The Pensions and Benefits team discuss what makes a job hopper and how to manage your career moves strategically.
It comes as no surprise to anyone when we say that the Pensions and Benefits job market is one where candidates are in high demand.
Recruiting someone new is always a risk, and employers seek to minimise this through the setting of criteria that the require applicants to meet. There is a strong desire for longevity from those they employ and a focus on retaining employees, not only from a cost perspective, but from a stability aspect – a stable and happy team is a productive team.
As a result, candidates who can demonstrate loyalty to their previous employers are a much more attractive prospect than ones who have jumped from job to job in a short space of time, otherwise known as job hoppers.
What defines a job hopper?
So what makes you a job hopper and how can you avoid falling into this trap?
The easy answer is that you should have a strong reason for changing jobs that goes beyond simple remuneration. If you have moved jobs every year for the last three to five years then employers will expect you to stick to this habit and only commit to them for a short time. Versus someone with the same skills and experience who can demonstrate longevity, they will be a much more appealing prospect.
What is a "reasonable" career progression?
Your career moves in Pensions and Benefits need to demonstrate career progression and personal development over a “reasonable” time frame. However, the question quite rightly is what is deemed reasonable? As a rule of thumb no more than three jobs within a five year time frame is generally deemed an acceptable career progression, allowing you to gain experience and develop before moving onto the next stage in your career.
Job hopping will not become immediately apparent at your first or second moves, it is only further down the road on your third, fourth or fifth that you may then struggle to prove that you are willing to commit to a new company and the task of job hunting becomes harder. So if you are looking to move jobs, consider your time frames and reasons carefully and make sure they are the right ones for you. Whilst we are not suggesting that you stay in a job for the wrong reasons, ensure that you approach your career moves and progression strategically to present yourself to potential employers in the best possible light.