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Job Hopping: Is It becoming more prevalent today and will it damage your career?

Without a doubt, the days of our grandparents, where it was common to find a stable job after leaving school/university, and staying until you retire, are well and truly gone. In fact the national average tenure of a job in Australia today is sitting at just 3.3 years and that number is on a downward trend.

For Australian workers over the age of 45, the average job tenure is 6 years and 8 months however for those under 25’s, it is just 1 year and 8 months! But hang on a moment, for the younger ones, this trend has not actually changed over the last 50 years. The stats from 1975 for the under 25's group, is basically the same as it is today. What has changed however is that of the older workers, which dropped from an average tenure of almost 10 years to 6.8 years today.

In today's fast-paced and ever-changing job market, the concept of changing jobs, has become increasingly more common. The term 'job hopping' refers to the practice of changing jobs frequently, staying with an employer for just a short period of time, with a long list of jobs on your resume.

Are people changing jobs more often? Let’s look at some key numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics;

· During the year ending February 2023 job mobility remained at 9.5% for a second year in a row, the highest in a decade. · The share of job mobility remained highest for professionals, at 24% of those who changed jobs. · 2.3millions people left or lost their job · The annual retrenchment rate was 1.4%, the lowest annual rate on record (since 1972) · There were 13.8 million people employed in February 2023, over half (56%) had been employed in their current job for less than 5 years. About 1 in 5 (21%) had been in their job for less than 1 year.

Disadvantages of Job Hopping:

Lack of Stability: Frequent job changes will certainly raise concerns among potential employers about your commitment and reliability. Some industries value stability, and constant turnover on your resume may deter them.

Limited Professional Growth: Rapid job changes may hinder your chances of climbing the corporate ladder within a single organization. Employers often prefer promoting from within. It has been said it takes approximately 6 months before you really start to understand a job. Many people seem to be on their way to their next job before then.

Negative Perception: Recruiters and hiring managers may view job hoppers as flighty or disloyal. It may be challenging to convince them of your long-term commitment to a role or company.

So, are there any advantages of job hopping?

Skill Diversification: Changing jobs can expose you to various industries, technologies, and work environments, allowing you to develop a broad skill set. This can make you a more adaptable and marketable candidate in the long run.

Salary Increases: Some people moving frequently from job to job can experience higher salary gains compared to those who stay with a single employer. Switching companies can provide an opportunity to negotiate better compensation packages in what is a candidate short market.

Networking Opportunities: Job hopping can expand your professional network. Building relationships with colleagues and supervisors from different organizations can open doors to new opportunities and perspectives.

Striking the Right Balance: To determine whether changing job is damaging your career, consider your goals and industry norms. Some industries, such as tech and start-ups, are more accepting of frequent job changes, while others, especially within real estate and property, value stability.

In conclusion, job hopping can be a double-edged sword. While it can lead to skill diversification, higher salaries, and expanded networks, it can raise concerns about stability and loyalty. Finding the right balance between gaining valuable experiences and avoiding a detrimental impact on your career is essential.

Ultimately, the decision to job hop should be one that is carefully considered!

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