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Moving jobs this often helps you climb the career ladder and get paid more

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Job hopping doesn’t have to be a bad thing (Picture: Getty)

Stay in a job long enough, and your hard work will pay off. You’ll get that promotion, the salary bump and the respect from management. Or so we’ve been told.

There’s a generational divide when it comes to so-called ‘job-hopping’, with younger age groups rejecting the notion that sticking to one job, long term, is best.

A recent survey found that Gen Z don’t stigmatise regularly switching jobs, with 70% of Gen Z are either ‘actively or passively’ seeking a new job – despite saying they’re ‘loyal’ to their employer.

The main motivations for going elsewhere include having a better work life and mental health support.

TikTok is awash with videos of people sharing the benefits of moving between jobs, with many users recommending spending a year – or less – in one role.

Former software engineer, Frank Niu, who retired at 30, said job-hopping ‘is the best career hack’ and claimed he ‘almost doubled’ his salary by moving from one job to another every one to two years.

But what do the expert say? Michael Doolin, the CEO of Clover HR, tells Metro.co.uk that changing jobs every 2.5 to 3.5 years is ideal. ‘It keeps you fresh, current and marketable,’ Michael says.

‘It takes three to six months to find another job if you’re already active in the marketplace, so those seeing a new, better-paid role need to be networking constantly.’ 

Michael says moving jobs offers employees several benefits: ‘Salary increase aside, it allows candidates to gain more skills and engage with a broader range of stakeholders.

‘They’ll also come across more systems and technologies – which is key in a modern workplace environment where change is unprecedented.’

Changing jobs sooner rather than later should not be seen as being purely negative (Picture: Getty Images)

However, there are some downsides to job-hopping too, namely a phenomenon known as ‘shift shock’. A survey in 2022 found that 72% of job hoppers have experienced the feeling of starting a new job and realising pretty quickly that it wasn’t what they’d expected or were led to believe.  

Michael also says that you need to be prepared to justify your switches. ‘If not framed properly, in terms of career development, changing jobs too often can reduce your perceived candidate value,’ Michael warns. ‘If you’ve hopped more frequently, it can be advisable to offer recruiters an explanation.’

And, while for young people, switching jobs more often helps with ‘determining direction in your career’ and ‘is not a big deal’, for more senior roles, it can be a red flag.

‘Employers are looking for candidates who demonstrate loyalty and commitment to their roles,’ he adds.



Why unemployed Gen Z are refusing to look for work

Data from the Office for National Statistics found more than a fifth of adults of working age in the UK are not looking for employment.

Shoshanna Davis, Gen Z engagement expert and founder of Fairy Job Mother, works with over 20,000 young people to help them have a better relationship with employers, while helping employers retain young workers.

‘Gen Z want to work – they’re just vocal and open about the traditional 9-5 no longer being fit for purpose in 2024 — which it isn’t!’ she says. 

‘They’re frustrated because they’ve done everything society has told them to do — go to school, go to university, and get a job — but they’re still struggling to get by. Many can’t even afford rent, let alone a house.’

Shoshanna adds that seeing our parents struggle for years ‘with little to no reward or loyalty from employers’ has altered young people’s attitudes to traditional work.

However, other experts say that how often a candidate changes jobs shouldn’t be a factor in the recruitment process.

Khyati Sundaram, CEO of ethical AI hiring experts, Applied, tells Metro.co.uk that employers should focus on whether the applicant’s values align with their business. She adds that ’employment histories aren’t an accurate indicator of this.’

Khyati says: ‘When weighing up whether to hold out for a promotion or change jobs, it’s important to take into account any opportunities for wider professional development and longer-term career progression in your current role, as well as your personal circumstances and priorities.

‘Some roles and industries might have very structured job levels and salary bands, which take longer to climb but offer higher overall earning potential than others. Opportunities to gain professional qualifications and wider employee benefits can also increase the value of roles for individuals. 

‘Others might place greater value on their passion for their work and overall job satisfaction. The decision is a personal one, and yours alone to make.’

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