Author Topic: Job-hopping: how much is too much?  (Read 11120 times)

BlueHouse

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Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« on: March 22, 2016, 10:20:26 AM »
Another thread got me thinking about job-hopping.  ((http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/enough-with-this-'millenial'-bullshit!/?topicseen))

Wondering what others think. 

1.  What is the minimum amount of time you should stay with a company before hopping to the next opportunity (assume there is nothing horrible about the job, other than greener pastures elsewhere)
2.  What is the maximum number of times you should job-hop in a career? 
3.  When does leaving one company to work for another become classified as "job-hopping"?  (time in place? Total # of jobs/years in labor force?)
4.  What is the maximum number of times you would recommend switching jobs in a 12-month period?
5.  Is there an age limit, after which you should "settle down" with a career?  Or is it an income reached?
6.  Is there a maximum number of years that you should stay with a company/position so you aren't pigeon-holed or deemed obsolete for other jobs?
7.  When giving career advice, do you have different advice regarding length of service for different audiences? (young vs. old, friend vs. frenemy, colleague vs. subordinate)? 

Thank you. 

Bardo

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 10:32:39 AM »
I'm not sure that "job-hopping" still has as much of a negative connotation as it once did.  If you can demonstrate that job changes were driven by better opportunity I doubt most employers would question it.  Staying in one job for a very short time isn't a big deal.  That said, I would say that consistently changing jobs annually is a big red flag.  I do think that everyone gets a free pass to leave one job in their lifetime within a matter of weeks.  I've known a number of people to do this and it hasn't hurt their careers. 

To answer #6, I personally have had an internal alarm that goes off after about five years.  I was fortunate to get advice early in my career to switch jobs often enough to get ahead (both financially and career-wise).  Changing jobs is usually the only way to make a step-change in responsibility and pay. 

On #5, I never really thought there should be an age limit to change.  I have "settled down" in my current job just because I know it is my last one.

J Boogie

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 10:42:49 AM »
Another thread got me thinking about job-hopping.  ((http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/enough-with-this-'millenial'-bullshit!/?topicseen))

Wondering what others think. 

1.  What is the minimum amount of time you should stay with a company before hopping to the next opportunity (assume there is nothing horrible about the job, other than greener pastures elsewhere)

I would say at least 2x the amount of time it took for them to train you and get you up and running.  Exception would be if a dream opportunity presented itself to you as opposed to you seeking something else out.

2.  What is the maximum number of times you should job-hop in a career? 

Unlimited.

3.  When does leaving one company to work for another become classified as "job-hopping"?  (time in place? Total # of jobs/years in labor force?)

It doesn't, provided you're showing progression in your moves.  Without progression it looks like boredom/indecision, like someone who constantly switches majors and took 7 years to get a bachelor's degree.

4.  What is the maximum number of times you would recommend switching jobs in a 12-month period?

1, provided these are salary type jobs.  2 if you realize right away it's not the place for you and your exit is your 2nd switch in the year.  Then you can just explain it was a hiccup.

5.  Is there an age limit, after which you should "settle down" with a career?  Or is it an income reached?

No, but you should eventually settle into a career you want to be in.  Unless you make a lot of money doing something you don't care about so you can retire early, which seems to be somewhat common here.  But job ≠ career.  I for one plan on working til I'm dead or disabled, but as a furniture maker, not an analyst.

6.  Is there a maximum number of years that you should stay with a company/position so you aren't pigeon-holed or deemed obsolete for other jobs?

Not for company.  But yes, remain in the same position for over 5 years showing very little progression and it's reasonable to assume that person isn't interested enough in doing anything more.

7.  When giving career advice, do you have different advice regarding length of service for different audiences? (young vs. old, friend vs. frenemy, colleague vs. subordinate)? 

I think the different audiences would be more retire early vs 40 year career mindset.  It's a lot more significant for those who will do this for 2-4x as long.  However retiring early requires good career moves to get a good salary going in the first place.

Thank you. 

Orvell

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2016, 10:50:32 AM »
askamanager.org has some good answers to this. :) It depends on your situation and what you're looking for out of a career (and what your industry is!)

iirc her answer was 2-3 years at most of your gigs ensures you don't look like a job hopper to a hiring manager, maximum years you should stay is harder to pin down, but 8 years is when you should start thinking about what other opportunities are out there (if you haven't already).

