Younger generation entering workforce sheds light on the upside of frequent job changes

Job hopping may be losing it’s bad reputation, at least among the youngest generation of Canadian professionals, an Accountemps survey suggests.

Fifty-three per cent of employees between the ages of 18 and 34 said changing jobs every few years can actually help their career, compared to 40 per cent of professionals between the ages of 35 and 54 and 25 per cent of those age 55 or older.

There were also differences by gender, with 54 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women reporting that job hopping is beneficial.

In conjunction with the study, Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian district president of Accountemps, provided professionals advice on deciding when to make a move:

“Carefully consider your reasons for changing jobs and the potential impact it could have on your career. Your next hiring manager may not have the same frame of mind when it comes to job hopping, so be prepared to demonstrate that you are not a liability when asked why you are changing jobs.

“Job hopping may be losing its unfavorable image, but professionals should still proceed with caution when deciding whether it might be time for greener pastures every few years. Many businesses still favour candidates who will be committed to the organization and will add value to achieving its short- and long-term goals.”

Listed below are some of the benefits of job hopping along with some considerations for each:

Earning higher compensation

If money is your primary concern, and your employer can’t offer a higher salary, look at the entire compensation package before heading out the door. Other benefits like telecommuting, flextime or generous vacation time can make up for a smaller paycheck.

Gaining new skills

Sometimes, you have to job hop to gain experience in a particular area. If you’re switching industries or seeking certain cutting-edge technical skills, for example. Be sure you explore professional development options at your current firm first, such as company-sponsored training programs, tuition reimbursement, job shadowing and mentorships.

Moving up the career ladder faster

You might believe that you have to change companies to get the promotion you want. But before you start searching for another job, sit down with your manager and get his or her perspective on your career path. If expectations for the future don’t align, you can feel more confident in exploring other opportunities.

Experiencing a new corporate culture

The company culture at your firm isn’t likely to change, and if you don’t mesh well with may want to move on. Make certain, though, that it’s the culture you’re unsatisfied with versus other aspects of your job.

Looks better on a resume to have multiple employers
Employers like to see evidence of professional growth on a candidate’s resume, and job hopping can be a good way to show steady career progression. However, a Robert Half Survey of human resources managers found that an average of six job changes in 10 years can raise red flags.