Good News If You’ve Been a Job-Hopper

Jeremy* hoped his face wasn’t turning red. Just days before, a recruiter had warned him that his work history made him look like a job-hopper. To Jeremy, it had just been an adventurous decade of trying to figure out what it was he really loved to do. Popping in and out of school had been punctuated by various unrelated jobs, and it had all been just part of the discovery process. But now, as Jeremy faced his interviewer, the regional manager was saying, “Your resume is telling me that you’re a job-hopper. Give me one reason why I should believe that, if I hire you, you’ll stick around for any length of time and be a good employee.”

According to a new survey by CareerBuilder, nearly one-third of employers say they’ve come to expect workers to job-hop. And more than half of those same employers said they have hired a job-hopper. But that doesn’t mean employers feel good about seeing repeated short work tenures in your job history. To an employer who plans to invest in hiring, training, and developing you, a history of job-hopping can be read as a lack of loyalty, engagement, and commitment.

“More workers are pursuing opportunities with various companies to expose themselves to a wider range of experiences, build their skill sets, or take a step up the ladder in pay or title,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “While building up a wealth of experience is a good thing, make sure that you’re staying with a company long enough to make an impact and provide a return on the investment they’ve made in you. Employers may be more understanding of job-hopping today, but most employers are still more likely to hire the candidate who has a pattern of longer tenure with organizations.”

Fortunately for Jeremy, he had already put a lot of thought into what he really wanted and needed in a job to get his career back on track. When the regional manager challenged him, Jeremy gave him three convincing reasons for why he was ready to settle down at his organization. That next Monday, he started his new career!

Do you know what you need in a new career?

*not his real name

By Marcianne Kuethen

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