But there are tons of exceptions to all this. Certain industries have high turn-over, and there are perfectly reasonable reasons for leaving jobs and not being in the work force, etc. But the above is a sort of generalized answer.

Mr. Green

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 11:07:02 AM »
In some industries now job-hopping is viewed like car insurance. It's basically the only way to get the best deal. I don't know why companies don't want to give existing employees raises that keep their salaries competitive. That was always a head scratcher for me.

AZDude

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 11:13:24 AM »
Quote
1.  What is the minimum amount of time you should stay with a company before hopping to the next opportunity (assume there is nothing horrible about the job, other than greener pastures elsewhere)

2-3 years if its consistent. A one-time "holy shit this place sucks" job of a few months will not hurt you.

Quote
2.  What is the maximum number of times you should job-hop in a career? 

Depends on your career goals and the career in question. I work in IT. I "job hop". It has worked well for me. Some other industries are less progressive and will see your resume negatively. I have been asked about my tendency to leave after 2 years a few times, but it never seemed like a deal breaker.

Quote
3.  When does leaving one company to work for another become classified as "job-hopping"?  (time in place? Total # of jobs/years in labor force?)

Industry specific, I'm sure.

Quote
4.  What is the maximum number of times you would recommend switching jobs in a 12-month period?

Once. Make it count.

Quote
5.  Is there an age limit, after which you should "settle down" with a career?  Or is it an income reached?

Depends on your career goals. Certain positions will require you to work your way up. Some companies treat their employees better and/or hire from within more often. Depends on your specific circumstances.

Quote
6.  Is there a maximum number of years that you should stay with a company/position so you aren't pigeon-holed or deemed obsolete for other jobs?

What industry are you in? This makes a big difference. Mostly, I would say that when it becomes painfully obvious your opinion is not valued, its time to leave.

Quote
7.  When giving career advice, do you have different advice regarding length of service for different audiences? (young vs. old, friend vs. frenemy, colleague vs. subordinate)? 

The generation before me(I'm GEN X), they stayed with one company their whole careers. My generation tends to job hop more, and I imagine the millenials will jump around like rabbits. So you will probably get different advice depending on the age of the person.

I will say this, if you find a job that fits you well, that you like, and that lets you do the things important to you, do not leave to chase a higher salary.

Chris22

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 11:15:23 AM »
I'm a kinda-sorta job hopper, but there are two key things I always try to do:

1.  Show a promotion at each employer.  I have three companies in 10 years on my resume, but on each I have several promotions (except one I stayed at for 6 months because it was terrible).

2.  Have a reason for leaving.  I left Company 1 because I was laid off, company is locally known for its crazy downward spiral, everyone in Chicagoland knows someone laid off from that company.  Company 2 was my "I need a job, any job as a result of the layoff, here's one" role, and I can speak to the management changes as a result of an IPO right when I arrived as my reason for leaving (my boss and her boss quit within 2 months of my arriving.  I literally didn't have anyone to resign TO).  If/when I leave company 3, it will be because our current market (Oil and Gas) is being decimated and it's a good time to get out.

The real pitfalls, IMO, are the people bouncing around every year or so.  That will kill you.  But show how well you performed at each place, and tell the story (be creative if you have to) about why you "need" to leave, and you should be fine. 

Guesl982374

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2016, 11:22:34 AM »
Another thread got me thinking about job-hopping.  ((http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/enough-with-this-'millenial'-bullshit!/?topicseen))

Wondering what others think. 

1.  What is the minimum amount of time you should stay with a company before hopping to the next opportunity (assume there is nothing horrible about the job, other than greener pastures elsewhere)
2.  What is the maximum number of times you should job-hop in a career? 
3.  When does leaving one company to work for another become classified as "job-hopping"?  (time in place? Total # of jobs/years in labor force?)
4.  What is the maximum number of times you would recommend switching jobs in a 12-month period?
5.  Is there an age limit, after which you should "settle down" with a career?  Or is it an income reached?
6.  Is there a maximum number of years that you should stay with a company/position so you aren't pigeon-holed or deemed obsolete for other jobs?
7.  When giving career advice, do you have different advice regarding length of service for different audiences? (young vs. old, friend vs. frenemy, colleague vs. subordinate)? 

Thank you.

1. Min 2-3 years if the new job is laterally. 1 year minimum if the new job is a promotion
2. Depends on how long of a career.
3. Repeated 1-2 years at each company working at 4+ companies.
4. Once
5. By 30-35 you shouldn't be jumping every year unless its for a significantly better position.
6. Depends on skillset or industry. I would say make sure you benchmark in terms of skills, salary, etc. once a year to make a determination if you are below market
7. Like life, its situational.

