Putting it lightly, not all jobs are created equally. Yet some workers feel like they need to stay in a less-than-ideal situation to avoid the perception of being a job hopper. Yet careers are less linear than in the past, and the stigma around job hopping is fading away. If you’re in need of a new job, make like a rabbit and take that leap!
There’s an unwritten rule that you should stay with a company for a year before looking to jump ship, but career coach Sarah Doody says that belief is archaic. In fact, strategically finding a better job can actually make a candidate look savvy.
“I think it will actually make you come across as a more strategic, thoughtful, mindful individual rather than just coasting along for another nine months.” –Sarah Doody
To explore this changing landscape, we’ll consider the main reasons workers want to job hop and the benefits looking for greener pastures can have on your career.
As much as finding a good fit and a place where your skills are valued is important, at the end of the day, we work to make a living. One of the most logical reasons employees look to find a new job is to find a better salary or better benefits.
ADP research found that 61% of workers worldwide cite pay as their most important factor in a job. And increased pay isn’t the only benefit—healthcare, a better commute, better perks, and better remote work policies are equally important factors for many.
On the flip side, many workers may give up some salary for these other benefits. Forbes’ Caroline Castrillon says that the pandemic has caused workers to reconsider their needs, and many seek more value or remote flexibility over pure salary, You know your situation and needs best. Even if you’re fairly new at a job, don’t hesitate to take a better offer if it better aligns with your needs.
The average annual salary raise for a hardworking “loyal” employee is between 2-5%.
Job Hoppers can usually grab a 10% – 20% increase in pay when they move jobs.
So leaders, instead of complaining about there not being any “loyalty” from people anymore.
Start by actually…
— Joel Lalgee (@Humanheadhunter) September 12, 2023
Diversifying your skills
We live in a skills-based higher world. Many technical skills can be learned on the job, and a diverse set of soft skills that bring value to any role are in high demand. Working in different situations can enhance different skills, so hopping jobs will let you diversify your repertoire.
“Each job you take provides you with new experiences and skills that you can take with you to the next job. By moving around, you can gain a diverse range of experiences and knowledge that can make you a more well-rounded and valuable employee in the long run.” –Mel Skeer, LinkedIn
FlexJobs’ Rachel Pelta writes that as work culture evolves, employers want employees who can handle a project through multiple steps, The more you can do, the more appealing you’ll be.
“When you job-hop, you combine multiple skill sets across fields into one flexible, unique-to-you career. You can be a photographer, designer, writer, and consultant all at once.” –Rachel Pelta
Better advancement opportunities
With that diverse set of skills, you’ll be in a much better position to advance your career in the direction you desire—even if that isn’t with your current company. Sometimes, you’ll hit a ceiling on how high you can rise in an organization. Job hopping can be a great way to advance.
An MIT Sloan Management survey found that 67% of participants wanted to advance their career while a 2022 McKinsey study found that a lack of advancement opportunities was the main reason participants left their jobs. Just as a plant may need to be replanted elsewhere in order to grow and thrive, we sometimes must find another place to grow.
“Sometimes companies don’t promote very quickly, or they are simply too small to offer a lot of upward mobility. In these cases, employers may be motivated to look for jobs at other businesses if they feel like they won’t get promoted quickly (or at all) at their current company.” –Kara Sherrer, TechnologyAdvice
Employers wanting to prevent a mass exodus need to prioritize cultivating homegrown talent and help prepare workers for advancement opportunities.
Avoiding toxic workplaces
Even if a workplace has every other benefit you can imagine, the culture may be a bad fit, or even outright toxic. If there’s a better environment out there for you, it’s worth exploring.
Forbes’ Amy Leschke-Kahle says to ask yourself whether you can see yourself working with your coworkers and manager long-term and whether their work styles are compatible with yours. Even working remotely, you’ll be in constant communication with these people. And the flipside is also true. If you like your team a lot, it may be worth it to stay.
If you can find a great role with a solid company, staying loyal is never a bad thing! Not everyone wants to job-hop. But not everyone will find the right position for them. There’s no use in staying with the wrong company just for the optics when a better opportunity might be just around the corner. Consider your options, but don’t forget the amazing benefits job hopping could offer you.