Since your first job in high school, you’ve been told that it’s best to spend some time at the same company for a while because it looks good on your resume. While we may still be hearing that advice, and even thinking it ourselves, the career path is different for everyone and so-called “job hopping” is becoming more regular.
A Negative Perception
There is a negative perception connected to job hopping. Among other reasons, three main concerns are:
- Commitment Issues
- Doesn’t Play Well with Others
While it’s easy to see why these could be concerns of your hiring managers and interviewers, you can help them see that there can be other, respectable, reasons why job hopping occurs.
Shut Down Negative Perceptions
When you interview for a job, the hiring manager may not bring up these concerns specifically, but you can still shut down the unspoken perceptions by communicating the strengths that you’ve gained along the way as a job hopper.
Each time you start a new job, you are starting over. These transitions aren’t a piece of cake and it’s important to communicate your adaptability in the workplace. New systems, procedures, new people – you’re good at adapting to the new environment and finding your place at the company.
- Thrives with Challenges
Job hopping really isn’t a bad thing when in fact you’re doing it to stay challenged and to meet each challenge head-on. You absolutely want to dispel thoughts that the reason you’re job hopping is because you felt challenged at previous jobs and you weren’t comfortable rolling with change at the office – whether it be new systems, new bosses, or new team members to work with. Instead, gently assure your interviewer that you want to stay challenged in the workplace, continuing to grow as a professional.
- Passion for Fulfilling Work
Some hiring managers may see a job hopper as someone who doesn’t easily get along with others, someone who isn’t a team player. In your interview, be sure to speak to examples of your ability to work as a member of the team. If your motivation at work lies beyond your coworkers, explain that as well. Your career is about doing fulfilling work to the best of your abilities, and making friends along the way is an added bonus, but not a reason to stay in a particular position, just to log hours there.