Is job hopping the new normal?

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If you had told workers in the 1950s that most offices today would consist of workers staring at flatscreen monitors and working on personal computers, they wouldn’t believe you. Well, they’d probably ask you what a personal computer is. But once you explained it to them, they’d probably call you a liar and/or accuse you of being a foreign spy.

But consider how quickly most workplaces have evolved over the last 50 years or so. You can walk into any clothing store and, if they don’t have your size, the worker can immediately find out if one of their other locations anywhere in the world has it and get it shipped to you. We take it for granted now, but that definitely deserves a “whoa.”

But one significant difference between today’s workplace and your grandparents’ is less obvious. The attitude toward changing jobs has shifted. Once upon a time, job hopping was considered a career killer. The conventional wisdom of the day was, “Who wants to hire someone who can’t commit?” If you took a job, you were expected to stay with it for several years and in some cases for the duration of your professional life. Today, that’s not necessarily the case for all workers.

Today’s workers aren’t afraid to hand in their resignation letters if a better opportunity comes their way, even if they’ve only been with the company for two years. For some employers, this tendency to jump ship is a problem because finding new employees is expensive. By the time they post a job ad, interview several candidates, perform all the necessary paperwork, and possibly train them, they’ve spent a few thousand dollars just to get that person through the door. That’s not even taking into account the difficulty of transferring a previous employee’s workload to a new employee without losing any productivity.

In India, some information technology companies have instituted a three-month notice policy. If you work at one of these IT firms, you are required to give three months’ notice before leaving for another job. Previously the standard practice was to give one month’s notice, while here in the U.S. the informal standard is a notice of two weeks. Though, each organization has its own policies.

According to the Times of India:

“Attrition levels in small and medium sized IT companies are now in the range of 25-30%, and for tier-I players, between 14 percent and 17 percent. With overseas clients resuming IT spends, companies are in a rush to fill up positions that were allowed to lapse during the recession. Job hopping has become so acute that some companies are finding it hard to include attrition levels in their quarterly performance reports. “

But a recent article by Bob Moulesong in the Northwest Indiana Times looks at job hopping from both the employer’s and employee’s perspectives and finds the upside to each. Yes, even for employers. As Moulesong explains, when workers move from position to position, they garner a variety of experience that they wouldn’t have if they stayed in one job for a decade. Their companies reap the benefits because their workers have more experience to draw upon and can teach the lessons from other organizations.

For employees, the benefits can be even greater. First, the experience you gain is invaluable. But, as Moulesong notes, more work means weeding out the right jobs from the wrong ones. You can spend five years studying a subject in college, but the moment you enter the proverbial Real World, you might discover that’s not actually how you want to spend 40 hours of your week. Hopping from job to job is an easy way to decide what works and what doesn’t. And, as the article mentions, when many workers were downsized in the early 1990s, people realized how fickle employers can be.

For that reason, job hopping in the aftermath of the Great Recession makes sense. Chances are either you or someone you know was laid off in the past three years or at least faced a pay cut. Employee-employer relationships are still sensitive and workers probably don’t feel as loyal as they once did.

If you’re a job hopper or think you might be, here are a few issues to consider:

1. Don’t label yourself a job hopper to employers.
Your résumé will speak for itself, so writing “I can’t seem to stay in one place for too long” in your cover letter isn’t necessary. Instead, emphasize your experience and the different types of organizations you’ve worked in. Mention the range of your experience, from small start-ups to international corporations, and highlight how you’ve made a difference at each.

2. Be mindful of how much hopping you do
If you start a job, get into a fight with an overbearing boss during the first week, and quit immediately, leave that information off your work history. It’s an anomaly on your work history and is so brief no one will notice. If, however, you have held 6 jobs in the past year, you might want to reconsider your hopping practices because you’re not staying anywhere long enough to make a difference. No sooner do you settle before you’re out the door again. But because they constitute such a significant amount of time when combined, you can’t omit these brief jobs from your history.

3. Explain why you hop
You may or may not be asked about your overactive job history during an interview. Some interviewer might not consider it noteworthy, but some will be curious as to why you’ve had three jobs in 7 years compared to other applicants who were at one location for a decade. Did you hit a ceiling at the organization and needed to look elsewhere to expand your skill set? Did the position evolve to a role that was drastically different than the one you signed on for? Were you laid off when the company when bankrupt? Did you move? You probably had good reasons to make the moves you did. Find concise ways to explain your decisions in case the questions arise and you’ll do well.

In today’s workplace, the rules are changing. If you’ve seen this changing attitude toward job hopping evolve during your professional career, what do you think about it? Or have you not seen evidence of this in your job search? Let us know.

  1. Interesting article, although I will say I’d be happy to hop into a job working as a copy editor for this blog. There are lots and lots of embarrassing typos here.

      • Job Hopping has created my Experiance in so many ways, Employers have told me “I should be in Business for myself” with my Expertize. My Life My World !

        10 Positions in 3 years and getting Job Offers everyday , even in this Economy!

        And im talking 50K a year type Jobs…..100K plus jobs come from who you know,

        Not what You know…….another Interview Monday Morning. Also!

  2. reguarding article JOB HOPING unfourtunly times have changed and unlike workers 25 years ago who a large percentage retired from jobs. I
    have been through 1 relocation 2 downsizeing
    1 company merger 1 layoff.And within last fifteen years I’ve had 5 differant jobs averageing about 2 1/2 years and a 2 year gap in employment due to currant recession. I don’t believe most HR or hiring managers are really update to on whats going on out here in the real world as they apply the cookie cutter hiring practice and why can’t corporations and business practice some compassion (whick is large companys can relocate and ruin a whole community for the sole sake of profit) the opportunity to be judged with consideration of all factors to allow for diverseity.As hard facts don’t allways total to the correct sum value of an potenial employee. Thank you

    • dcthomas – I wouldn’t hire you if you were the last available employee on earth. Your spelling is horrible!! Your sentence structure is terrible too. Go back to elementary school and learn how to write. There is no excuse for you.

