Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Has job-hopping become the norm?

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Millennials do it more often and they’re proud of it, too. But Boomers aren’t excluding themselves from the pursuit.

Job-hopping, frowned upon years ago, has become more acceptable over the last two decades.

“We’re several generations removed from the days that people stayed at one job and one company,” says Bill Driscoll, a district president with the recruiting and placement firm Robert Half, Inc.

In fact, U.S. workers have been with their current employers for 4.6 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The expected tenure of the youngest employees – Millennials – is about half of that.

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  • Though job-hopping rose during the dot-com crash and economic downswing that followed, it’s a tactic that should be embraced with care. Replacing workers is expensive and potential employers are less likely to take on a possible flight risk. A study conducted by the Center for American Progress notes that businesses spend about one-fifth of an employee’s annual salary to replace that worker. The cost of turnover is an important economic issue because 20 percent of workers voluntarily leave their job each year and an additional 20 percent are fired or otherwise let go involuntarily.

    Pursing new jobs lead to enhanced opportunities and more diversified skills sets. But passing through more than five jobs in 10 years raises red flags.

    Organizations want to work with people who will be committed to growth, particularly as they work to rebuild after a weak economy. That’s why the first choice should be the organization where you are already employed.

    Driscoll says to identify the source of dissatisfaction if you’ve been a job for under two years.

    “A lot of issues can be resolved with improved communication,” he says.

    Your current employers may have openings in other departments or even unexpected ones in the pipeline that could suit your needs. If the issue is related to work-life balance, you might want to look into a more flexible schedule.

    If salary is an issue, take the time before looking elsewhere to discuss salary and career progression with your boss. Before approaching a supervisor, however, arm yourself with a report that specifically explains how you have helped the organization.

    “It’s important to realize that you really don’t need to job hop to advance in your career,” Driscoll adds.

    © CTW Features

    Patricia Rivera CTW Features