Survey Shows That a Majority of Younger Workers See the Upside of Frequent Job Changes
MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 18, 2014 — Job hopping may be losing its bad reputation, at least among the youngest generation of U.S. workers, a new Accountemps survey suggests.
Fifty-seven percent of employees between the ages of 18 and 34 said changing jobs every few years can actually help their career, compared to 38 percent of professionals between the ages of 35 and 54 and 22 percent of those age 55 or older. There were also differences by gender, with 47 percent of men and 37 percent of women reporting that job hopping is beneficial.
The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from 324 employees 18 years of age and older who work in an office environment.
Workers were asked, “Do you think job hopping (leaving your current employer for a new job every few years) can benefit your career?”
View an infographic featuring the research highlights:
“Conventional wisdom about the perils of job hopping has begun to shift, but professionals still need to look carefully before they leap,” said Bill Driscoll, a district president with Accountemps. “Changing jobs every three to four years is one thing; more frequent moves could indicate the inability to dig into a role and put employers on guard.”
Driscoll added, “Professionals considering job moves should evaluate not only salary but also where they will have the greatest opportunity to build skills and advance their careers.”
Survey respondents cited the following five greatest benefits of job hopping. Accountemps suggests candidates weigh considerations for each one:
Earning higher compensation:
If money is your primary concern, and your employer can’t offer a higher salary, look at the entire compensation package before heading out the door. Other benefits like telecommuting, flextime or generous vacation time can make up for a smaller paycheck.
Gaining new skills:
Sometimes, you have to job hop to gain experience in a particular area — if you’re switching industries or seeking certain cutting-edge technical skills, for example. Just be sure you first explore professional development options at your current firm, such as company-sponsored training programs, tuition reimbursement, job shadowing and mentorships.
Moving up the career ladder faster:
You might believe that you have to change companies to get the promotion you want. But before you start searching for another job, sit down with your manager and get his or her perspective on your career path. If expectations for the future don’t align, you can feel more confident in exploring other opportunities.
Experiencing a new corporate culture:
The company culture at your firm isn’t likely to change, and if you don’t mesh well with it, you may want to move on. Make certain, though, that it’s the culture you’re unsatisfied with versus other aspects of your job.
Looks better on a resume to have multiple employers:
Employers like to see evidence of professional growth on a candidate’s resume, and job hopping can be a good way to show steady career progression. However, a Robert Half survey of human resources managers found that an average of five job changes in 10 years can raise red flags.
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 340 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at accountemps.com.