      • No Dummy and No kidding need to take it easy on the guy! maybe he’s a mechanic and a good one who is just unfortunate in places of employment (and not an English teacher). There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be gainfully employed at something he is good at; especially considering he seems like he really wants to work.

    • No Dummy and No Kidding–It’s really shocking to see the lack of civility and the downright cruelty in your comments. In responding to a person who is obviously struggling at this difficult economic time, can you truly feel good about bashing on their grammar and spelling skills? And saying something as awful as “There is no excuse for you.”? Really? How shameful!

    • Your thoughts are sound, but like me, neither of us are Technical Writers or “Cube-sitters”. Actions speak volumns to just petty words. Smile and keep trying, I’ve been at this……for much too long and see amazingly terrible “Work-ethic” only for quick profit. (That is what is being taught, just look at the other replies.)

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  4. Why should employees be loyal when corporations are not obligated to be loyal in return? All corporations care about is profit. They don’t care a hoot about people and any efforts to make it look like they care are just smoke and mirrors for appearences sake.

  5. There is no loyalty left in the workplace because every employee knows that they will be replaced as soon as a lower paid person can be trained to do their job, in some cases employees are made to train their low paid replacements. The corporations have made most workplaces hostile, and their greed has created a two class society. They have gutted the American middle class and have erased the American Dream for many people. They squeeze more work out of less workers and get away with freezing wages and constant downsizing. The job market will never be the same

    • I am a new victim of this – last month. My company hired a new VP who changed the landscape… he is cleaning house… I was swept out after a year and a half. Actually, I am looking forward to finding an employer who has a different business model… OPPORTUNITY!

  6. Yeah, go ahead and put your little spin in this article. Go ahead and make it seem as if people enjoy being a perm-temp. Make it seem that people enjoy moving to a new city every other year. Because, you know, we all enjoy picking up the family and relocating to a new area with new people and new “challenges.”

    Some of us are sick of it. “Love it or leave it!” they say. I’m gonna leave it. You can keep your little wet dream about how great “America” is and how wonderful temp jobs are.

    You don’t need me. You need more cheaper Indians and Chinese. They’re yours. Have fun.

  7. I have always been a long term employee till this crappy economy took a turn. I got laid off from a job I loved and wanted to retire from. I took the first offer and boy was that a mistake. It was the worst job I have ever had. I was miserable. I stuck it out 2 years and finally got fired, which was the happiest day of my life. I now work two part time jobs and love them both. It’s not much money but I finally have my sanity back and have good bosses that treat me like a human being. My advice to all of you out there if you are unhappy, get the hell out and find something that will make you go to work everyday and not be stuck in a rut. Yes the job market is tough, I got my both of my jobs by sending an email asking if they are hiring. Both places weren’t posting jobs at the time so I got lucky not only once but twice.

  8. As a Gen X-er myself who heard all of the “outdated” concerns about job hopping and as a hiring manager going conducting a search and hire process for a recent resignation of an employee who has only been with me for 9 months but received an offer that he feels is better for him than his current position with our company. I had to stretch resources and agreed to my boss to forgo a raise for myself so that I could rediret those funds to hire this guy because I really wanted him….and yet he’s on his way out already. And the first six months were all a learning curve for him with training and experience learning our processes and cycles. So he hasn’t even had the opportunity to complete a full anual cycle in our business and show the true potential I believe he is capable of here.

    So, I understand from a manager and employer’s perspective why job hopping has been stigmatized in the past and to be frank, I think the experienced manager will always look at a history of job hopping with critical eyes because job hopping really burns the manager and employer.

    However, I think the point of this article is that the employer shouldn’t immediately dismiss a history of job hopping out of hand, but rather explore the reason behind the job hopping and the likelihood that the employee will do the same thing with this new job. It could be that the hopping was the result of conditions outside of the employee’s control, which may in turn not pose a risk of similar behavior to the current hiring manager if they can provide a better experience to the employee. And that’s the point of this article…there are good reasons for job hopping.

    However, there are also bad reasons. Or maybe “bad” isn’t the right word….maybe “risky for the employer” is better term. If the employee simply seems to be “test driving” a bunch of different jobs searching for the elusive perfect job, then the manager may want to consider whether or not they want to be the next potential casualty of the candidate’s quest to find themselves.

    My take away from this article, as a hiring manager, is to explore the reasons behind job hopping on a resume before making a cursory judgement that the person is unreliable.

    • TOO INEFFICIENT! A person would think that you would understand the value of a simple Applicant Screening Program so commonly used by most other Human Resources Depts. IF…IF I could find The Ever-So-Elusive H.R. person like you, now, I’d be employed, like yesteday. You would see my value, but as it is, H.R.people (generally) just look for a college degree, now, it seems and not experience. Then, I see many Gen-Xers with degrees not finding work either and being told the same BS I was told. “Get experience and we’ll talk”. <CATCH-22…HA!

  9. I’m in my late 30 and have been at my last two jobs for 8 years and 3 years at my current job. Prior to that I changed jobs every year to 2.5 years. No recruiter or manager ever brought up the frequent change. They were definitely more interested in the varied experience I could offer. In the tech field the employee with the latest and greatest knowledge is who you want.

    I agree with a previous poster about company loyalty. My grandfather spend 30+ years with the same construction company. When he passed away I met many of his friends who were also current or recently retired employees of that same construction company, you got the sense of family from them. They were loyal employees and felt the same from the company. My grandfather had retired a few years earlier but they still sent flowers and their condolences.

