Is Job-Hopping Really A Bad Thing? Consider The Pros And Cons

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Mar. 26 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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People often say that once you find a good job, you should stay there as long as possible. Job-hopping is challenging that idea. Instead of working for the same employer for decades, many workers embrace the idea of spending a year or two in a position before getting hired elsewhere. Check out the pros and cons of job-hopping to decide if it’s right for you.

Pro: Bigger Paychecks

Job-hopping is good for people who want better salaries. Open positions could pay more than your current employer, improving your finances. Research shows that 60% of people who changed jobs between 2021 and 2022 got a wage increase. The same study found that only 47% of people who stayed with their employers during the same period got a bump in their paychecks.

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Con: Increase May Not Be Substantial

On thing to note is that your potential pay increase depends on your next job and inflation. In 2023, pay raises for those who got new jobs decreased to 13%, while inflation increased throughout the year. The rising cost of living expenses means the higher numbers on new paychecks didn’t feel as significant as people hoped.

Job-hopping is only bad if the timing isn’t right with the economy since inflation can take the buying power out of your increased pay. You can always calculate your desired pay increase with the current inflation rate to determine the right time for a career change.

Pro: Better Work Environments

Sometimes, increased communication and compassion don’t fix work relationships. Some people aren’t a good fit for the team, which is when job-hopping is a good idea. Researchers found that 64% of people change careers to escape toxic work environments. Starting over in a workplace with more functional relationships could improve how you enjoy your job and provide peace of mind.

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Con: Leaving Close Mentors And Colleagues

Even if a year or two feels short, it’s enough time to make meaningful friendships. You might also leave peer mentorships that helped your personal growth while building your professional skills. Leaving doesn’t guarantee that your work friends or mentors will follow you elsewhere.

It’s hard to leave people you love, even if job-hopping will improve your career. If you love your work team, you might not want to go. Sometimes, maintaining relationships is better than getting a slightly higher paycheck or a shorter commute.

Pro: Advance Your Career Quickly

Your career may flourish if a new company has an upward mobility structure for employees and more job roles in leadership positions. Your current employer may not guarantee promotions or have enough room in management or leadership roles for your goals.

You can always schedule a meeting with your employer to discuss the potential for growth in your skills, paycheck and responsibilities. Remember to start the conversation with an exit plan in case there’s no good news. You’ll feel more confident no matter what comes from the conversation because, either way, you’ll move forward into a future that holds more promise for you.

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Con: Real Advancement Still Might Take Time

When recruiting teams post available jobs, it takes an average of 44 days to fill one role. That’s a significant amount of time for someone who has to pay bills without a full-time job. Job-hopping is a bad idea when you quit your current role before securing another one. Given how long it could take, it’s better to apply for new jobs before giving your manager your two-week notice. 

Weigh Your Options While Considering Job-Hopping

Job-hopping is becoming more common because it helps people get higher pay, find better workplaces and develop more career opportunities. It can also feature a few setbacks if you don’t navigate the process with caution. Take your time and weigh your options before deciding to hop jobs, no matter your career, to ensure the move pays off.

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By: Mia Barnes

Mia Barnes is a health journalist with over 3+ years of experience specializing in workplace wellness. Mia believes knowledge is power. As the Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine, Mia's goal is to cover relevant topics to empower women through information.

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