You May Need to Rethink Job Hopping

 In Career Tips, LinkedIn

running young businessmanSometimes circumstances seem to deal certain people a series of bad hands when it comes to jobs. These people get downsized repeatedly, find jobs working for the devil and jobs that instantly evolve into something else.  It happens, but…

At some point, those around you stop believing that it’s just bad luck and start thinking it’s about you.  The potential for “involuntary” job-hopping has certainly increased during this past decade of bad business conditions.  Despite these conditions, if you are in a crummy job right now and have a history of continually leaving jobs after less than 2 years, you need to rethink your next move very carefully.

I’m a huge advocate of loving your job. I think it is much better to cut your losses with a job situation and go find something better.  However, if you have a history of continual job-hopping for the past 8+ years, you need to stick it out. Sometimes you must hang in there longer than you want for sake of improving your career in the long run.

Here are some thoughts about your situation:

You may have ‘set yourself up.’  No one likes to think they’ve created their own bad luck, but when it happens repeatedly, you probably have.  You may have ignored the warning signs of a bad boss or job in your panic to land a job quickly.

You might be impatient.  All jobs have a transition period where it’s uncomfortable.  You discover things you don’t like. If you hang in there long enough, how you feel about most of those things improves.  People in business expect you to be mature enough to realize that it’s rough starting a new job.

You may not have developed the skill to assert yourself. I speak to countless people who passively let things happen in a new job and fail to speak up or ask questions. This doesn’t mean you should complain on day one, but you should be clarifying things by asking questions about how things should work.  Failure to speak up will only make your situation worse.

You may not have positioned yourself well. The reason for being laid off might be very legitimate, but you left while others stayed.  Ever wonder why?  You may not have adequately communicated your value.  When the bosses are behind closed doors they pick people they like to work with and who they know can do various jobs to stay.  Everyone else is a candidate for lay off.  Make yourself indispensible.

Your expectations may be unrealistic.  You may be doing a great job of rationalizing why you left the many jobs you did, but most of the time others can see its excuses.  You might be demanding and unrealistic and not realize it.  In fact, you might be a pain.  Lighten up.

It doesn’t reflect well. When you look for a job, one of the first questions recruiters and managers want to know is why you left your previous jobs.  They want to avoid hiring a chronic job-hopper for the reasons stated above.  The assumption is that you may have “issues”, may have poor judgment, are not committed or all of the above.

If you risk the potential of being labeled a job-hopper and you’re considering another jump in the near future, rethink that plan.  Stay in your job over 2 years in order to prove you aren’t a job hopper and create some stability a good career needs.  Every job is a platform for growth to the future, as long as you’ve done that job long enough.

For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook:  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from and  And check out Dorothy’s new book, “Career Mapping for Climbing Managers – Planning Your Career On Purpose”. You can find the book in print or Kindle on Amazon.

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