In the past, staying with the same company for your entire career wasn’t unheard of. In fact, the less career moves you made, the more desirable you appeared on your resume. Moving companies once or twice throughout your career was considered the norm and the less career moves a candidate had, the more they were viewed as a safe hire.

To compare:

A study by LinkedIn found that members of Generation X averaged about 2 job changes within the first 10 years after graduation while Millennials average 4 job changes. That’s double the amount between generations!

Although employers still value loyalty and stability in the candidates they hire, the number of resumes that boast several career moves is increasing and becoming the new norm; as a result, hiring practices are adjusting accordingly. Employers are having to consider the following theories as to why this shift has occurred. Surprisingly, they have nothing to do with a worker’s commitment level or performance ability.

  • Workers are utilizing their transferrable skills to not only switch jobs, but also to move seamlessly between industries. The expectation of staying in the same industry is a thing of the past, opening up a whole new world of options.
  • Employees are looking out for their best interest. According to the Federal Bank of Atlanta, job hoppers ended up with approximately 30% larger annual pay increases in May compared with those workers who had stayed put for a 12-month period of time. Knowing that a new job often comes with a pay increase and a more impressive job title, employees are opting to hop to another company rather than waiting it out in their current position, hoping to receive a raise.
  • With the unemployment rate being so low, employees don’t feel the need to hang onto their jobs like they did during The Great Recession. As the demand for qualified candidates increases in this job market, candidates are feeling more comfortable leaving jobs that they aren’t satisfied with knowing that there is an abundance of jobs available.

While job hopping is no longer the red flag that it once was, it is important that you are responsible as you hop from job to job. Here are some ways to ensure that you are hopping responsibly:

  • Give your current company plenty of notice and don’t leave during the middle of a busy season or a big project. You never know when your job hopping will lead you back into professional situations with previous coworkers, making it necessary to preserve those relationships.
  • Keep a career path in mind. Even though you can use your transferable skills to hop between industries, make sure that your resume reflects a cohesive career path.
  • Give every job everything you have. The likelihood of staying in the same position for the next ten years may be small, but that is not an excuse to become lax in your work habits.

If you think that this is just a trend, think again. LinkedIn projects that younger Millennials and Gen Z will have job hopped over four times by the time they are 32 years old.