The Truth about Job Hopping – The Good, The Bad, The Lies

Millennials are criticized for everything from eating too many avocados, traveling too much, and now for being flakey in their careers. Gen X has been particularly loud in their criticism of millennials’ job-hopping tendencies, blaming millennial entitlement, laziness, and narcissism. Millennials have of course clapped back, arguing that they aren’t doing anything differently to previous generations, despite the fact that they are facing living costs that are reaching record highs.

Are Millennials Job-Hopping More?

So, are Millennials actually job hopping as much as they say? The simple answer is, probably not.

There are conflicting reports on whether Millennials job hop more than their predecessors, however, many reports suggest that the data is skewed. For example, LinkedIn data does indicate that Millennials change jobs more frequently than Gen X, however only includes data on those that report their career changes on their LinkedIn profile. It’s plausible that Gen X are less likely to report their extended employment history, compared to Millennials who grew up with this kind of tech.

Additionally, the Australia Bureau of Labor Statistics reports shows that Gen X job hopped just as frequently in their mid-20s as Millennials do now. This data suggests that Millennials aren’t doing anything new in the way they are moving about their jobs.

But is job hopping really such a bad thing?

We’ve been taught that moving jobs too frequently is viewed badly by prospective employers, and is one of the dreaded “red flags”. However, a recent study by Forbes reveals that job hopping at the right time and rate can have huge benefits.

So what constitutes being a flake vs working toward healthy career progression?

Essentially, it comes down to the individual and their reasons for “hopping”. For those under 30 (i.e. Millennials) it can make sense to move around to learn and gain a better understanding of the field. The widely accepted norm is two years at the same company.

However, that doesn’t mean running from challenges, and it will become obvious very quickly to potential employers if you’re simply being flakey.

To Job Hop or Not To Job Hop?

They key take away from this information is that there is no "right answer" or determined timeline for how long you should remain at your job. Don't feel as though you're stuck in your current job for x number of years, but keep in mind that changing jobs every 6 months is going to raise some questions for potential employers. 

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The truth about job hopping