Career Development

Job-Hopping May Be Needed to Advance Your Career

Gone are the days when workers joined a company at entry level and stayed until they received gold watches and retirement parties decades later.

Gone are the days when workers joined a company at entry level and stayed until they received gold watches and retirement parties decades later.  

Starting in the 1980s, as companies tried to make greater profits by removing layers of management, promotions stopped being a reward as often. By 2009, a survey showed that executives would stay with a company an average of 3.3 years before moving to greener pastures, according to the Harvard Business Review. 

But does job-hopping advance your career? 

Here we’ll look at the pros and cons of changing jobs and even jumping into different industries and whether that will pay off career-wise. 

The Pros of Changing Jobs to Get Ahead 

In some situations, changing jobs may be the best option to having greater responsibilities and a larger paycheck. 

Higher Pay 

Staying with the same company may not pay off. According to the Society of Human Resources Management, the average raise was 3.3 percent in 2020, barely enough to keep pace with inflation. Meanwhile, companies were spending 10 to 20 percent more to hire executives with proven abilities from outside the company. 


Job-hopping has replaced the old method of climbing the corporate ladder in one company, Forbes reported. If your current company has few growth opportunities, moving to another company could give you a chance to learn new skills or get a better job. 

Greater Industry Knowledge 

Moving up in your career by changing companies will allow you to learn more about other segments of your industry. 

Leaving a Toxic Workplace 

If you’re working in a toxic situation, the best thing to do is find your way to a new position elsewhere. 

Moving to a Growing Industry 

If you’re working in an industry that’s downsizing, the wisest thing to do would be to move to a company in a growing industry. Employees of paging companies in the 1990s may have made that leap once cellphones became popular. 

Cons of Job-Hopping 

If you’re thinking of leaving your job within two or three years or less, there are some reasons to reconsider. 

Loss of Connections 

Institutional knowledge and a network of colleagues take time to build. According to research from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, it takes about two years to build relationships within a company.  

If you have a habit of leaving jobs every couple of years, you may be missing out on a network of colleagues who could help you advance in your career. 

Loss of Company Knowledge 

Not only would you lose connections job-hopping but you would also miss out on a greater depth of knowledge in your organization. It may take months to understand the processes within a company. At the two-year mark, you may be just hitting your stride in your position. 

Moving to another job in a different industry would mean starting over in some respects. You would not only be getting used to a new position but learning about a new economic sector. 

Staying with a job you like will allow you to grow within your current company and gain experience that could help you advance. 

Damage to Professional Reputation 

If you move every couple of years, going from job to job, you may get a reputation as a job-hopper. Hiring managers and recruiters may look at your resume and assume you’ll just leave their company in a few years. This may make them less likely to want to invest in you as an employee and more likely to hire someone else. 

While job-hopping is more common than it used to be, there are still companies that value loyalty and look for it in those they hire. 

Should You Stay or Go? 

Wanting to advance in your career, gain more authority and make more money is natural. The question is how to get there. Is it more advantageous to change jobs and companies every few years, in essence starting over with a new organization, or should you stay with the same company, hoping to advance? 

The answer to that question isn’t an easy one. Changing positions and companies is a personal choice that involves questions of relocation, your spouse and children, and your work-life balance. 

Growth opportunities, a network of colleagues, and depth of knowledge should be considered along with pay and benefits. Make sure changing jobs will advance your career for the long term. 


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