Ease

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2016, 06:17:12 AM »
I once met a man in his low-30s who was a terrible engineer, and a worse manager. He knew it too. Yet he was Head of his own department (a department of over 200 people).

I once had an opportunity for a candid discussion with him, and he said he could explain all of his success. He admitted not being talented, nor overly intelligent, and didn't have great connections. But every two years, without exception, he requested a promotion and if he were declined then he left the company for somewhere else that was offering the promotion.

At the time, I thought that extreme, and likely to look like job-hopping, but as it was, most of the time his current company made him an offer once they realised he was serious and was about to leave.

Since then, I've done the same, though I've accelerated it to 18 months to take into account today's faster pace.
  • I started with a 13 month contract at a Fortune 500 company. When they didn't offer a promotion I refused to renew my contract.
  • Then I did 10 months at a second, much smaller company, but got offered a promotion elsewhere, and when they company wouldn't do the same I moved for a 19% pay rise.
  • Today is my last day at that second company, after 18 months, and am moving for another promotion with a 20% pay rise.

I still don't make a lot of money, as my profession isn't well paid in the UK (though it is in the US! Need to work on that VISA-acquiring...), but averaging at ~11% pay rise per year should yield a good salary one day.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2016, 07:07:56 AM »
I've added my two cents....similar to some of the other posters.

I can't stay in a role more than 3 years, I crave new challenges and environments to explore. That's one of the reasons I work freelance now, so I can change roles whenever I want.


1.  What is the minimum amount of time you should stay with a company before hopping to the next opportunity (assume there is nothing horrible about the job, other than greener pastures elsewhere) 1.5 years
2.  What is the maximum number of times you should job-hop in a career? equal to once every 3 years 
3.  When does leaving one company to work for another become classified as "job-hopping"?  (time in place? Total # of jobs/years in labor force?)
Having more than 2 jobs a year consistently 
4.  What is the maximum number of times you would recommend switching jobs in a 12-month period? once
5.  Is there an age limit, after which you should "settle down" with a career?  Or is it an income reached?
when you've found your ideal role, or no longer wish to progress upwards, or no longer want a new challenge 
6.  Is there a maximum number of years that you should stay with a company/position so you aren't pigeon-holed or deemed obsolete for other jobs? I think you need at least 5 years service on your CV, but you should show promotions over that time
7.  When giving career advice, do you have different advice regarding length of service for different audiences? (young vs. old, friend vs. frenemy, colleague vs. subordinate)?    Yes, I'd say it is more industry specific than age specific. In IT, moving around is encouraged. Civil service, less so. 

Thank you.

stlbrah

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2016, 07:43:26 AM »
subbed for more replies.

That thread got me thinking too. Been at my company for 4 years now. I am about 25% away from my salary goal, and it may be able to happen quicker than I think. But then there are the conns... The biggest one is losing a lot of retirement benefits
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 07:45:39 AM by stlbrah »

brandino29

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2016, 08:38:08 AM »
I once met a man in his low-30s who was a terrible engineer, and a worse manager. He knew it too. Yet he was Head of his own department (a department of over 200 people).

I once had an opportunity for a candid discussion with him, and he said he could explain all of his success. He admitted not being talented, nor overly intelligent, and didn't have great connections. But every two years, without exception, he requested a promotion and if he were declined then he left the company for somewhere else that was offering the promotion.

At the time, I thought that extreme, and likely to look like job-hopping, but as it was, most of the time his current company made him an offer once they realised he was serious and was about to leave.

Interesting, he cleverly managed to accelerate his own Peter principle path.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle).



(Edited to remove random word)
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 06:00:07 PM by brandino29 »

Matumba

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2016, 02:56:53 PM »
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aneel

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2016, 04:17:50 PM »
I have been thinking about this as I was recently xo tacted by a recruiter for a very appealing move, but I've only been with my company 10 months. I feel uneasy leaving before 12 Months (not to mention needing to pay back my signing bonus).

Job hopping could lead to unmustachian decisions depending on your location. For example this new position would require a commute by car where I can take a train now.

Unequivocally job hopping will get you more life time earnings.

Marus

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2016, 05:06:10 PM »
Another thread got me thinking about job-hopping.  ((http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/enough-with-this-'millenial'-bullshit!/?topicseen))

Wondering what others think. 

