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CHANGING jobs frequently can do your career more harm than good. If you have been in more than three jobs over the last five years, you may need to seriously assess your job-hopping habit.

Potential employers are often cautious about employing job-hoppers and they would want to know why you have not stayed long in any particular job.

Changing jobs frequently reflects badly on your resilience and loyalty as an employee. You could be seen as someone who lacks self-motivation, is directionless or prone to feeling restless at the workplace. In addition, recruiters may not be convinced that you have gained enough experiences and on-the-job skills since you have not stayed in any particular company for very long. They are also worried that you may leave them shortly after they hire you, forcing them to start the recruiting process all over again!

Certain workers may feel that job-hopping provides them with a wide exposure to different work environments. By changing jobs frequently, they have found that their network of business contacts are wider and in some cases, switching jobs have meant a faster way of getting a salary raise. However, these workers need to weigh such advantages against the negative perception that potential employers would have about their constant job-changing habits.

Workers with a set career plan would see that the short-term benefits (for example, a quicker salary jump) will not make up for the depth of experience that they stand to gain from staying on a job. Under what circumstances will it be considered acceptable to job-hop? During the initial stage of your career, you may find that you are not sure of which direction to take, or which job and industry will suit you best.

During this uncertain period, it would be common to see young workers staying on a job for one or two years. Potential employers might find this acceptable and understand the need for young people to try out a few jobs before finding their "niche".

However, if you are already in executive or management level, job-hopping would be frowned upon. A minimum stay of three or four years is required to give a worker good grounding. With senior executives, a stay of five to seven years or longer, would be an acceptable timeline.
15th June 2004 From India, Gurgaon
hi folks,
indeed a very informative article to draw our attention.
When many of us are frustated with our current jobs, we wonder to get into a new job, a new company and then we search and we switch over,, but does that a plus for our career prospects???
check dis article..its really good one...
13th October 2005 From India, Delhi
yes dips,
this is a very informative post!
infact i was also thinking about the same topic for the past few days...
but i have a question to ask...
it is said there that a fresher can change jobs in a year or so ... that will be accepted by recruiters. Will any period of servivce shorther than that also be accepted?...
also a gap or break after a short stint in the first job - is it acceptable?
14th October 2005 From India, Pune
Hi All,

Job hopping. This is one phenomenon once which was seen frequently in IT Industry, is now happening across the industries. This is something I never really understood why it is happening because different people have different perceptions.

Gone are those olden days when one struggled to get a job when fresh out of college, but once employed worked on there till retirement.. In those days no one ever thought Of changing jobs. Perhaps nobody thought of career or work/monetary satisfaction that much then... job stability was more important.

Now it's a different ball game altogether... people are supposed to switch else they would stagnate.. and it seems like a rule of thumb that no one sticks around in a single company for too long... and if he does then people think that is bcoz he is not good enough to get

recruited anywhere..

It seems that many companies now are in a frenzy to recruit the best talent around that they give incentives to attract and pull in experienced people from contemporary companies. Good for the employees... one might say.. it is easy to thrive under such market conditions.. As the saying goes.. "Make hay while the sun shines"

Few people whom I met advised me that frequent switching is not advisable... and you should stick around in a company and stay loyal if you wished to learn and progress... but if you

look at the career graphs and salary scale of people who switchregularly... you see that they have progressed so much over a very short time that it is impossible to grow so much staying with one organization...

But what is the main reason why people switch ? Is it careergrowth ? Or job satisfaction ? Or money ? Or all of these ?

Your Comments....

14th October 2005 From India, Madras
Hi antony,,
this is another truth taht you have stated here that salary scale is betterof the job hoppers....
Is it career growth? yes it is there, i have seen that a person worked for 1 yr in a company and got a job as a senior exec. in another company with a salary hike also.
Or money? Money is also a big factor, one company runs hungrily for the employees of its competitor's company and pay hefty amt just to get them hired. so its a two way benefit...employee gets money and growth both...
14th October 2005 From India, Delhi
Hello All,

I agree on the overall point posted on the general disadvantages that job-hopping might come upon an individual. The advantages of the practice cannot be denied either. But i personally think that these are 'vanilla situation' perceptions and in reality, things and circumstances do change.

When looking at the aspect in a micro level, we get more concerned with the practice of job-hopping with regard to industries and career levels. The ITeS / BPO industry for one, has the highest incidence of job hoppers. The reasons are numerous, the common ones being a hike in salary and a promotion. But at the rate the industry is going, I can fairly say that they can given raise to such situations themselves.

Headhunters who 'pick' people from competing companies for their respective clients also add to the Job Hopping - Attrition ratios of companies.

But from an individual perspective, job hopping with a malicious intent needs to be curtailed, which would happen only when the whole industry agrees on a standard form of recruitment practices.

Looking at it from a positive and optimistic angle, I think that any individual needs to be given the chance to justify his/her reasons for a job change regardless of their career levels. The sanctity of these reasons will have to be judged by the recruiter (who, btw needs to be experienced in doing so) and then a decision be arrived at. I have personally seen a number of candidates who have seemingly 'hopped' jobs, have done so owing of genuine situational reasons.

These are my to judgement..

Karthik Krishnamurthy.

Sr. HR
14th October 2005 From India, Bangalore
hi i agree with you. But what if you are not satisfied with the profile, salary adn you have changed just an year back. Shweta
15th October 2005
Hi Karthik,

I also tend to agree with the disadvantages listed on account of frequent job hopping.

Have a colleague who is on his 10th job in 18 years. He was with us for 2 years and left 9 years back (just after i joined) and now he has come back to us 3 months back. In the last 9 years this is his 5th job.

