Job Hopping for career development: How often is too often?

One of the most common concerns candidate share with us is that they feel they have moved positions too often, or not enough. The subject of how often you should change your position can be a divisive one. To some people, frequent job changes could suggest that the candidate has a broader range of experience, has worked with a more diverse variety of colleagues/stakeholders, or simply has more ambition to grow and develop professionally. Conversely some people may think, if job changes are too frequent, that the candidate lacks loyalty, cannot work well with others, and may even bring into question the candidate’s ability to perform the job. 

 

Michael Bleasby, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Maxwell Stephens, recently threw this question out to our network to see what you think…

How often should you change jobs to continue development?

1-2 Years
12%
3-5 Years
72%
6-9 Years
13%
10+ Years
2%

From the over 450 respondents, there was a clear indication that between 3 and 5 years is the right amount of time to be in a position in the majority of people’s opinion to ensure ongoing development. Here’s what some of our network had to say on the subject…

 

“Increasingly diversity training for hiring managers asks them to consider their own bias. Preferences towards people who don’t move that often, is as likely to be bias on the behalf of the hirer towards those who emulate their choices and behaviours as much as anything else. Clearly for one’s own development, you should move when the learning curve starts to flatten. End of. For some that’s frequently, though I would argue there are few roles you can sit in for 5 years and still have a steep learning curve.”

 

“The CV only tells you so much, hiring managers should establish facts before dismissing candidates. I found some of my best people because they moved and gained so much experience by moving around.”

 

“Everything depends on personal circumstance. There are those who stay longer because of factors like salary and work environment, but there are those who never stop looking for challenges and love to explore other environments to enhance skills and expertise. Companies should be aware of this type of employment attitude and should be ready to upskill as and when necessary.”

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