Why changing jobs frequently is no longer a tabooChen Wan Lim
Back in the day, frequent job changes in a resume was seen as a red-flag indicating that the candidate has the propensity to jump ship at the nearest opportunity. However, this view has changed quite considerably since. Gone are the days where a person starts out in a company and spends 30 years serving the company until the age of retirement. In fact, today, recruiters are starting to have a negative view on candidates who have spent quite a considerably long period of time in a company – especially if there are no distinct growth trajectory seen and skill sets developed during the tenure. Here’s why changing jobs frequently is no longer a taboo.
Rising costs of living
With the rising costs of living, employees change jobs frequently in hopes of increasing their wages at a new workplace or job role. According to humanresourecesonline.net, 83% of Malaysian professionals place money as their top consideration when deciding to job hop. Another survey by Robert Walters Malaysia also indicated that Malaysian professionals will only consider switching jobs for a 20-30% salary hike. Other reasons for job hopping include healthcare benefits, allowances, training and career progression. Modern employers are found to be more receptive these days to accept job hoppers who are constantly seeking higher remuneration packages.
Evolving skill sets
With the fast pace economy, new roles are created and old roles are being phased out. Employers can either retrain existing employees to undertake a new role or they can opt for the quickest action – which is to hire someone with the required skill set. Therefore, the constant change in jobs is not viewed negatively as employees simply go where their skill sets are required. This trend is further exacerbated by recruitment agencies (head hunters) that are constantly looking for new talents.
Looking from a positive viewpoint, the more places you have been, the more experience you have encountered. From this regard, a person who has stayed in one place for a long time may have a myopic view and could have probably lost touch with the outside world. On the flipside, a job hopper would be very well in touch with the job market outside, with new trends emerging, new information on competitors and know what new skills are in demand.
One of the best ways to know about your competitor is to hire one. Hiring a job hopper could give employers added advantage as they could have access to industry knowledge especially those pertaining to their competitors. In addition, job hoppers tend to have larger networks and they tend to know more people – this is common amongst financial institutions where services and products offered are largely homogeneous.
Although job hopping is not considered a taboo today, be sure to be able to distinguish between job hopping and career hopping. While job hopping brings about the meaning of changing workplaces within the same industry and perhaps jobs requiring similar skill sets, career hopping is changing jobs with entirely different skill sets in a different unrelated industry. Also, always try to hop to a job with clear upgrades in salary, rank and responsibilities.