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August 2014
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TD Magazine

Is Job Hopping the New Normal?

A study shows that changing jobs frequently is now more acceptable.

Intelligence6
The reality of staying with the same company for several decades and retiring with a pension is one of days gone by.

CareerBuilder surveyed 2,138 hiring managers and HR professionals and 3,022 workers, and found that job hopping has been on the rise in recent years. Of employers, more than half (55 percent) said they have hired a job hopper and nearly one-third (32 percent) said they have come to expect workers to job hop. A job hopper is defined as someone who was hired permanently and then leaves the organization within a year or two.

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There are several industries in which employers are more likely to expect their workers to job hop. The information technology sector is at the top of this list, with leisure and hospitality following closely behind, trailed by transportation, retail, and manufacturing.

The survey also showed, unsurprisingly, that younger workers often plan to stay with their current organizations two years or less. As workers become more established in their careers, job hopping tends to slow.

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There are several advantages of job hopping, such as gaining a diverse professional background through exposure to various industries and companies, forming a large network of peers and other resources, and potentially earning more money.

Disadvantages include the still-present stigma that job hoppers are unreliable, and the unlikelihood that employers will reap long-term benefits from the employee's work. There also is the risk that the job hopper may not have had the opportunity to develop thorough knowledge of a particular field or function.

Although employers are more tolerant of job hopping than they used to be, the study shows that they still prefer to hire candidates who have a history of longer tenure with previous employers.

BT
About the Author

Bettina Timme is a former project manager in the education department of the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

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