Questions to Ask Before Job Hopping

While older generations may think that younger generations change jobs more frequently, history shows a different story. The U.S. Department of Labor found that individuals born between 1957 – 1964 on average held 11.3 jobs between ages 18 to 46. Even more interesting is the fact that 5.5 of those jobs were held between the ages of 18 to 24. So, if changing jobs is common during any career span, how do you make the choice on when to job hop?

Do You Need to Work?
While you may have a dream career you are striving for, or would like to spend your days developing the newest app or writing a novel, for most people the fact of the matter is you need to work to provide for yourself and possibly your family. It’s safe to say that at some point in everyone’s career, or maybe for a majority of their career for others, work will be just that, work. Try to determine if your current interest in job hopping is a sign of burnout or just job stress. If it’s burnout, you may seriously want to consider changing jobs. If it’s job stress, you may look for ways to improve your current work environment or find something outside of work that lets you blow off steam and reenergize.

What is Your Future Career Plan?
The path to your ultimate job may not be a direct route. There are a variety of ways to learn job skills, become educated, or build a network that can all lead up to the opportunity to land your dream job. When considering a job change, ask yourself if you’ve learned all you can from the position you are currently in. Starting a new job can mean starting over on the learning curve, so seek to understand if there are opportunities to grow and develop still within your current job. If your career path is important to you, take some time to clearly define what your ideal job is and what it would take to get there. Also, do your research. It’s important to be realistic about the job prospects in the specific industry you are interested in and to have an accurate view of what is required to be eligible for that position. 

What Message Will Your Job Hop Send?
Your combined work history will tell a story about you, and when you apply for future positions, that story may be the first thing a potential new employer sees. That being said, make sure you’ve considered the value in adding that new line to your resume before you decide to leave a job or accept a new job. It’s easier to explain to employer a series of job changes leading down a career path, versus a string of jobs you’ve been running away from.

What factors do you consider before making a job hop? Share them in the comments section below.

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