There was a time when people treated their jobs like marriage. Back then, when you picked a job you did it for 10, 15, or 30 years. The company would have your pension plan and retirement home picked out from day one. But fast forward to today, and where are we? Employees with all the loyalty of a stray cat. In this article, we’ll see if they’re rewarded:
What is Job Hopping?
Job hoppers are people who frequently change employers.
These people tend to be millennials (born between 1977 – 97). On average, they stay at a job for two years or less. Many will list six to eight employers in a 10 year period.
The most common motivation for job hoppers is money. According to Human Resource consultant Angeline Seah:
“Job hopping has become prevalent because of the Internet. In the past, it was a time consuming process to go from one employer to another.
But the rise of job sites, like monster and JobsDB, have turned the employment market into a true marketplace. Nowadays, all you need is an Internet connection and five minutes. You can compare all the available jobs, and online applications are fast.
Job hoppers work on the principle that switching jobs is easier than waiting for a pay raise. A job switch may raise income by 20% in a month. Pay raises are about 4%, and may take a year.
But does that mean job hoppers always earn more? Angeline says “Maybe”, if they meet some conditions:
- Their Work Must Be Outstanding
- We’re Talking About SMEs
- They Look at More Than Income
- They Are in the Right Field
1. