Is Job-hopping Killing Your Career? Retailers Reveal What They Really Think.

Job-hopping. It’s a red flag. It’s a vicious cycle. It’s career suicide. It’s…a good thing?

We’re used to being told how bad job-hopping is for our resume. In fact, if conventional wisdom is to be believed, a recruiter will look at your resume, eyeing your habit of bouncing from one position to another, and instantly decide you’re flaky, not to be trusted, and disloyal. In the blink of an eye, your CV is discarded in the trash. At least, that’s how the story goes. But is that really the fate of a serial job-hopper?

Not any more, according to the panel of world-renowned HR experts and top retail executives that featured in our Retail webinar.

Responding to a live question from a viewer, who wanted to know which was better—job hopping or having one employer for several years—the panel agreed that job-hopping can actually be beneficial to your career, and in some cases, even viewed more favorably than an employee who stayed in the same position for several years.

  • Loyalty and future tenure is completely unaffected by prior job-hopping tendencies. The experts discussed the findings of a study by talent-management firm Evolv, which revealed that there is zero-correlation with an applicant’s previous job-hopping behavior and his or her loyalty and tenure in the new position. This study goes against conventional wisdom, which has always assumed that a serial job-hopper would continue the pattern in future companies.

  • The hiring managers may be reformed job-hoppers themselves. At least one executive on the panel had personal experience with job-hopping. Her story is one that resonates with anyone trying to maintain a job in the current economy. Sometimes job-hopping has nothing to do with the employee’s intentions to stay, and everything to do with the company going under, only hiring staff on a temporary, short-term basis, or laying off staff during an economic crisis. More and more executives understand that this is a very real possibility in the retail industry—and they won’t hold it against you.
  • Job-hoppers gain attributes important to retailers. The panel indicated that job-hoppers actually gain skills that are useful in the retail environment. Adaptability and the ability to quickly learn a new skill set are often an extremely useful by-product of job-hopping. And unlike the applicant who has only ever held one position, the job-hoppers—particularly those who have taken strategic promotions—have gathered numerous skills and experiences in multiple areas useful for the new position.

In some ways, the experts’ opinions shouldn’t be a surprise to us—after all, if recruiters weren’t willing to give job-hoppers a chance, we’d never be able to hop in the first place! But it’s reassuring to know that your CV won’t automatically be banished to the “no” pile if you’ve had frequent moves. Instead, focus on the attributes and experience that make you stand out as an applicant and highlight why—in spite of, or because of your job-hopping—you’re the ideal person for the job.

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Categories: Articles for Job Seekers

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