    I am fortunate to work for a company that I feel wants to invest in me not only as an employee but also in my families well being. I can see working here for a very long time. Prior to this job I never really felt i was more than just a number especially at the larger companies. They only saw employees as red ink in the profit ledger, which is why it was so easy for them to lay people off when times were tough. Why fix the real issues when you can layoff thousands and show a quick dollar turn around and keep investors happy. Anyway I think the savvy job hopping employee has realized that if you can pick up valuable skills along the way companies will overlook the short stints, they want and need your skills. And once your a hot item to a company it opens up other perks, flexible schedules, work from home, and better incentives.

  10. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Your individual experiences are interesting–and what I like to read in these comments. As Nate said, there are positives and negatives to job hopping, and one size does’t fit all. Industry, qualifications, and that particular organization all matter when it comes to whether or not to hire an individual. But hopefully, in the wake of so many layoffs since 2007/2008, hiring managers will realize that circumstances are different and few companies keep employees for decades at a time. -Anthony

  11. Well, I kind of resent your chirpy tone. The fact is that most people would rather not job hop. If people have bumpy resumes, it’s because they keep getting laid off. Your article applies only to a thin layer of young workers in finance and technology. Wait until they hit 40 and become unemployable.

    • Absolutely. My husband (a copy editor) has all sorts of “hops” and “holes” on his resume, only one of which was his fault (he absolutely couldn’t stand the company or his boss, and by the time he left six months into the job, he was the longest-lived employee in his department, which says a lot about them). At least the company he’s with now has kept him around, and greatly valued him, for more than 2.5 years now.

  12. Took nine months to find a job after being laid-off. Left after 9 months because I was recruited for a much better job. Yes, the new normal!

  13. What this article fails to mention is that 40 years ago raises would be meaningful and keep you even. A “good” raise these days is 2% whcih is not even enough to pay for the medical plan increases. (up 40% at my company this year alone) Add to that the increases in gas (was less than $3/gal last year, will be over $4/gal by Labor Day up over 30%), food, other insurance, utilities, etc. and you actually LOOSE money (can afford less) each year you stay at the same employer. So you either have to be promoted (which is increasingly harder as you rise in a company) or go to a new company to “reset” your earnings.

    So even if you are good at what you do and like the company you are in, one you make it to a position where you are waiting for someone else to leave their position so you can be promoted, you find yourself in a position where your earnings are wasting away. Within 5 years you feel under appreciated and you are off to your next company.

    When taking a job, don’t expect to “work your way up” in salary. Know what you need to live this year, and the next 3 (unless you expect a promotion) and get that year 3 salary when you start. Otherwise you will find you “can’t afford” to work for that company in a short time.

  14. A few of the comments have touched on the three main reasons for job hopping. First of course is for younger workers or for those who can’t grow in their current position. They must change jobs to make more and to gain more experience. This is how I was. Now I have found a job I don’t need to hop from.

    Second of course is the way companies have changed. They don’t value their emnployees for the most part so often employees hop even to jobs that pay less to find a better environment. My last hop to my current position was some of this because the pay was similar but I had better hours here. And this is a place that I can truly see myself retiring from. I have been here 3 years and this is already my longest job.

    Third ties into the second and happens to older workers and entry level workers the most. And that is layoffs of all kinds. Though I think a lot of these people could have avoided the layoffs had they been more willing to hop. Since this reason happens when employees have loyality to a company that doesn’t deserve it.

    Also I don’t think employers look bad on normal job hopping which is staying in a position for 2 to 3 years. But any hops under a year need to be explained. And multiple hops in a year when I was a hiring manager was often a killer for me. That app went in the “trash” pile. Of course these rules very by position. The higher your position that longer you should stay. But for middle management and below I think 2 to 3 years looks ok. 5 would be better for middle management.

  15. Sometime’s money is not the reasons for leaving a job. I’ve had positions where the boss is great for the first several months, supportive and a great resource and then suddenly… they change into demanding results that are nearly impossible to achieve while still maintaining quality or they stop respecting you as a fellow human being. Been there, done that. Now, when I am in the market for a job…I’m looking at the mission of the employer and comparing it with the personal and professional values I possess. If they match and the money is reasonable, I will take a lower paying job before I go back to an employer who’s a jerk. PS: I fall into the “older” worker category now, 41.

  16. Yep times have changed. I started my career out at a small technology company and after 2.5 yrs it went broke.

    On to job #2. This was a mid sized technology company that, under the original founder CEO, “never layed people off” and I stayed 10yrs. Along the 10yrs I had a family, needed and was granted a flexible schedule to take care of kids for a couple of days (with wife getting flexible schedule to cover the other days). All fine so far. Thought my only danger was getting fired (since the company had the “we never lay off” motto) which I would see coming had I ever gotten a verbal & writeup. Worked my ass off and never had a verbal or write up, so safe there right? WRONG! Then came the new CEO and things started to change as this 2008 recession started. As the company sensed drastically increased application levels for their job postings the arrogant bastards became more and more hostile to their employees (from what I experienced and heard from others) and at year’s end started laying off by the hundreds, me being layed off as well. Some were layed off after 25 yrs with the company! Didn’t matter I had above average reviews. Just a bean to be counted by the bean counting CEO.

    On to job #3. I actually liked working here but they were purposely under staffed by their own planning and so, so, so busy for what they paid (I actually didn’t mind this that much), I never had (and never would have had) the opportunity for the flexible schedule I needed to take care of my kids.

    So on to Job#4. This job is much, much easier but now comes company restructuring and a transfer to another dept! I’ll have to see how this turns out. Damn, does this ever end?

    Now you tell me where you would place your loyalty.

  17. 6 month contracts, forced relocations, company bankruptcies (everybody gets canned), raises that don’t keep pace w inflation, jobs that don’t quite pay enough for a single person to live… More forced relocation. Yes they aren’t actually forced, but what can ya do sometimes?

