Long gone are the days when people spent their entire career in a single company, rewarded with a gold watch at retirement.
In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, today’s average working Australian changes jobs 12 times throughout their working life, with an average tenure of 3.3 years. With the rise of the gig economy and a casualised workforce, that number is still trending downwards too.
What was once considered a negative on your resume, ‘job hopping’ is now considered a worthwhile and beneficial part of career progression and building a well-rounded portfolio of experience. It often takes a move to a new job at a new company to reach the career goals you’re aiming towards, or recognise your full potential (in both skills and compensation) that long-term employment with one company can’t offer. This is especially true for companies that are limited by budgets, such as startups, or at companies that have a strict and rigid organisational structure, such as large corporations.
Employers and recruiters alike are also viewing your workplace history differently, acknowledging the benefits of adaptation and skill development gained through moving employers and workplace environments.
So let’s look at some of the benefits.
Changing jobs keeps you on your toes and helps develop valuable personal and professional skills as you’re pushed beyond your comfort zone and forced to learn new systems, routines, names and people skills.
No matter how good your current job is, these are the kinds of skills that can only be learnt from entering a new work situation and working with different business structures and management styles. It’s also great practice in interviewing and presenting yourself to future employers.
When you stay put in one job for a long time, you can begin to perform your job mechanically, limiting your creativity and willingness to try new ideas.
Changing jobs forces you to adapt and be ready to tackle new policies, projects and personalities that come with each role. This makes you highly valuable to companies that require a mobile, malleable workforce.
But how often is too often for you to be changing jobs, and at what point will it hurt your future employability?
In our experience, exactly how often you can hop before you tarnish your resume depends on the industry and the market, as well as your level of seniority; but changing them as often as every three to five years is definitely an accepted pace in today’s marketplace.