One of the questions we are often asked is whether or not moving jobs regularly – every 18 months to two years – is better for your career development than staying with the same company, or fewer companies but for longer.
It’s a difficult one to answer as it depends on the industry sector. For some people, working their way up and staying loyal to one company can prove hugely rewarding. But ‘job hopping’ can often be a smarter route, especially from a personal development point of view.
As career transition specialist John Lees, author of ‘How to get a job you love’ says, “Exposure to lots of different contexts, the ability to handle a steep learning curve and variety of sectors ostensibly demonstrates that you have more experience and breadth doing five jobs in say, 10 years, than one job for same period of time”.
Here are our top reasons why ‘job hopping’ can prove to be so beneficial to your career:
Many candidates choose to stay in roles for fear of leaving. Even though inwardly they might not want to, they often decide to remain where they are – and that’s understandable. You know the ropes, you feel safe and secure.
But, in order to truly progress, we need to challenge and stretch ourselves. You gain from varied experiences; you become a more agile professional who is able to adapt to different scenarios and environments.
Switching jobs regularly enables you to assimilate knowledge. You learn:
You’re opening yourself up to new opportunities in the future.
Research tells us that professional development is one of the most important factors in whether or not to move.
As well as ‘on the job’ learning, you also receive more formal training during your induction period and beyond as part of your personal development plan.
Chances are, you’ll be trained on new systems and software and there’ll be a host of other courses, both internal and external, that you’ll be able to attend. Plus, you can decide during your job search to only consider working with organisations that offer training to all employees.
Moving roles is often a step up the career ladder – the promotion you weren’t able to get with your current employer – and it’s those new responsibilities that help you grow.
For example, you might now be leading a team, so you will have to hone your people management skills. Or, you might be tasked with leading an important project, working directly with the CEO or leadership team. You’ve automatically moved up a level.
We know that changing companies typically equates to a higher salary. Often, people languish in jobs and struggle to get the recognition they deserve, which leads to lower morale and productivity.
While more money isn’t the be all and end all, it helps us feel valued. It helps at the early stages of our careers when finances are more stretched. And now, with the cost of living crisis, our outgoings are far greater.
Without even realising it, you’re growing as a person and as a professional. Your confidence will soar. This will manifest itself in terms of how you’re perceived.
You’ll also develop the resilience that comes from having had varied experiences, both positive and negative. You’re a far more polished professional, ready for bigger and better things in the future. Those interviews can’t come soon enough!
Lees stresses that moving jobs can be seen as a negative by employers who will inevitably pick up and probe at interview:
“It’s very important to play down any narrative that says you’re flighty or flaky, that you can’t hold down a job. You need to play up the strong reasons and motivators for the change. For example, clearly explain what led you to change. So start with, ‘I moved on/took on a new challenge because…’”
Changing jobs always carries a risk. Some workers return to their former employers, the so-called ‘boomerang’ effect. But the vast majority of the time, candidates looking to move roles have considered the pros and cons and have made the right decision based on a variety of personal factors.
If you’re considering a new role and would like to discuss your options, talk to our experts. You can reach us on 0161 828 8726 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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