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Hibbity-Jibbity Job

Are you a job hopper?

➔ The conventional wisdom of an earlier time suggested that job-hopping was a bad thing. If you changed jobs often, the story goes, then you were unreliable, unsettled, unstable, not serious, flighty… or worse.

Once again, as times have changed, so have attitudes about job seekers. Just as being in transition is no longer a black mark, so too, being a job hopper isn’t always viewed negatively. One colleague (age 63) recently noted that he had held 13 jobs in his lifetime. Assuming that he entered the workforce at age 20, that’s about one job every three years and four months. Not exactly the epitome of stability.

Numbers don’t lie

A report from PayScale found that millennials tend to hold jobs for only about two years. For the more mature Baby Boomer, the median is about seven years.

Among some other notes that have crossed our desk lately… we’ve learned that, not just job, but industry hopping has increased over time. Employers have learned that some job skills apply regardless of the industry. Also job hopping is very prevalent in the media, in professional services and in the non-profit arena (as well as others.) Also interesting is that studies show that women tend to job hop more than men.

As workplace and workforce attitudes and practices undergo monumental changes, some are recommending that, if you’re over 50 and out of work, you might want to shift your thinking from just finding one job and to start thinking about holding two, or three, or even up to five jobs at once – all part time or temporary positions. In effect, you’ll be going where some say the economy is moving – to all contract workers.

As you search, keep your options open and don’t let anyone – from hiring managers, to recruiters, to networking contacts – pre-judge you based on your job history and not just your age. Your next employer is going to hire you – not your roadmap.


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