1.  What is the minimum amount of time you should stay with a company before hopping to the next opportunity (assume there is nothing horrible about the job, other than greener pastures elsewhere)
2.  What is the maximum number of times you should job-hop in a career? 
3.  When does leaving one company to work for another become classified as "job-hopping"?  (time in place? Total # of jobs/years in labor force?)
4.  What is the maximum number of times you would recommend switching jobs in a 12-month period?
5.  Is there an age limit, after which you should "settle down" with a career?  Or is it an income reached?
6.  Is there a maximum number of years that you should stay with a company/position so you aren't pigeon-holed or deemed obsolete for other jobs?
7.  When giving career advice, do you have different advice regarding length of service for different audiences? (young vs. old, friend vs. frenemy, colleague vs. subordinate)? 

Thank you.

1.  My friend, whose advice I value highly, told me that as long as your current job is somewhat in line with your overall career goals, you should stay there at least a year and a half.  You want to be able to point to at least one performance review and get a sense of what your strengths and weaknesses in any given job are (and don't lie to yourself; everyone has weaknesses).  If you switch jobs more often than that, it could make prospective employers suspect that you're disloyal or that you don't get along with coworkers.

2. No strong opinion on this.  Totally depends on temperament, ambition, and how much you desire novelty.

3. Great question!  I wouldn't think about this one in terms of time, necessarily.  Whether changing jobs counts as "job-hopping" depends on a number of circumstances.  Some jobs, even when you're classified as an employee, end up feeling more like "gig" work (some of my friends in television take jobs with the expectation that their job will only last for a year).  If you have to switch jobs because of life circumstances I don't think that would fall under the umbrella of job-hopping no matter how little time you've been on the job (imagine a worker who, in a fit of patriotism, decides to enlist).   

On the other hand, I would say if you're leaving one company for a similar one to do similar work for more money that counts as job-hopping. 

4.  Only once.

5.  Nope.  The most important thing with working is finding something that continues to engage you and that fits well with the overall flow of your life.  That has nothing to do with where you are on the totem pole or what age you are.

6.   Depends...sorry, I'm giving that as an answer a lot!  If you're in a demanding and constantly evolving field (I'm an accountant by trade transitioning into finance), there's no need to switch jobs to stay relevant.  Your daily work will keep your edge sharp.

7. I think it makes sense to give different advice.  Young folks above all need to develop good working habits.  Older folks need to maintain and not get complacent (unless they're the type of person which likes to get complacent).  If an older person doesn't have good habits by now, they're probably a lost cause.  Young folks can also usually afford to take more risks, which I would say is a pretty important factor when you're giving career advice.

Hope my answers are somewhat useful! 

dividendman

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2016, 08:17:11 PM »
In some industries now job-hopping is viewed like car insurance. It's basically the only way to get the best deal. I don't know why companies don't want to give existing employees raises that keep their salaries competitive. That was always a head scratcher for me.

Being a mid-upper management type at a mega Corp: it's because they have crunched the numbers. People hate change, even most people who are otherwise excellent at their jobs hate change. Corporate overlords are banking on this to consistently screw their good long term employees out of money until they actually threaten to quit. They will however hire in new, unknown quantity,  workers at the market rate because that's the only way they can get them.

An old boss gave me the best advice of my career: you should set aside a couple of months every year or 18 months to interview and negotiate offers no matter how much you like your current gig. This will 1)  ensure you know what the market rate is so you can either take another job or negotiate a higher pay at the current one, 2) let you know what opportunities are out there, what skills are in demand, and expose you to opportunities you may not have considered, and 3) keep your interviewing skills, negotiating skills and learning new skills at your current job that will help you get future jobs in the best shape.

I've gone from a salary of 55k 9 years ago to over 300k total compensation today in no small part due to the above. I think I'm very good at what I do,  but I see other talented folks letting inertia handicap their earning potential.

Another bonus of having multiple previous places of employment is the larger network you'll have - so, TL;DR: job hop away!!