    Not bad since graduating in 05… 6 jobs in 6 years. Would be nice if it was different :(

  18. I was with my first company for over 7 years and then 3.5 with my next. They both closed down so had no choice but to leave. I was recruited for another job but knew I didn’t want it, I took it just to have a job and worked hard to find a new job within 3 months so I could leave it off my resume. I then relocated to a booming economy and here everyone hops most less than a year but employers are so desperate that they don’t care. I am now on my 3rd job in 5 years 2 yrs, 1 yr and 2yrs and am leaving for an opportunity overseas that I have wanted for years. I don’t suspect that I will hop much more and have been looking for a place to be comfortable and loyal and hope I have found it. The job that I am leaving was recently bought by another company so even if I had stayed I would most likely be looking in another 6 months anyway. My recent job hoping has not been a problem but I suspect being anchored by the 2 longer term jobs has helped.

  19. I’ve always stayed focused on a related employer to my background, as I’ve changed companies (most of them no longer in business!), just to establish a credible career. BUT, noting more experience, I’ve hit this blockade! All any “Human Resources” computer program needs do is list my “Work History” and not considering accrued potential value, nor employer instability, dicards me as “OVER QUALIFIED”..EXPERIENCE NOT WANTED, ONLY COLLEGE DEGREES. So, all this “Professional” advice means squat after 2-years of rejections.

  20. I graduated college in the summer of 2009, knowing almost exactly what I wanted to go into (editing and writing), only to find that all the jobs I SHOULD have been able to get were either not hiring or were placing experience above education. After a year of searching, I was able to get an amazing internship, but that only lasted for three months. Three months after that ended, I was finally hired for a decent job (barely related to what I actually hope to do with my life), which laid me off after 1 1/2 months.

    The only options that seem to be left for people like me are retail or food service, and it’s extremely difficult to remain with such companies for a long enough period of time to be considered a “loyal” employee. I would LOVE to be hired by a company and be able to stay with them! Unfortunately, so far that option has not been given to me. Instead, I get to rack up experience at minimum wage jobs that only qualifies me to work at similar jobs, keeping me just as far away from where I want to be as when I started. If employers want loyal employees, then HIRE US!

    Oh and I agree with some of the earlier posters, the typographical errors in this article are atrocious (if you need a good editor/proofreader, I’m available and ready to go!).

    • YES! Just the spirit of your writing suggests your “work ethic” and potential value, but as you’ve seen this IS a “Catch-22″ job market. For those that are just starting out in the work-word with college degrees, potential employers say, “But, you lack experience”. For use over 50, one look at work history and we hear, “Oh you’re OVER-QUALIFIED”. Then we’re barraged by use-less tripe about going back to school…but forget about your credit, the scholarship will NOT pay anything past school costs not EVEN pay rent (forget about Gasoline to get to/from school or even a Bicycle tire etc., etc. So, keep your spirit and use your OWN fertile imagination! Forge your OWN future.

  21. Make yourself marketable. Employers love to know that they are getting someone willing to learn what they (company) have to offer. I was previously laid off due to downsizing a number of times over a span of 5 years. I quickly learned that college degrees do not promise you a job or anything else for that matter. Knowing the latest technology or industry standards in your field may have and show great initiative on your part. Get certified in your field if you can. Its alot quicker and cheaper than Universities. You control your own destiny not your employer. If you know what you like to do then try and build on that even if it is not in your field of study. You will be much happier from day to day. We all know times have changed. jobs have changed. Neither the employer or employee has to be loyal to the other. If you are not getting what you want out of your employer learn the neccessary skills you need to make yourself martketable and increase your opportunities.

  22. I would not consider my myself a job hopper, but when opportunity knocks, a person should take the time to review his or her goals and status. In the last six years I have been with two companies and I’m going on my third. The first company was ok, but I came in underpaid. I was not upset about this fact because I was able to get firsthand experience and I needed the money. I knew I would never retire there because of my industry (Information Technology). The second company was the best, but over time my position was downgraded and I forced to not only do my old job requirements, but a whole new sleuth of items that came about after layoffs and people leaving for better opportunities. I could complain about management, but it does not matter. I’m moving on for a better opportunity. Do not get me wrong, I’m extremely appreciative of the opportunities, but the company went overboard with layoffs and pay freezes. The good news is that other companies did the same thing and now they are willing to pay good money for a person who with the correct background who does not care about hard work. I’m not naive and most likely be having the same conversation with you all in three to five years, but in that time I will build up my education (finish my masters) and continue to grow my own business. I believe a person should not ever sacrifice for a company they do not own or hold some type of economical stock. Remember a business is not there to make you happy, but create wealth for the upper 10 percent (Executives). Remember if you want a raise find another job, if you want happiness go visit Mickey Mouse.

  23. I had 3 jobs and 1 internship in my first 12 years of employment. I rarely missed work, kept a positive attitude and related well to most of my coworkers and managers. Enter an illness which ended my govt job and placed me on SSDI. In the last 7 years of poor health, I have tried 18 jobs.

    I’ve answered 90 calls an hour at the hospital paging doctors out for patients and code blue calls. I’ve put created websites and newsletters. I worked several office gigs. I’ve tried retail, library aide and call center work.

    I’ve been asked ‘what was wrong with me’ in job interviews, nasty republican welfare comments, insulted because of my disability which is surrounded by stereotypes. There are so many of my kind using your retirement benefits which are set to run too low in 2017 (probably earlier with 2010 Obama Tax Bill), many of us just want to work. We are faced with a hateful work environment, major financial uncertainty with benefits becoming iffy if an employer wants us to work too many hours, unaccommodating employers and declining wages with increasing living expenses. We all served so faithfully for so long before our health failed, we deserve a chance.

    If professionals would be professionals, wages were commensurate with experience, living wages considered an ethical requirement, our contributions were valued, job advancement was a benefit of employment for hard workers and one’s personal beliefs and biases were kept out of the workplace, there would be a whole lot more willing employees who appreciated having a career again.

    • Since you mention it, what is your disability that has a 36 year old woman living off the taxpayers, yet isn’t visible to these evil republicans that you mention? Is is something that people used to deal with, but has now become a gravy train?

