportunities to take the next step in your career, change to a new industry, learn a new skill, or join a company you’ve always admired; these are great reasons to leave and reasons that hiring managers will respect.
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