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2016, 11:55:08 AM »
If I'm hiring someone for an entry level or lower journey level position, it doesn't bother me if they've done a lot of job-hopping.  In my field, most people gain experience by working a series of seasonal or temporary jobs during and after college/grad school.  I consider the variety a plus at that stage of someone's career.  But if I'm hiring a program manager, it is definitely a red flag to see someone who's 10 or 15 years into their career and they haven't spent more than two or three years in the same job.  It generally takes a couple of years to get a new person performing up to full speed.  I don't want someone who is going to leave just when they're finally getting good.  But now that I'm less than three years from FIRE, I probably shouldn't care. ;)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 12:42:20 PM by Monkey Uncle »

herbgeek

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2016, 05:42:35 PM »
In addition to all the good things already said, I think it also depends on whether the hiring manager is a boomer,  Gen Xer or millenial.  I'm at the very tail end of the boomers, and many older people expect "loyalty", even though companies don't give it back.    I think more like a Gen Xer, and I would say the length you spend it jobs also depends on where you are in your career.  A person out of college 5 years or less moving around a lot doesn't phase me. 

A mid-career professional moving around more than every 2 years would get me to ask further questions.   It often takes someone who is bluffing a year or more for it to be obvious to everyone they don't have the experience they claimed when they were hired, and often several months after that for the company to do something about it, so someone with say 10-15 years of experience who has consistently moved every 18 months or less would raise further questions by me.  (And yes, my department interviewed such a person and I recommended against hiring her, but my boss did anyways, and it was clear to me fairly early on that she lied about her experience, and was putting things on her Linked In resume that she had not done.  She might have been in the room when they were discussed, but she did not participate in any of it).

Vilgan

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2016, 07:46:51 AM »
Another thread got me thinking about job-hopping.  ((http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/enough-with-this-'millenial'-bullshit!/?topicseen))

Wondering what others think. 

1.  What is the minimum amount of time you should stay with a company before hopping to the next opportunity (assume there is nothing horrible about the job, other than greener pastures elsewhere)
2.  What is the maximum number of times you should job-hop in a career? 
3.  When does leaving one company to work for another become classified as "job-hopping"?  (time in place? Total # of jobs/years in labor force?)
4.  What is the maximum number of times you would recommend switching jobs in a 12-month period?
5.  Is there an age limit, after which you should "settle down" with a career?  Or is it an income reached?
6.  Is there a maximum number of years that you should stay with a company/position so you aren't pigeon-holed or deemed obsolete for other jobs?
7.  When giving career advice, do you have different advice regarding length of service for different audiences? (young vs. old, friend vs. frenemy, colleague vs. subordinate)? 

Thank you.

caveat: All my answers are with tech in mind

1. 1 week if you don't care about relations at that company. If they are a huge employer in your area, probably 3+ months.
2. No limit. I know a guy who changed jobs every year for like 9 years. Sometimes he didn't even stay 12 months. He kept looking for the right fit and would add to his skillset and earning potential and then move on to a better position. Then suddenly he found the right company and he's been happy there since (3 years now). His willingness to hop around was always a boon. It also made him a lot more valuable (skillwise) and highly compensated than his peers.
3. 12+ years of never in place more than 18 months?
4. Imo try to avoid 2+ job changes in less than 12 months. That's pretty extreme and makes it stand out.
5. Not really an age limit, but once you are hitting director level responsibilities its a lot less attractive (imo) if you change jobs every year. I wouldn't mind hiring a good dev/architect who had a history of moving on but would be a lot less eager to hiring a VP of Development who never had the same position more than a year or two.
6. Depends on the company and how much you are able to move around. You shouldn't do the same "job" for more than 2-3 years imo but in many companies you can move up or move around, work on different products, etc. If you have spent 3+ years working on the same thing w/ similar responsibilities, its time for a change. A change doesn't necessarily mean leaving your employer though.
7. My target is mostly millennials, don't really care about generations older as hopefully they have it figured out. I think it gets a lot harder in tech once you are 40+ and especially 50+ so people in that crowd are probably less likely to bounce around. Hopefully by now they've managed their career to a point where they no longer need to bounce around to be well compensated.

palebluedot

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2016, 04:43:54 PM »
I am glad to have found this thread as I am in a job that is a "holy shit this place sucks" type situation. I started in February and I think June will be my last month there. I should have enough in cash savings to go 3 months to cover all my regular expenses. If finding another job takes more time than expected I can always dip into my ROTH contributions but hopefully it won't get to that point. This will be my first time leaving a job after a short period of employment. I started applying for other jobs about 2 weeks ago so hopefully in June I can start going on interviews. I really cannot stay there any longer :(

2buttons

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2016, 06:26:32 PM »
2 years, up or out. Those are the "rules" to effectively advance your career.