  24. I definitely have a history of job hopping. Most of it is due to moving. When I moved to a new community I would take a position that would afford me income–the trade off for working. Then I would research job opportunities in the area, especially looking for salary, benefits, etc. Now that I am in the older worker category I rely on experience and education as a selling point, and I continue to increase my education.

    I know opportunities are not as plentiful in this economy, especially for young workers without much experience. My advice is to look ahead at the changing trends in the job market. I try to stay a step ahead by researching promising areas in the job market. One of my co-workers told me he has several friends who have college degrees, but they are working at coffee shops and discount stores. The degrees they have are not very marketable at this point. This reaffirms my thoughts on keeping up with the ever changing job market. Best of luck to all.

  25. What does one do when a great, ethical and professional person with big goals has unfortunately encountered the worst, one-sided bully boss at three jobs one after one other in a single yr from pure bad luck and when the boss just won’t change, listen or cooperate and the bad boss’s superiors won’t fire him or her(the bully boss) or transfer the golden subordinate to another department with a good, trustworthy boss. It is 100% unjust of this and not worth at all and clearly the bullies at any level are known as an obviously total dysfunctional clear problematic, one-sided part in the workplace. Why are adults so dumb to not get rid any asshole no matter how good he/she does? Seriously, people must know and be aware of the bosses unfortunately who act out and are the fault of their employees leaving (it is said that employees usually leave their bosses rather than the company).


    • I have had a similar experience. I think that people are intimidated by employees with great qualifications and who can think outside the box. It scares them and make them feel threatened. They prefer “sheep” in the workplace.

      Furthermore, employers have NO loyalty to their employees anymore, so why should we be loyal to them? I was “let go” the week of Thanksgiving despite having done a great job at work because my boss had a huge ego and I challenged his thinking.

    • Three bully bosses in a row? Could it be that this gold-hearted soul who appears to believe themselves perfect is unable to work with others due to their need to be in total control and autonomy?

      • Good point. Sometimes we do have to take a step back and realize that we’re 50/50 responsible for the relationships we maintain and build at work. I’m not saying that some bosses cannot be difficult, but I know employees can be difficult too. Everyone needs to have humility and the ability to see that there’s a shared goal in getting the job done. Everyone is on the same team.

    • If you’ve ever read “The Peter Principle” you will understand that many of the people you meet in your professional life has risen to their level of incompetence. So it is not uncommon to come up against incompetent bosses who then try to justify themselves by blaming someone else lower down the chain of command. This happens particularly when they see someone as a threat – for example, someone with a good soul, more professional than them, better ideas, big goals etc. So unfortunately you have to be very careful. In each job, consider the corporate culture. They may well have policies that suggest they will punish bullying bosses, but even if they do, they might be worthless. If the company is dominated by an old boys network, or a culture where senior managers seem themselves as infallible, you aren’t going to change anything. If the company is truly forward looking, gradually and carefully work you way in, establish a good rappore, build a network of friends, and log every incident of bullying in writing. Hopefully, after a while, your boss you learn to trust you, and then advocate for you. But if not, you’ll be in a much better position to effect the change you need to stay with the company.

  26. Wow…If you get so discouraged, try starting your own company! Making a profit and understanding costs are the first necessary steps before hiring. Companies and corporations are here to make money, first for their investors; not hire workers. Do something for yourself.

    • Try it yourself…the issue is not a lack of understanding of profitability and costs. The issue is an acknowledgement of a dysfunctional workplace culture, where the request for employees to give their all (60+ hour work weeks, including skipping lunch, no work life balance, loss of vacation and benefits, poor work environments, little to no training or career pathing and the potential of layoffs around every corner) is the norm, while many of these same organizations are complaining about having to rehire due to job hopping. Employment in the corporate world has always been quid pro quo…treat your employee right, and your employee will treat you right…THAT’S how you CONTINUE to make money. This short term strategy of “slash and burn” (lay off your middle and lower ranks, work the remainder to the quick, retain most of the executive ranks with no decrease in compensation / bonuses and expect to make money in the long run) is short sighted at best, and is why we are now seeing what’s described in the article above. Now Pandora’s box is opened…job hopping has become the norm…it’s going to be very difficult to get back to the place where one has loyalty to any employer.

    • @Tryityourself – u go just suck the life out of workers for yours an investors benifits then dont expect the worker to move on because of your assinity believes.ive always been to the belief treat your employees the way u want to be treated with respect an theyll give u all they have,not loke there animals you can do what u want with .maybe with a liitle luck yall understand somtime/scrooge.

    • I HAVE owned my own company. I spent several years as an OWNER / OPERATOR both as a COMMERCIAL TRANSPORT OPERATOR, and a SHOP OWNER. Most of the reason I got out of it was COST OF OPERATION!

      Taxes. Insurance and equipment upkeep / replacement are most of the largest factors confronting a business. Once you “TRAIN”an employee, your training costs decrease to a minimum, and production proportionally INCREASES!

  27. When employers suck from you what you have learned, yet refuse to contribute to your self-improvement, you can stagnate, and then they have excuses to not pay you well. When employers expect everyone to fit in narrow roles, you can stagnate, and then you are useless to other employers. When you show loyalty, some employers think the don’t need to pay you well or treat you well, because you won’t want to or be able to move. Often people in these traps find that when business picks up and new people are needed, that the new people are coming in at a much higher salary. Add to that how the business is often a “family” when it is explained why you must sacrifice, but then when it is time to lay you off, it is “just business”.

    There is a difference between job hopping and having a broad career strategy (and getting fired alot). Pick where you would like to be working in 10-15 years and then work your way there by working other places first. That way when you show up for your dream job you will have some power.

