job hopping: The curious case of job hopping: How much is too much

Choosing your first job like it will be your last? That is no more an obligation. Clearly, gone are those days when employees used to wholeheartedly pledge loyalty to their employers and work in the same organization for decades. While the practice of job hopping was ‘rare to low’ earlier, recent statistics say otherwise.

The term “job hopping” mainly refers to frequently switching jobs and spending less than two years in an organization. During the pre-pandemic era, job hopping had several negative connotations and was often looked down upon. Well, the post-pandemic scene is completely different and rather astonishing. Internship-hopping is on the rise and has become a widely popular trend.

Covid-19 affected our lives in more ways than one. The job market has undergone a significant change since then as now employees have several work set-ups to choose from. From contract work to freelancing, remote work, and work-from-home, corporates have dramatically transcended the conventional norms. And this is exactly why the companies have relaxed their terms and conditions when it comes to hiring potential job hoppers. Nonetheless, we must keep in mind that some sectors are more flexible than others. For instance, quickly jumping to new projects and companies is not at all an issue for those in the film and entertainment industry. But you might not get the same sense of acceptance in the medical, teaching, or tech field.

Why make frequent job changes?

The new-job seeker report launched by Linkedin in January claimed that around 82 percent of professionals in India were seen considering the idea of switching jobs in the year 2022. The survey conducted by this renowned professional network cited poor work-life balance, lack of financial growth, and greater ambitions as the primary reasons for frequent job changes.

“As confidence in new opportunities grows, it is evident that the Great Reshuffle in India is clearly being led by job seekers, and talent is in the driver’s seat right now – with flexibility as their no. 1 priority today,” said Ankit Vengurlekar, India Managing Editor, LinkedIn News, as stated in a report by The Financial Express.


Another research by CareerBuilder, a leading employment website, reported that GenZs (Below 25 years) spend an average of 2 years and 3 months in a job, while millennials (25 to 40 years) stay for 2 years and 9 months. On the other hand, Gen X (45 to 56 years old) spend 5 years and 2 months working in the same organization, whereas, Baby Boomers (55 to 75 years old) spend 8 years and 3 months in the same job. Needless to say, GenZs are the “most-restless” and make frequent job switches.

However, as the world is getting back to normal, job-hopping has again been placed under the lens of scrutiny. Because, in the end, it all boils down to where exactly we draw the line or how much is too much. No doubt, the work culture has evolved, but if you frequently change your jobs, you will have to explain the reason behind it to the concerned hiring managers.

So, let’s delve deep into the pros and cons of job hopping to make it easier for you to understand the consequences of indulging in such practices.

Advantages: Only when done in moderation!

  • Substantial salary increase – Although not always true, job hoppers can expect a notable increase in their monthly pay cheque by switching from one job to another. If you have the necessary talent, skills, and abilities, the recruiter won’t mind paying you more than what you were earning earlier. However, if you make it a pattern, and decide to make a switch every year, then your intentions might get questioned.
  • New locations = Better PayScale + Exploration – If your heart does not settle for one location for too long or you like to explore different cities, then job hopping can be beneficial for you. In addition, moving to another city or country might expose you to a ton of opportunities with a good pay structure. Guess what, many recruiters don’t consider getting a new job due to shifting places as job hopping.
  • Stepping out of the comfort zone – When you serve the same organization for years, you become comfortable and may not deepen your competency levels. Meanwhile, taking up a new job gives you the needed motivation to perform, take up new challenges, and excel in your duties. And this is good, right?

Disadvantages: Caution! Do not overlook these downsides

  • Facing a loyalty test, again – With a new job comes the challenge of starting from scratch. You will again be put to a loyalty test and will be closely monitored at every step of your journey until you prove your worth. Especially, when you come with the tag of ‘job hopper’, your managers will be even more cautious and may demand an explanation for all your actions. So, if you are ready for this exhausting phase of employment, only then you should switch your jobs.
  • Hampers your prospects – If your resume reflects multiple job shifts in a short period, then it indicates behavioral inconsistency. Besides, any negative pattern in your resume can put you in the wrong light, and the organizations may not hire you at all. In other words, despite your exceptional skills and abilities, you might end up losing your dream job.
  • Can take a toll on your mental health – No matter how prepared you are, frequently handling new-job anxiety can put you under a lot of stress. If things don’t work out as you planned, then you might start second-guessing your own decision, or your entire career trajectory for that matter. In fact, constant adjustment issues in the new work environment can lead to unnecessary trouble and may ignite fear regarding the uncertainty of your future. Hence, tread very carefully!

So, is job hopping bad?

In the era of employment trends like great resignation, quiet quitting, quiet firing, and mass layoffs, job hopping is just another wave of change that has greatly impacted the corporate sector. Although job hoppers have been scorned by companies for a really long time, the present-day market undoubtedly favors them only if they do so in moderation. Remember, monotony or higher pay should not be the only driving force for changing your jobs. Moreover, before moving from one organization to another, you may want to try picking up different roles or positions within the same organization. It is best to express your dilemmas/concerns to your employers than regret a life-altering decision that could have been avoided.

If handled strategically and tactfully, job hopping can help you easily climb up the ladder, get better pay, and build a strong professional reputation. It is rightly said, the difference between a calculated risk and rolling dice is properly doing your homework. So, research thoroughly and understand the consequences before you decide to hop jobs.