But then why die we take him back? Pertinent question, isn't it?

I can't answer, but, if i were to decide i would have deicded against it.

Rolling stone loses weight??

Does the frequent job hopping action suggest the person isn't focused or committed enough to succeed in a challenging position ?

Does moving that frequently allow the individual time to understand organisational culture and try to improve it or have an impact on it ?

Aren't organisations worried of a mninmum ROI after taking a senior person?

Does frequent changes exhibit Lack Of Judgment, Confused Career Goals ?

Won't the future employer think "should i be wasting time if he is going to leave anyway after a year or 2 as he has been doing in the past?

Won't there be better value for those who have changed jobs at a moderate pace and show a pattern of upward mobility, significantly increased responsibility and increased experience?

15th October 2005 From India, Madras
I agree with the disadvantage of job hopping but, if a person is fresher is the disadvantage also exist??
Because I had seen some of my colleague who had changed three jobs in a year. They all are freshers.
It is true that the company wants a stationary person in the organisation and if u are a frequent job changer then it will difficult to get the new job.
But on the other most of the other management guru thinks that frequent job changing increases knowledge of individual and increases its skills bcoz the person had worked in different sectors.
I think the battle will continue about advantage and disadvantage of job-hopping???
15th October 2005 From India, Delhi
Dear All,

Thank you for your avid participations and prompt replies. With continuity to my previous post, i would like to re-emphasize that we are looking at general Job hopping figures from a birds-eye perspective. The minute we look at it by stripping them industry or career wise, we tend to see internal reasons and differences in the syndrome.

A few industries (esp. ITeS, IT etc.) which are in their best ever phase contribute heavilty to increase the overall job hopping figure. Other old, deep-rooted industries still have a decent, acceptable job hopping frequency (accounting firms, manufacturing etc.)

The reasons for this issue can range from a individualistic to an organizational level. The materialistic needs (money, house, food etc.) highly influence the 'hopping' decisions of Junior Level executives. A small hike offered by a competing company would be more that enough to convince them to shift jobs.

A Middle management personnel (5 - 8 yrs.) job hopping might be because he wants to change his profile and make a career change to another industry.

A Senior profile might also have valid reasons for this type of behaviour. Apart from that, general reasons like profile mismatch, not liking the job etc. occur across industries and career levels and i believe they cannot be added to the 'job hoppers' list as HR professional play a very important part in finding the 'wrong fit' for such occassions.

I also belive that this trend has a lot of do with the industry and general recruitment practices. Only because of industries allowing / taking in candidates who shift jobs frequently, do candidates hop.

Thus, it would do us greater help in analysing the job hopping trends in a more micro lvele. All figure look bog and scary when seen from a towering height.

I tend to agree with some insights that Bala posted. But these outlooks must come from an organizational level in terms of rules and policies. An individual, however concerning they might be can do very little in infleuncing such decisions. Right now, the need for work and the necessity to meet deadlines is so high that companies do take in people for the time being and do not tend to care about so-called future consequences ('lets cross the bridge when we come to it' syndrome). For all that you know, the HR personnel taking in the frequent job hopper would not necessarily care because he would himself be in a different job when the candidate he hired has hopped.

-Karthik Krishnamurthy

Sr. HR
17th October 2005 From India, Bangalore
Hi Karthik Ji,
You are right. What you stated below:
'Right now, the need for work and the necessity to meet deadlines is so high that companies do take in people for the time being and do not tend to care about so-called future consequences ('lets cross the bridge when we come to it' syndrome). For all that you know, the HR personnel taking in the frequent job hopper would not necessarily care because he would himself be in a different job when the candidate he hired has hopped. "
makes things more difficult. If everyone starts thinking "let us cross the bridge when it comes", isn'y dangerous for an organisation?
19th October 2005 From India, Madras
hi frends, wow the discussion is getting hott!!! :oops: but now me got confused,,, what is more- advantages or disadvantages!!!??? dips
27th October 2005 From India, Delhi
Hi CiteHR friends,
While on this debate, please see the post by "Heavnbnd" under the topic Staffing & Selection - Chronological Versus Functional Resume. He/She is from US. Can we see the damage frequent job hopping has created?
30th October 2005 From India, Madras
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22nd May 2013 From India, New Delhi
IT industry has a different business model and that is why job-hopping happens. People are body shopped or made billable for a project. Once the project is over, then they are put in bench-pool and if they can't be provided with a project(Mostly because the company cant get a suitable project than employee incompetency ), immediately are asked to resign or are being terminated. Sometimes employees are asked to work in a role that doesn't suit their profile at all, just for the sake of billability. So please don't lament that employees are job hopping a lot and assess that as a case of lack of loyalty; what these IT/ITES organizations are doing, are they in an ethical position to blame?

Middlemen making money out of employees by BODYSHOPPING business are the worst that they treat their employees as commodities in the market, often denying benefits! IT/ITES organizations just want to get an employee billed by any client, they aren't considerate for employees with exceptional skill or quality of the project. LACK OF LABOR RIGHTS, LACK OF UNIONS for collective bargaining or voice against injustice is another aspect of indian IT sector. To make things worse, Politics and partiality by managers and unethical and inhuman organizational practices do exists too in service companies & body shopping consultancies.

Having said that there are exceptional players in the market too- like captive centers & product development companies who value employees and respect their skills. In such companies attrition rates are so less.

To conclude, please analyse the fingers that are pointing to companies and HR, before IT sector's job hopping phenomena.

Employees are voiceless in most of the cases in 'billing' oriented companies and there is enough justification for their ob switching.
27th December 2016 From India, Bengaluru
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