  28. How can employers complain about job hoppers when, if the market is bad in your skill sector employers will just fire employees. (Oh!, sorry, make you redundant) So, I do not see why employees should have any loyalty toward employers. So employees, look out for yourself and just do a good job for your employer. No favours either way you get paid for work accomplished and income accrued by your efforts for your employer. So, I guess the employer “hire & fire” culture has come to roost with the “job hopper” culture. Basically, you get out of life what you put into it (employers). So, employers why do you complain?

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  30. On August 2010 I accepted a position with a previous employer for whom I worked for from 1999 until 2007. I have been at this new position for just 6 months but I am unsatisfied with the position and the company might go belly-up.
    Should I omit this new position from my resume? if I add it, would it look like I am job jumping?
    How can I overcome this obstacle if any?

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  36. I have worked at several contract jobs and one permanant job in the past few years. Contract jobs used to imply that you would be hired permanently after a while, but not anymore. When there are layoffs, the first to go are the contract employees. I had one invitation from a Manager to apply for a permanent postion, and my trainer decided that she didn’t want to toil away on salary, applied, and was hired for my hourly rolling shift positon (you get overtime). There are those contract positions that the temp. agency fills because the firm can’t seem to fill that permanent vacancy. It’s one of those jobs where people mentally take bets how long you will last :-P. I have been asked why so many jobs in the past couple of years during interviews, and my response has been layoffs, relocations, aquiring skill sets, but I did say that I prefer to keep busy. I was afraid of the stigma of being unemployed for too long, so I took jobs that weren’t exactly what I wanted just so I could pay bills and avoid the stigma.

  37. wow! I can’t believe that this article treats everyone as if they were never laid off or fired through no fault of their own! Why did I have 3 jobs in five years? Very simple: Had one job for 12 years and in 2007 was hired by a company which did not disclose to me that they were having severe financial problems. After working in hell for that year, I was let go with everyone else when the company went belly up. then, after 5 months of unemployment, I was lucky to have found something, just to work. I was hired for a second shift position (hated that fact) then 5 short months later, everyone on the 2nd shift and some on the first shift were let go due to bad economy and lack of business. That being 2009, I was lucky to have found a third postiion in which the company culture had changed because of the recession: They had to make your life miserable because you “were supposed to be thankful that you had a job in a time of massive layoffs” Luckily by late 2010 I found my 4th position since 2007 and (keeping my fingers crossed) it looks very stable and seems to be a very nice place to work. So many MILLIONS fo people have gone through this that it seems that this article is still treating “job hoppers” as if they and only they can’t keep a job and it is no one elses fault but their own. Does the article address the issue of the recession, that for many, has not and refuses to end?

  38. I have had 7 jobs in 28 years all in the same Industry.Every x-boss couldn’t believe I was resigning.

    Fact is that I kept producing more and more on each job for the company and my bosses all reaped the rewards of my work and other companies noticed what I was producing.If I had stayed on the first job I’d probably be making around 50k a year now instead of 150k.You tell me, is it more important to be dedicated to a boss or to yourself?

  39. Well, my sister and I are like night and day. She kept a position for over 35 years. She moved around in the company but was never trained and really only promoted within same level positions, however everyone thought she was secure. I on the other hand, became an RN, and RN’s recently became quite the job hoppers for the most cases. In doing so, I have attained many roles, vast experience etc. My longest position was 6.5 years marketing Home Health. However, the position hit a ceiling and I decided to move on because I wanted to learn the administrative side and they did not want to promote me. .

    This year my sister was laid off after 35 years, has no varied job skills, she is very timid because she has never even looked for a job before. Interviews are fearful for her, she feels insecure in her talents, she doesn’t even want to drive any place different because she had become so dependent on a company who did her no justice in the end. They did not even prepare her for future promotional endeavors etc. You see, I don’t see this as good. Companies want the employees to be faithful and commit, but they continue to have an attitude toward employees that they are easily replaced by someone they can start out at a lower rate of pay. They pick and choose who will move ahead and who they will keep as “worker bees”, used until they find someone to do the job w/ less pay.

  40. I live in South Florida. There are a lot of “straight commission” telemarketing jobs down here.In 2009 when I left my employer a “boutique brokerage” about to get shutdown by the SEC,brokerages weren’t hiring. I worked a bunch of telemarketing rooms. Job hopping. This is the 2000′s version of the 1900′s factory job. Tons of promises made, but no money.So I was a job hopper, I didn’t like the process but it was a necessity to make money.My last job I spent a year at. They opened a branch office and promoted me to run it.On a shoestring budget, with little or no input from my superiors, who wouldn’t take any of my suggestions.The suggestions were not costly. The office lasted 4 months before they closed it,and told me to move back closer to the other office.They were actually suprised when I took a 3000 dollar bonus to join a brokerage firm again.Where Ilearned a lot of my suggestions to my old company are already in place. Job Hopping sometimes, as in my case, is a necissity.

  41. I think about jobs like employers think about their revenue. If I get a position that offers more money, I’m going just like if their business finds a new revenue source they’re going for it, or if they lose a revenue source or it declines, they lay people off. Us employees are just doing what the business climate does to us, we are expendable and so are they, it’s only fair. If we have a better opportunity, we will leave, just like the employer would do if they had a better opportunity, thats the business climate today. Loyalty works both ways and most employers just don’t have it or show it, so why should we?

  42. I agree with so many of these comments – as a 50 plus year old professional, I have had the misfortune to be negatively affected several times. My intuition is pretty good, and when I jumped, it was generally right before major cuts happened. I have jumped to jobs that were worse than the ones I left, and those organizations knew the environments were toxic, but chose to dare their employees to leave.

    this is what it has come to. what a lousy situation. hope and change?? not so much.

