How Job Hopping has Become the New Normal


In the past, employees tended to begin their career path at a company and then stay with that same organisation for years afterwards – sometimes even until they retired. Over time this trend has noticeably decreased, but research shows that people were still dedicating a number of years of their lives to each employer. The average worker stays at their job for 4.4 years, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.

In recent years, younger generations (millennials in particular) have developed a reputation for switching jobs at a rapid rate. This new breed of employee has been termed the “job hopper”, staying in each position for less than two years at a time. Employers have typically stayed away from hiring candidates with such unstable career histories, as they viewed these people as potentially unreliable and not worth the time and effort it would take to properly train someone before they move on.

However, there can be advantages to moving through jobs at a faster rate, including accumulating a much more diverse experience, fast tracking career progression, and potentially earning more money as a result. The fundamental reasons why younger generations go through more jobs than their older counterparts range from job satisfaction to the desire to acquire new skills. Most change jobs within an industry, but there are still many who change industries altogether (and sometimes not just once).

With the acceptance of generational differences, there are signs that job hopping is now becoming more widely accepted by hiring managers and recruiters. Sometimes hiring a job hopper can reinvigorate a team, as it introduces a new perspective and new energy (as inevitably, a new recruit is wanting to impress). Human Resources departments are also seeing the benefit of hiring a candidate with broader experience, capabilities, and perspectives.

There is a growing trend that is seeing the acceptance of these types of candidates, but there is still a desire to keep a level of stability in the workforce of organisations. To do this, companies are being inspired to offer workplace flexibility and align their staff with their mission and values, providing job fulfillment and satisfaction.

With this negative stigma being lifted at an increasing rate, it is becoming more and more likely that the days of rejection due to job hopping are coming to an end.

For those that are considering a change in role or career, the options to do so have never been better. This is due to a combination of the new acceptance of job hopping as well as the resources available to retrain and upskill as a result of technology. E-learning has paved the way for a new generation of candidates, making it easy to study in areas that are of real interest to them.

With online learning, people are more able to undertake further study while they are working in their current role. Whether it be the same industry or another one altogether, the advent of online learning has leveled the playing field. No longer required to attend night classes or give up their roles to study full time, this change is certainly also a large factor contributing to this acceptance of job hopping.

With traditional education methods placing an emphasis on face-to-face learning in the past, the online learning model can be hard to grasp for some. However, blended solutions make this easier. A combination of correspondence study with face to face or telephone options makes up for this gap in traditional support. Further to this, online forums allow students to connect and support each other through coursework.

It’s never been easier to change roles or even careers and the growing trend towards this coupled with the rapid increase in online learning and education will no doubt eventuate in a much more diverse and flexible workforce, with the added benefit of an increased level of employee engagement and purpose.

If you’re thinking it’s time for a career change and you want to learn some new skills for a new job, check out the available courses at ICI today.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.