Redefining Careers - My experience of "job hopping"

09 July 2019

A recent CMI Management 4.0 discussion paper, Patterns of Work, reported that 44% of millennials do not expect to stay in a job for longer than 2 years.

This resonated with me, as I not only fall within this category but the longest I’ve stayed in the same role over a nine-year career has been two years. There is no doubt that the way careers are viewed has changed drastically and is continuing to do so. There are various potential reasons for changing job, which are of course dependent on the individual. Personally, my own decision to change jobs so often was motivated by the need to feel challenged.

Job Hopping 

As mentioned in Patterns of Work, job security is seemingly less of a concern, in fact it could be argued that to a certain extent job security is an illusion, as organisations become increasingly dynamic, the only constant is change, which leads to restructures. A few years ago, my “job hopping” was criticised, although I’ve noticed this becoming more prevalent and acceptable as attitudes gradually change. 

So why is this becoming more acceptable? Understandably, some will still perceive this as a negative, however I’ve benefited in several ways: 

I’ve been fortunate to work with, and critically, learn from several exceptional managers. I’ve carefully observed how different managers dealt with situations so that I can understand good and bad practice to use in developing my own soft skills. 

  • I’ve learnt about myself. I’ve placed myself into a number of complex environments to learn my strengths and the specific type of work my skills are most suited to.  Importantly, I now understand what motivates me to succeed and be happy at work. 
  • My last five roles have been within the same organisation, allowing the unique opportunity to view the same organisation from five different angles. This has been fascinating in gaining insight and invaluable to my career. 
  • You don’t always see what your organisation does well until you leave and join a new organisation. In some situations, you can take what worked well in your last role and transfer it to your new organisation. This may be a particular software or system of working.  
  • Finally, I’ve found that if skills are not used to their full potential and you no longer feel fulfilled, your organisation doesn’t get the best from you. It is acceptable to seek out new opportunities that are more beneficial to your long-term goals.

Gina Hardcastle