  43. i worked for the same company for over 8 years .never late never called in sick worked 60 plus hours a week worked my days off worked outside of my job description.come into work start doing my job

    get called into the office and get laid off my postion was elimanated and thats how companies reward loyal i have to work a dead end job w/no benifits tried to transfer within the company

    was told by the district mgr i could. told by my direct supervisor no you will always be a driver i need drivers. we have not had a wage increase in over 2 years have to give a 45 day notice to get a day off but yet they want you to drop your life and whatever plans you have for your day off to work on a 1 day notice.loyal to my employer nope never again.employer have discoverd that they can make a better profit by overworking less people. they do not care about the employees anymore and use the economy as an excuse to keep wages down.but in the long run it harms the economy more. the employer doesnt give increases the employee spends less going onto the economy less back to the employer yada yada yada its a mean circle that will never get fixed until it completly collapases

  44. This is a billion dollar question, and I’m glad to share my own opinion. We are still in a recession and I belive the recession started sometime in 2002. The employers have infact benefitted, and we have ABSOLUTELY changed the long term employment security for good in America. If you in engineering consulting or working on infrastructure, public works or transportation projects, you are the most vulnerable to this phenomenon. Prive sector employers love this (otherwise disturbing) trend. Simply becuase they can hire the “very best and the brightest engineers and project managers” use their resumes and hard earned project experience to get new projects for the employer, and get rid of them as soon as the last payment is secured from the client. Or if the company is near belly up (or bankruptcy) they hire the top end employee, once the projects are in place they either get rid of the same employee that helped them get the work, and cut his/her salary and benefits so your stuck in rut. At this point you have no choice but look for a another job. This goes in cycles and cycles and cycles. Clients are usually public sector, they rarely question the private sector employees of their high turnaround.

  45. wow, even though there are some interesting thoughts here the newest are eleven months old. while the ideas and comments are pretty accurate they are even more relative now as we draw closer to the presidential election. if there is not major “change” by getting rid of baracko the clown the only “hope” we may have is working down the street at mcdonalds for the high pay grade of minimun wage, god help us all! oops, politically incorrect, may baracko the clown save us all!

    on the topic of job hopping, as i have matured i have learned and expericened many things as a employee, business owner, student and presently unemployed. we as a society job hop because we are seeking enough income and benefits to provide for families as well as a level of self-satisfaction and self-worth. most employers i have come across are hoping for employees who are either willing to work for little money and benefits to further fatten the coffers of the company, the company grows, the officers make mega bonus while the one’s that work in the trenches struggle to survive with the mere pendance they are paid. when the employees rise up in protest (ex. of occupy wall street) they are cast aside for another drone who will sacrifice their quality of life to further fatten the golden calf.


    • @southern conservative
       Not to bust your bubble but BUSH started this decline and his cousin ODUMA is just keeping the legacy goin…They are one and in the same league.

  46. we look at the employee as being the issue but perhaps we should shift our eyes to the business owners, h.r. people who sell the new employee on the concept of what should be but in the real world the concept doesn’t exist, the undermining of the menions trying to find job security for another paycheck, the management overloading the staff with unrealistic deadlines and objectives and then use the failure to complete in a timely manner to thin the herd and find new employees who are willing to have the job and work for less money and benefits.

    employeers have brought this new trend on themselves by demanding more and giving even less in return. they should have seen this coming as comapnies eliminated benefits and threaten jobs if pay cuts are not accepted so the company (and your job) can survive only to experience growth, hire new employess (not paying because of the health of the company is most important) and profits grow. 2/3

  47. more power to the workers for finally standing up and saying “enough is enough” and “i’m tired of being a pawn being used by the company”!

    may the worker never be so closed minded that they miss the opportunity to grow, either professionally or personally. if you aren’t looking out for yourself i can certainly guarantee you that your employer never will!

    may god watch over us all and guide us while we struggle through these tough economic times! 3/3

  48. I have been employed with the same company for many years but was at an advantage because I volunteered regularly for new assignments that I thought would bring change to the same old routine. When you are not given variety on the job’ a person tends to get bored easily. Working with persons of all ages revealed that those that learn the job the fatest should have been noticed by the employer and moved to something different to perform because that was an employee they needed and who would help show the employer how the the skill level of the job really was for the experience, education and tenacity of that person. The training seminars show that younger workers are learning faster based on the new technology gained from the devices that they use daily ( playstations, cell phones, Ipods,etc.). The goal is to keep these workers who can learn and want to enhance there skills. Employers should consider to stop looking at the number of jobs held but what type of work the individual completed and how this person can make the adjustment to their new career with them with the understanding that ‘it only gets better’.

  49. Why should we have to explain job hopping. Life doesn’t go the way we plan a lot. Employers lie about jobs, better jobs with more money come along, more interesting work comes along. If employers paid employees more then they wouldn’t even have to worry about “Job Hoppers” Besides, who really wants to work and make someone else rich for the rest of their life?

  50. Don’t believe everything you read. Such as this article, written by an individual show is supposedly a professional writer, but does not do something as simple as use SpellCheck. Weigh all situations carefully…Take this article with a grain of salt..that is all it is.

  51. Companies want you to give “them” plenty of notice but they want to Fire you “AT WILL” Who takes employer needs seriously today?

  52. Temporary and contract workers need to form unions. We are given virtually no notice than an assignment is ending. This puts people out on the street within minutes, often with no safety net.

    • When I initially did contract work, I knew the length of the contract work up front. I would think if you’re going through a placement service, they should have the duration explicitly spelled out for you before you take an assignment. If you’re directly going through the company, perhaps make it a weekly check-in to establish milestones on your projects and determine the anticipated ending date and explain that you’ll begin looking for new assignments or new employers if there’s no additional work in house.

