Navigating job hopping: tips from a recruiter

Written by
Petra Dockalova
Published on
August 13, 2023

Job hopping is becoming a widespread and popular phenomenon on today’s job market. What are its benefits? And how can you present it in interviews in a way that won’t hurt your reputation? Recruiter Petra Dockalova shares her perspective and tips below.

As a recruiter I have seen many resumés and helped multiple different candidates to get to their dream job. However a common problematic I have encountered is job hopping and different views from candidates, manager and other recruiters on this matter.

Job hopping is when you work at a company for 1 or 2 years, and then you move on to the next one, presumably looking for a better pay. Some managers do see job hopping as a red flag when hiring, but it can be a way to leave a job you're not happy with, increase your salary/benefits package, go fully remote, etc. So what are the pros and cons of job hopping?

The Benefits of Job Hopping 

One of the advantage of job hopping may be that employees can be often financially rewarded for switching roles when changing their employer rather faster than staying at the same job and getting promoted over years. In the UK, Office for National Statistics data shows workers who change jobs within a year of beginning a role have consistently higher hourly wage growth over those who stay; workers aged 16 to 24 make the biggest salary gains. In the US, an analysis of 18 million worker salaries showed the wages of job switchers in 2021 outpaced those who stayed in a role; in some industries, workers received nearly a 12% pay rise. While staying at a job might result in a 7-10% raise.

Job hopping can also lead to career advancement. By moving to different companies, you'll have the opportunity to learn new skills, take on new challenges, and work with different teams. However, some hiring managers view job hopping as a negative as it suggests a lack of commitment and loyalty. To counter this perception, it's important to move into roles that grow your skills and move you toward your eventual career goals!

Job hopping can also provide the opportunity to change your location, whether it's within your city or across the country. This can be especially appealing for those who are looking for a fresh start or a new adventure. Additionally, if you're not happy with your current work environment, job hopping can be a way to find a better one. By researching companies and industries that align with your values and goals, you can increase the chances of finding a work environment that suits you.

The Pitfalls of Job Hopping

One of the cons of job hopping is the difficulty of finding employment. Employers may view job hopping as a lack of loyalty and commitment, which can make it harder to secure a new job. 

Additionally, job hopping can result in inconsistent work experience, which may make it more difficult to build a cohesive career narrative. To minimize these risks, it's important to be intentional about your career choices, minimize gaps between roles, and only job hop when necessary.

Making the Most of Your Career Journey

Job hopping can be a valuable tool in your career journey, but it's important to use it strategically. By being intentional about your career goals, researching potential employers, and moving into roles that align with your values and skills, you can maximize the benefits of job hopping while minimizing the risks. Ultimately, job hopping can help you build a diverse skill set, increase your salary, and find a work environment that suits you.

Job hopping can be a smart career move if done with caution. By being intentional, minimizing gaps, and only job hopping when necessary, you can reduce the risks associated with frequent job changes. Additionally, it's important to have longer tenures on your resume to show employers that you're able to commit to an employer long-term. With these tips in mind, you can effectively navigate the job market and find the right career opportunities for you.

How to job hop

  1. Know precisely what do you want from your career. Before you decide to change your current job, figure out what is your end goal
  2. Think it through. If you want to change your career, don’t do it on a whim. Think it carefully through and consider your current position. If you are still a student who works just part-time then feel free to jump right away. However as a working professional you should always consider all the pros and cons.
  3. It shouldn’t always be about chasing money. When you are looking for a new job be able to explain during interviews why have you decided to look for new opportunities.
  4. Calculate the time. If you're job hopping, it's recommended to avoid switching jobs too often. Ideally, you should aim to stay in your next job for at least six months to a year longer than your previous one. This will not only help you build a stronger resume, but also increase your chances of career advancement and salary growth.

How to talk about job hopping during an interview

In today's dynamic job market, it is not uncommon for professionals to have diverse work experiences and multiple job transitions throughout their careers. Recognizing this reality, it is crucial to address the topic of job hopping during an interview in a way that assures the hiring manager and showcases your value as a candidate. The following paragraphs will provide you with valuable tips and strategies to discuss job hopping in a way that highlights the positive aspects of your career, demonstrates your growth and adaptability, and assures the interviewer that your experiences are an asset rather than a red flag. 

First of all be prepared to be honest. As you reflect on your job history identify any problems, gaps or other issues that may raise some concerns to the employer and be prepared to address them. Ideally state a reason behind each transition. You don’t have to go in to a too much of a detail. “It was due to personal reasons.” or “I needed a new challenge at that time.” can be more than enough!

However what you should emphasize is how each job change contributed to your professional development and how those acquired skills and experience can help you in the role you are currently applying for. Emphasize that the knowledge of different field and skills make you a well-rounded candidate. Ideal example how to handle this during an interview could be “When I worked as a customer support specialist, I learned how to handle multiple different task at once, while also managing to resolve issues and find common ground that would be beneficial for the customer as well as for the company. Thus I believe these skills can help me even in the role of an accountant, since I am capable of working under stress on tight schedule and if necessary I will be able to communicate with potential clients or partners about any problems with finances on very professional level.” 

If during job hopping you had the opportunity to work in multiple different field and industries, you can also utilize it during an interview. As this may showcase your diverse experience in different work environments, roles and responsibilities. You can not only mention your experience but also what insights you’ve gained from different co-workers, managers, company cultures etc.

Most importantly you should be able to show commitment and stability. Demonstrate how your past experiences have led you to discover the type of work and environment that aligns with your values and goals, and it’s exactly the company and the job you are applying for right now. During the interview convey your dedication for finding a long-term position where you will get the opportunity to grow within the company and help to make a meaningful impact. 

Join our newsletter
Receive the newest blog posts, event invites, and more
Read about our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Popular guides
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
See more guides

Latest blog posts

Diversity and inclusion

5 Myths about gender pay gap you should know about

The gender pay gap has gained considerable attention in recent years, particularly in the Western world. Governments and organizations are actively working towards closing this gap, but there are several misconceptions surrounding the issue, leading to a focus on areas that have minimal impact on the actual figures. In this blog post, I want to dispel five common myths about the gender pay gap and shed light on its root causes.
Veronika Smrckova
September 26, 2023

How Mentoring Helps Debunk the Myth of Female Workplace Rivalry

Workplace rivalry can appear in many circumstances, but one of the most commonly perceived dynamics is between women. You might feel like you sometimes need to compete with other women to achieve a particular position in your workplace, but that isn't true.Women need more representation in top positions in the workplace. You could gain experience and value from a mentorship where you work with other women than seeing them as your rivals for an opportunity.
Mia Barnes
August 13, 2023

Leader vs. expert: Which career path is right for you?

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at making leadership vs. specialization career choices, the benefits and disadvantages of becoming either a leader or an expert in your field, what can help you make the right decision, and much more.
Femme Palette
August 13, 2023

Sky rocket your career now!