LAL

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2016, 07:10:17 PM »
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BlueHouse

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2016, 05:48:36 AM »
Another thread got me thinking about job-hopping.  ((http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/enough-with-this-'millenial'-bullshit!/?topicseen))

Wondering what others think. 

1.  What is the minimum amount of time you should stay with a company before hopping to the next opportunity (assume there is nothing horrible about the job, other than greener pastures elsewhere)
 

caveat: All my answers are with tech in mind

1. 1 week if you don't care about relations at that company. If they are a huge employer in your area, probably 3+ months.

Does this mean little to no job training for your role?  In my role, there is a significant amount of organization-specific experience needed before an employee becomes useful.  If there is significant training or expense that goes into the new employee, does the answer change? 

Tyler

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2016, 09:55:42 AM »
In my experience, the reason for the job hopping matters most. 

If you show a drive to learn more and try new things, that's a big plus that actually works in your favor.  If you switch jobs for family reasons or because you're honest that the company wasn't a good fit for you, nobody gives it a second thought. If you constantly switch jobs because you don't get along with people or you're avoiding responsibility, that's a big problem.


TheAnonOne

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2016, 10:36:01 AM »
I am 25 years old and I have moved jobs MANY times.

Early in my career as a software developer it was very fast (every 8-10 months for 3-4 jobs) Now the rate has slowed mostly because I hit the senior level of payscale.

If you have the skills, go for the jumps. I think, if you can score 20% more money... take it.

cube.37

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2016, 11:02:22 AM »
Another thread got me thinking about job-hopping.  ((http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/enough-with-this-'millenial'-bullshit!/?topicseen))

Wondering what others think. 

1.  What is the minimum amount of time you should stay with a company before hopping to the next opportunity (assume there is nothing horrible about the job, other than greener pastures elsewhere)
2.  What is the maximum number of times you should job-hop in a career? 
3.  When does leaving one company to work for another become classified as "job-hopping"?  (time in place? Total # of jobs/years in labor force?)
4.  What is the maximum number of times you would recommend switching jobs in a 12-month period?
5.  Is there an age limit, after which you should "settle down" with a career?  Or is it an income reached?
6.  Is there a maximum number of years that you should stay with a company/position so you aren't pigeon-holed or deemed obsolete for other jobs?
7.  When giving career advice, do you have different advice regarding length of service for different audiences? (young vs. old, friend vs. frenemy, colleague vs. subordinate)? 

Thank you.

Below are my responses. I'm in executive recruiting, so work more with upper level management (c-suite, evp, etc). This advice might be geared towards the 40-year career than the super early-retirees because you don't get to the c-suite until your 30's-40's anyways...I'm in financial services, so the answers would probably be very different for someone in tech - they seem to jump around a lot more often.

As a general response, age is a big factor. Early in your career (20-30), it's fine to job hop a bit while you decide on your profession, maybe every 1.5-3 years. Once you hit the 30 year mark, you'd ideally have an industry in mind that you want to develop into. At this point, you don't want to switch companies more than every 3 years or so. Preferably 3-5.

Another thing that's really important is that you show an upward sloping career trajectory. You want to show that you're getting increasing greater responsibilities: either through promotions within company, promotion with a new company, or same job with a larger company. For example, my boss will pass on profiles where someone is stagnant (same role, same company for too many years), or if the person is doing the exact same role at progressively smaller firms.

To the questions:
1. Refer to age point above.
2. Unlimited.
3. Refer to age point above. Also, if a firm put significant effort into training you, you should stay until you "pay back" the training.
4. Once. But in a 24-month period, also once...
5. Probably 30. But this is industry specific.
6. Max number of years in a company? No. Max number of years in a position? No. Max number of years in a position at one company? 3-5 probably.
7.
- As I noted above, people want to see that you're still going uphill in your career. If it looks like you're past your peak and going downhill, it'll be hard to be recruited.
- We do our checking - education, criminal, negative press, etc.
- Be a good person. We don't just use the references you give to us - of course they're gonna be amazing references...We talk to other people at your company and people in your past. For more senior roles, we do anywhere from 3-5 additional references. If we get 1 bad one, we're going to do 5-10 more.

mm1970

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2016, 11:37:12 AM »
In some industries now job-hopping is viewed like car insurance. It's basically the only way to get the best deal. I don't know why companies don't want to give existing employees raises that keep their salaries competitive. That was always a head scratcher for me.