  53. I am glad to see articles like this. . . I had worried that I would be labeled a job hopper in the past. but in today’s economy a PERSON has to do what they have to do, regardless of what the company “tells you”. I’ve found that most of the jobs I had left because of them starting to have a sinking ship, HAVE INDEED SUNK. But it is still scary to reveal that on your resume. Employers may look at someone like myself as a JINX. Point being, our world is changing, and I would love to find a place that I could work at for years, and retire from, like my grandfather. . .but even my own dad didn’t have that luxury and he is now 77. Having two companies he worked for go belly up. So the changes we’ve gone through since our most recent recession, have actually been showing themselves present years earlier:( Maybe I am jinxed, but this article is correct. . .I have gained years of experience, in several fields I would never have gotten, if I decided to stay STUCK in a position when I was in my twenties.

  54. Also, there is a huge problem these days with employers only wanting young and good looking workers. It can be impossible to get a decent job if you are a woman over 35. Guess what? Good looks and youth can only go so far. On a regular basis, we now see billboards and advertisements with badly misspelled words and poor grammar. Twenty years ago, this was rare. Now, its common. Employers no longer care about literacy.

  55. Maybe

    if Corporate America returned to treating their employees with the respect and CORPORATE LOYALTY that our parents and Grand parents enjoyed, they would see a shift in EMPLOYEE LOYALTY!

    Companies today have begun using a any-reason – no-reason policy to terminate without regard to PERFORMANCE or proficiency. When an employee nears retirement, many companies start looking for an EXCUSE to get rid of him, so they don’t have to pay out the retirement funds that have been worked for for 20 or 30 years.

    Older , more experienced, and better trained workers are in jeopardy of being axed because companies feel it is in THEIR benefit to “train” new people, because they can get a TAX BREAK for it. They are not concerned with the “quality” of the END PRODUCT. P R O O F!! Go to any commercial and LOOK at the QUALITY of today’s products, compared to the same types of products our parents used.

    I was “laid off”from a company for DOING MY JOB! With over 16 years experience and replaced by an individual just out of school, who had NO EXPERIENCE AT ALL!!! But the company in question gets a TAX CREDIT for training this kid. Where is the CORPORATE LOYALTY in that?!? And, now, companies are crying the blues, because these SAME PEOPLE are jumping like rats from sinking ships!

    • @Mike793
       In VA they can fire you without cause. Its VA law. CommonWealth state. and there is nothing you can do about it. Not to mention most upper management feel a sense of entitlement and treat you like crap and show you know respect. Alot are closet Sociopaths.

  56. The article and many of the posts ignore the fact that we are living in a seriously broken economy, with a corrupt and dysfunctional ruling class. For most of my career, I was a respected professional, with considerable responsibility and authority. I worked for a few organizations, but stayed as long as there was challenge and opportunity. I held one job with one company for 15 years, others for 2 or more years.

    Today the only jobs I am considered for are low-end, hourly, often seasonal or part-time, and without much challenge, responsibilty, compensation, or respect. Often these jobs end on a whim by a low-level supervisor, or a change in the company’s interests. Would anyone expect loyalty in these situations? I am a job-hopper by necessity, not choice. The same is true of a vast number of un- or under-employed people in the current situation.

    Do whatever it takes to get a job if you want it. If it’s a dead end and below your qualifications, do not fell guilty about searching for something better. Your company or agency will do the same, and let you go the second they think they have a better solution.

    • @kwr2011In VA they can fire you without cause. Its VA law. CommonWealth state. and there is nothing you can do about it. Not to mention most upper management feel a sense of entitlement and treat you like crap and show you NO respect. Alot  of them are closet Sociopaths.

  57. It needs to be, the hiring managers making generalizations about this many jobs in this amount of years is ridiculous. Between your tests and assumptions about people, you’re part of the problem with good people not getting back to work.

    You have taken the human element out of the hiring process because of your lack of trust in your own judgment. I’m to busy is not an excuse for not looking at the complete persons scope of work.

    I have been recruiting interviewing and training for over ten years and regardless of my work schedule. I look at the experience, if it matches I’ll ask the other questions during the interview process.

    We have gotten way to anal with these cookie cutter questionaires and one size fits all judgements of people based on the number of jobs they have worked?

    That coupled with driving record checks even when people aren’t in a driving record position and credit checks are crippling peoples ability to get back to work. The assumption by insurance companies that anybody with marginal to bad credit are going to steal from you or people with some tickets(regardless of what those tickets are) are going to cost money and can’t be hired is ridiculous. It hasn’t kept the insurance companies from continuing to jack up there prices and even lower their so called risk even further.

    It’s not good enough that they have had no criminal history or were honorably discharged from the military….we’re gonna disqualify you because you have had some traffic tickets or you claimed bankruptcy so you’re a bad person and not employable.

    I bet some of those people that continue to steal millions from people or ruin companies and the employees jobs that have been there and built the company…….didnt have a speeding ticket huh? How are these ridiculous parameters working out for ya? The gentleman that was just sentanced for attempting to sell his “seat’ with the government. I bet he never claimed bankruptcy huh? How did the lack of a bankruptcy effect his judgment?

    The ridiculous monkey see monkey do way of hiring people nowadays, is pathetic and contributes to the downward spiral we are in.

    • @CRI Investigator
       You are so right. Thank you. I wish all hiring personell held the same beliefs but it seems like people today are just one minded sheeple following a system that doesnot see the applicant as a real life person with real life experiences. I bet more than half the hiring people dont hold degrees or have half the qualificatons of the applicants their rejecting. again, Thank YOU

  58. The biggest problem that job hoppers have is that the majority of them are just plain lazy and no employer would ever be able to satisfy them. They wouldn’t work in a pie factory with good wages and benefits, even if all they had to do was taste the different pies.

  59. I can contribute some of my short work history to my spouse’s career. It’s a tough situation when your significant other get’s a transfer or a promotion that is in a different city. Can this be resolved with an explanation in your cover letter?

    • I think that’s a perfectly logical thing to just sum up nicely in a sentence or two in your cover letter. If they want to drill into that, you can talk about it in the interview situation.

  60. The myth is that job hoppers do so by choice. Many employers aren’t bright enough to understand today’s economy, and the implications for the workers in that economy.

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