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Is job hopping a good idea?

By Anushka Saboo
April 28, 2016 09:03 IST
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Is the grass really greener on the other side? Anushka Saboo explores the possibilities.

Job hopping: Is it really a great idea?

Attractive salaries, increased status, and that corner office.

Who wants it?

Everybody.

The real question here seems to be what people are willing to do to achieve it.

Career dynamics has changed dramatically; long gone are the days when you work for your employer for 30 years, grab your pension, and ride off quietly into the sunset.

Now, it's not uncommon to see people work for four different employers in a span of 30 months.

The overarching question seems to be: are jumping jobs the key to your advancement or the trap of unemployment?

Nothing can supercede the age-old practice of pros and cons; let's take out those legal pads and break it down.

PROS

Movement leads to stability

Ironically, jumping jobs and getting a little taste of everything shows you which table you would like to sit at for the next 30 years.

While career counselors and your parents might give you some helpful advice, there is nothing to match real life experience.

The importance of finding your true place cannot be over exaggerated -- if it takes you a couple of shifts to find your solid ground; it's definitely worth it.

More often than not, you will find your ability to succeed is tripled in an environment that genuinely extracts the best from you.

You might find yourself moving up in a matter of months, something you wouldn't have managed even in a matter of years, at your previous job. However, you must not play hopscotch and get carried away in the process.

Contacts get you ahead in life, not your resume

Jumping jobs provides you with a wide array of colleagues to build connections with. Ultimately, your degrees mean nothing if the people in the real world cannot vouch for them.

Switching jobs helps you build your communication skills and gives you access to multiple managers -- it can never hurt to have such people in your phone book.

A good network of corporates has value that cannot be measured in monetary terms.

Additional feathers in your cap

Acquiring skills from different environments adds to your value.

Every job will have something different to offer and picking up some useful pieces from your jobs might make you a perfect jigsaw put together.

If this is your goal, it is important to work in different sectors of companies until you finally think your basket is as vibrant and full as you would like it to be.

The idea is to have a wide range of expertise that companies are sure to recognise.

Your first concern is yourself

Loyalty is no longer about putting your time or paying your dues, it's about providing measurable value and being rewarded for it.

If you sincerely feel that your current job is acting as an anchor pulling you down, then cut it off with no regrets, because your primary objective should always be to do what is most beneficial for you.

If it's more than just a higher salary, for example a more conducive work environment or an opportunity to play in the big leagues, then your switch is completely justified.

Sometimes, there is an outflow of employees just before a company is about to crash; quitting in such cases doesn't make you disloyal, it just makes you smart.

However, going with the flow may leave you at the beach with noone to play with except for yourself and that is why, we have a list of cons.

CONS

A rolling stone gathers no moss

This adage has encapsulated the wisdom that has been passed down through generations.

In a constant effort to reach for more, many people cease to understand what they have in their hands, at this very moment.

Employees must completely absorb what they can; only once every bit of knowledge permeates your mind, can you make the decision to switch.

In simpler words, one must make the best out of everything -- learn every skill there is to learn in your current job, and learning requires some time commitment.

A butterfly takes time to emerge

To make a mark anywhere, you have to prove you have what it takes. Opportunities won't come knocking on your door, if your door keeps changing.

Only after slogging for a few months, establishing yourself in your environment, and earning the respect you wish to command, will your employer give you a chance to do something big.

You have to earn the limelight by displaying commitment and perseverance, which is not very likely to happen if you keep hopping jobs.

Reminder: Promotions exist in your present company as well

Before jumping on the bandwagon to the next job with the better position, consider the alternatives in your current set-up.

Is it just a month more of hard work here? Paving your way forward in the same company has more perks than you realise.

Additionally, a factor we most often turn a blind eye towards is friendship. No, not contact building, but friendship.

Numerous studies suggest a positive correlation between productivity at the workplace and mental happiness in the terms of a conducive environment and occasional warm smiles.

Resume is more than just degrees

Change jobs too often and you might just end up without one.

Once your recruiters catch a whiff of your patterns, for them, it acts as a warning signal of sunk costs.

Companies spend money and resources to train their new employees, so naturally they wouldn't want to train someone who is likely to run away just when he/she is ripe for their work.

If you've looked at the pros and cons and still find yourself in a bit of a pickle, here are two most enchanting words: opportunity cost.

Whatever your decision is, consider the benefits of the alternative decision and decide whether one is better than the other.

Look at a decision in terms of what you are sacrificing to head a certain way and decide if you feel it's worth it.

Everything will boil down to your personal satisfaction with your choices because everyone's modus operandi varies and consequently their perspective.

Keep your eyes on the prize and forge your path ahead.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Credit: sabrina c/Creative Commons

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