5 Thoughts On Job Hopping

One of the questions that I get asked all the time is whether or not I  think it’s ok to job hop. Is job hopping ok, or do employers frown upon resumes that show a whole bunch of job hopping?

Here’s what I think.

I think us young people need to job hop. I think we need to try new things until we find careers that are right for us. Until we find careers that we’re passionate about.

Too many people stay at jobs they hate, and in turn, it makes them miserable. So while I do think we need to get out there and take steps towards careers that are right for us, here are a few things to keep in mind when job hopping.

Here’s the video version if you want to watch that instead!

Give Your Employer At Least A Year Of Your Time

If you’re hired for a job, give your employer at least a year of your time. If someone has taken the time to train you and to onboard you, those things are expensive and you ought to give that job a shot for a year. Who knows? Maybe you initially hate it but grow to love it after a few months. In my experience, making any kind of decision about a job before a year’s time is a little premature.

Whether or not it’s the right fit, use that year to kick ass at your job. Use that year to learn new skills and network. But if after that year you know it’s not a career you want to pursue long-term, look for something else. Every minute you spend after that is wasted time.

When You Do Leave, Leave On Good Terms

When you do decide that it’s time for your next career move, do it the right way. Don’t just head out for lunch and never come back…don’t make a scene. Don’t walk into your boss’ office, say he’s an asshole, and throw your files on his desk. That would be no bueno, my friends.

Instead, leave on good terms, don’t burn bridges, and leave with some awesome references for the future. Give your two weeks notice in person, and whenever possible, stick around to train your replacement. That’s the final impression your employer will have of you, and I promise, it’s almost as important as the first.

Be strategic with your job hopping

As much as I’m a fan of job hopping, I think you need to be strategic about it. You need to do your homework, be really honest about what you’re looking for, and make smart moves that aren’t totally random.

For example, let’s say you’re working in banking and you’re hating life. Let’s say you’ve decided that banking isn’t for you and that you want to pursue a career in Human Resources. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t be applying for jobs at a bakery. You shouldn’t be applying to a job on Wall Street. You should only be applying for jobs that’ll get you a little closer to an HR job, or that will at least give you the opportunity to work on skills that you’ll need for that job.

Make Sure You Can Communicate Why You’re Leaving

I’m 26 years old, and up until this point, here are all the things I’ve been paid to do:

  • Medical Clinic Secretary – Working with my dad, mostly filing
  • FIU Tour Guide – Giving tours of my college campus
  • Hospital Secretary – Scheduling meetings, answering the phones, basic entry-level work
  • Hospital Administrative Assistant – Working with employee,  & community relations
  • Regulatory Research Coordinator – Managing research studies at a hospital
  • Contract Administrator – Reviewing, managing, and negotiating hospital contracts
  • Social Media Manager + Copywriter – Doing awesome stuff at BlackDog Advertising

I stayed at each of my previous jobs for at least a year, but every time I left, I had a very clear reason as to why I was leaving. It’s important that you can communicate that reason because when you’re being interviewed for a new job, that’s one of the questions you’ll be asked. “Why are you leaving your current job?”

Explain that you’re looking for a job that’ll allow you to better use your skill set. Be honest about it. Tell your interviewer that you realized your previous job was not the right fit and that you’re committed to finding a job you can be happy at long-term. As long as you can explain it well, most employers will understand and won’t be alarmed by your job hopping.

Learn From Every Job + Know That It’s Never Too Late

When done correctly, job hopping leads to larger skillets because we can all learn SOMETHING from every job we hold. So regardless of whether you’re at the bottom of the career ladder or the top, use every single job as a stepping stone. Focus on learning as much as you can while you’re there, and then use those skills and the knowledge you’ve acquired at your next job.

And know that it’s never too late to change jobs. I don’t care if you’ve been working at the same place for 20 years. I don’t care if you’re 70 years old. If you’re miserable, it’s time to go. If your job brings you no joy or satisfaction, you owe it to yourself to try to find a new one. Sure, there are things you ought to consider before jumping ship, but if I know one thing, it’s that your happiness and sanity are worth it. I should know. I’m the one who took a $10,000 pay cut to pursue my dream career, and the only thing I regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

So what do you think? Is job hopping still taboo? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Erin Dodds

    February 28, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Love this post! One piece advice I’d offer too is that if you’re close to being promoted, stick around and wait for that to happen before you make a move. You can demand more money, and it’s often much easier to be promoted from within than to leave for more responsibility/better title.

  2. Allison

    February 28, 2017 at 9:35 am

    This was just what I needed to read today. I have been really unhappy in my current job for a long time now. I’ve been here three years and I know it’s time for a change, but I’m just so comfortable here that it’s hard for me to leave. This was really motivating and encouraging!

  3. Abby @ WinsteadWandering

    February 28, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I love this! I just turned 30 and, in a few months, I’ll be leaving the job that, as of a year ago, I thought I’d have forever. I’ve learned a lot, though, and it’s time to find something I can be passionate about. Sometimes I feel like a failure for leaving the field, but I know the skills I’ve gained, combined with skills from other jobs, will make me a great part of my next team.

  4. Nicole

    February 28, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    I just started at my first “big girl” job a month ago. It’s a great environment and I like the work I do but the pay is horrible and there is absolutely no upward movement possible for me. However, I think it will be best for me to stay for a year until I move on, like you said. As much as I would love to bounce after a few months for better pay, I think it will work out better for me to wait. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Randi Westphal

    February 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    This is so accurate! I have had a lot of jobs in the past couple years but I’m trying to find my passion and what I want to do with my life!

  6. Kayla

    March 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I agree with so much of this and am in a similar situation at 26 years old. I went from acting –> personal training –> working at a fitness start-up in marketing –> social media grad school student with a side of teaching yoga and blogging. In theory one led to another, I was interested in being in the fitness industry because it felt performative much like my acting background which led me to get scouted by a start-up. But when people hear I’m in business school studying marketing they’re like WOAH that’s a change from your undergraduate theater degree.

    It’s taken awhile for my parents to get used to job hopping being okay — my dad has worked for his family business since before I was boring and my mom has been at the same job for 20 years. In this day and age of start-ups, I find it’s WAY more acceptable to hop around.

  7. Rachel

    March 3, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    These are really great tips! I think staying at least one year is important too. When hiring, that’s a big thing I’ve looked at!

    1. Kayla Cruz

      March 9, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks, Rachel! Glad you found these tips helpful! Yea, I think one year is a good enough amount of time to not screw over your employer, while also being fair to yourself. Thanks for stopping by to check out the post! 🙂

  8. Julie @ Millennial Boss

    March 5, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Totally agree with the advice to not burn bridges! Even if you hated your time at a company, never walk out the door with insults blaring. I’ve seen people really unload on HR on the way out.

    1. Kayla Cruz

      March 9, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      Hahaha girl, the things that have gone through my mind! But no, gotta keep things professional. Always better that way. 🙂

  9. Frugal Millennial

    June 3, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I know job hopping is really frowned upon by HR departments, but I think it’s often unrealistic to expect young professionals to stick around for a long time. Many entry-level employees are saddled with huge student loan debt and low salaries. Of course they’re going to leave when something that pays better comes along.

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