Being a mid-upper management type at a mega Corp: it's because they have crunched the numbers. People hate change, even most people who are otherwise excellent at their jobs hate change. Corporate overlords are banking on this to consistently screw their good long term employees out of money until they actually threaten to quit. They will however hire in new, unknown quantity,  workers at the market rate because that's the only way they can get them.

An old boss gave me the best advice of my career: you should set aside a couple of months every year or 18 months to interview and negotiate offers no matter how much you like your current gig. This will 1)  ensure you know what the market rate is so you can either take another job or negotiate a higher pay at the current one, 2) let you know what opportunities are out there, what skills are in demand, and expose you to opportunities you may not have considered, and 3) keep your interviewing skills, negotiating skills and learning new skills at your current job that will help you get future jobs in the best shape.

I've gone from a salary of 55k 9 years ago to over 300k total compensation today in no small part due to the above. I think I'm very good at what I do,  but I see other talented folks letting inertia handicap their earning potential.

Another bonus of having multiple previous places of employment is the larger network you'll have - so, TL;DR: job hop away!!
This has been my experience, and so I use it when making recommendations to younger engineers who have worked for me or around me.

The other thing that needs to be considered is life and intangibles.  I'm now at the point in my life where it's hard to change jobs.  (Not that I haven't tried, I have interviewed in the last couple of years.)  I'm half of a 2-career couple with 2 kids.  So...
1.  We aren't moving.  Jobs in this town are limited.
2.  My job is the lower paying job.  So even *if* we were willing to move, we wouldn't do it for my job.
3.  I have 2 kids (10 and 3), and I just don't have the energy for "new".  You know, in tech - if you get a new job and a new role you need to hit the ground running.  Especially in your mid-40s.  I don't really want to work 50 hours a week right now.  It's easier for me to take on new roles at my current gig and keep my hours down.

It sucks that my pay stinks (about $30k a year low), but I make up for it in flexibility.  Or at least partially.

4.  Job "fun".  I have to say, I've had a couple of managers at this job that almost made me quit, they were that terrible.  One friend *did* quit.  She had a different job for awhile, that company closed.  Her current job is TERRIBLE.  Awful.  She'd leave if she had been there longer than a year.

SyZ

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2016, 01:59:20 PM »
I've had 5 positions in 5 years and I don't think the positives outweigh the negatives

+ promotions within company
+ new opportunities elsewhere
+ better pay each time

- looks like I can't do a job more than a year at a time
- none of these positions are above entry level
- shows I haven't developed a passion or loyalty to anything professional


veloman

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2016, 04:13:13 PM »
I love all these social norms and rules. You better get yourself into that cookie cutter shape, or else!

I almost walked out of an interview today. I only stayed to be polite. It was 3 hours long.


big_slacker

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2016, 04:49:03 PM »
I'm in IT like a lot of us here. It's absolutely acceptable to job hop, I've done it my whole career. You usually have to hop to get a good salary bump.

I think 2 years is a good amount of time to be in a job before thinking of hopping. That's enough time to get past the 'in over your head' stage and learn some new, valuable skills.

That's not a hard and fast rule though, I've been at a place as short as 3 months (shitty shop!) and as long as 5 years (best place in a small market).

FIRE_Buckeye

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2016, 06:29:15 PM »
Chalk another vote up for trying to at least hit the two-year mark.
Gives you long enough to learn the position and hopefully be given expanded responsibilities and/or a promotion, and you likely won't be considered a job-hopper by most hiring managers (age being a factor in this as mentioned above).

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Job-hopping: how much is too much?
« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2016, 07:56:35 PM »
In some industries now job-hopping is viewed like car insurance. It's basically the only way to get the best deal. I don't know why companies don't want to give existing employees raises that keep their salaries competitive. That was always a head scratcher for me.

Being a mid-upper management type at a mega Corp: it's because they have crunched the numbers. People hate change, even most people who are otherwise excellent at their jobs hate change. Corporate overlords are banking on this to consistently screw their good long term employees out of money until they actually threaten to quit. They will however hire in new, unknown quantity,  workers at the market rate because that's the only way they can get them.

Yep, Mother Dearest is an upper-manager at a similar company and spent a lot of time in payroll before her current role. This is right on point.

It's in the company interest. Why would they turn down free money?

Mother Dearest encourages all 20-somethings to job hop every 2 years. Only way she ever sees significant promotions and raises anymore.

Note: My family is extremely cynical about the business world. We consider Dilbert as good as Gospel.