Your parents or grandparents may have worked for the same company for 20 or 30 years. That is less common today for many reasons. Many companies do not expect you to work your entire life for the same company. However, they may frown upon what is considered frequent job hopping. There’s no standard definition of what is job hopping. It varies from person to person. It can affect you in meeting long term career goals. You should keep that in mind with every employment decision you make.
Careful Decision Making
There are times when we jump in feet first and make impulsive decisions. I have clients that come to me concerned because they have done a bit of job hopping and worry it will affect their chances. I know people that have left a job after 3 months and there may be some rare circumstances where that was the best possible decision, as a rule of thumb, I would not recommend that. The first three months are typically an exploratory phase. You are starting to understand how the company wants certain things done, figuring out the culture, meeting new people, and getting to know how your boss’s preferences. It’s very difficult at that point in time to determine if this is a solid opportunity for you. If you plan to leave a company within less than a year, give some real thought and consideration to how that will look on your resume? How will you explain it to prospective employers? Is there a possibility you will regret your decision later?
Do Your Homework
There’s a learning from every opportunity. In some instances, working for a difficult boss can be an invaluable lesson. Some managers are tougher than others. If you can thrive working for a difficult boss, then it will leave you well positioned for the next opportunity. Perhaps your boss is trying to toughen you up, has extremely high standards, is under a lot of pressure to meet certain company objectives that you may not be aware of. Ask questions, do some probing. If you have a better idea of the full picture, it will help you be more valuable to the company in your contributions. You may gain some new insights that will help you appreciate your manager even more. You may even become your boss’s right hand if they see you have an interest in helping them shine.
There are potential consequences to a lot of job hopping. Prospective employers may not want to invest the time and resources into training you, if they feel you are prone to job hopping. They may have the impression you are not reliable. There are times when you feel stuck and it does make sense to leave a job after a short period of time, that’s understandable. However, making a habit of job hopping can hurt your chances for some great opportunities with stable companies that look for longevity and offer long term opportunities.
Focus on the positives and give careful thought to each job you take and each job you decide to leave. Some people feel a pros and cons list is very helpful. Understand your priorities in a job before you start looking so that you can target your search accordingly. Once you have established that criteria, you can use that to measure current and prospective opportunities. The bottom line is that every career decision matters.