Job Hopping: What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

It's a common feeling to want to change the direction of your career. Changing jobs is completely normal and a common choice if you want to move into a new position. You might have heard the term 'job hopping', meaning moving jobs more frequently than usual, usually within a two year period. In this article, we discuss the benefits and potential hindrances of changing job frequently.

What is job hopping?

Job hopping is the act of moving between several employers or job positions over a short period of time, for example, having three jobs in two years. The length of time for which someone job hops is entirely dependent on their individual circumstances. There are many reasons for making this change, including:

  • A dissatisfaction with your current role or working environment

  • A sense of stagnancy within your current career path

  • A change in working principles that result in a change of career direction

  • A desire to change careers to something more suitable for you

Related: How To Choose a Career Path

What are the benefits of changing career path?

There are many enjoyable and tangible benefits of changing jobs frequently. Some of the common advantages include:

Better career progression

Though many careers offer a natural path of progression, some don't. If you feel stuck in a dead-end job with little chance of further promotion, then making a change may be a suitable solution. It can open up more opportunities directly or allow you to get your foot in the door at another company.

Discovery of interests

Especially early in your working life, you may not yet be aware of what drives you in a job or what interests you. This is where changing job assertively proves beneficial. By experiencing a variety of jobs you can become more attuned to what you need to gain from your career.

Higher networking potential

You may have heard people state that finding a new job is about who you know rather than what you know. Job hopping provides you with the opportunity to network with other individuals within your sector. These may be colleagues with whom you want to collaborate or potential future employers. The more people you meet, the more you can create connections that may lead to future opportunities.

Development of skills

One benefit of changing career path is that it allows you to develop a range of skills. Whether you develop a variety of similar skills within a set profession or develop a selection of various interpersonal skills, changing job offers ample opportunity for further training. This may mean you gain more skills faster than staying in one job for years with little development.

Finding better benefits

Sometimes, what you see from a job at face value is not what you get. By changing job, you can explore the various benefits offered by companies, including a pension, holiday pay, hourly wage or policies regarding illness. This helps you identify the working lifestyle you enjoy most.

Renewal of work ethic

Disillusionment in a role often occurs after a long time in the same position. Changing jobs gives you the chance to renew your work ethic by finding something new into which you can invest your time and effort. The result is usually greater motivation and job satisfaction, which can lead to greater wellbeing.

Related: How To Change Careers

Does changing jobs frequently affect your career in the long term?

The extent to which changing jobs impacts your career on a long-term basis differs from person to person. These effects on your career prospects depend on a few factors, including:

The deliberateness of your change

If you job hop with purpose, you're more likely to see positive long-term career prospects, such as a higher salary or a more fulfilling job role. This is because you are more likely to develop skills and experiences that assist you in your chosen career path . In short, you take less time to build up the skills you really need to succeed.

The age at which you job hop

Though changing jobs can have a successful outcome at any age, many young people find that needlessly shifting career paths reduces their employability prospects, unless you can clearly justify your change. In contrast, older people may find that people view their actions as being more focused, due to the desire to find a new sense of purpose.

Related: How To Make a Career Change at 40

When is it time to start experiencing different jobs?

There are many indications that you are ready to job hop. These include:

  • Your current job bores you and you desire something more exciting or fulfilling

  • Your personal opinions or morals have changed, and you want to find a job that reflects this

  • You feel like your skills are underdeveloped and would like to dedicate some time to developing them

  • You want to experience more of the working world before settling down onto a career path

When is it time to stop changing jobs?

If you want to settle into a career and the natural progression that stems from this, then changing career paths is not a long-term activity for you. For most people, shifting careers is a short-term solution that helps them clarify a purpose or develop skills. There are many indicators that it's time to stop frequently changing and instead seek a job you can stay in on a longer basis. These are some of the signs:

  • You've found your sense of purpose within employment

  • You've developed your skill set in alignment with your career goals

  • You've found a satisfying job role you don't wish to leave

There are many other reasons that may be down to you as an individual. Moving career paths is an exciting and fruitful practice, but be aware of changing jobs too frequently.

Related: How to Find the Best Jobs for You

What is job hopping within the same company?

Most significant career shifts happen between companies, often different companies within the same sector or field of discipline. But some career changes occur within a single company. Typically, these types of shifts occur in larger companies that house several departments or act as an umbrella company for several smaller houses. For example, a large publishing house usually holds within it several smaller publishing divisions, each dedicated to a particular format such as non-fiction or a genre such as fantasy.

If you're working in a hospitality business, you are likely to change roles. For example, a hotel needs various hospitality roles, including:

  • housekeeper

  • receptionist

  • waiter

  • bar staff

  • kitchen hand

  • junior chef

You're able to apply a lot of the skills learnt from these roles around the hotel. If you're an excellent waiter, then these skills might lead you to change your role and start as a receptionist. In these instances, you might find that regularly changing jobs is the most rewarding way to spend your time in hospitality.

What are the benefits of changing career paths within the same company?

If you're interested in hopping between jobs within the same company, you may enjoy a range of benefits. Though it differs case by case, some advantages of internally shifting role include:

Gaining more experience across departments

If you have been in a company for a while but enjoy working there, changing career is a great way to experience the roles of other departments without having to find completely new employment. You can learn more quickly because you already know how the company works. If you want to maintain job security while trying something new, request to be seconded from your current role to improve your skill set.

Expanding internal relationships

If you work within a single department, you likely know little about employees outside of that department. Jumping between departments of a company allows you to network with other employees and improve your familial relations with them. This can be beneficial for the wider company and for yourself.

Boost for a promotion

If you're confident that a long-term career in your current company is what you want, pivoting to another position could help. It can strengthen your current skill set and improve your chances of a promotion in the future. Being promoted internally also shows to potential future employers that you were well-valued.

Exploring other interests

Many people choose to work in a specific sector because it interests them on a personal level. Sometimes, you may be unsure which role within that sector is most suitable for your career. Once you are within a company you like, changing career path is a convenient way to explore other roles with security.

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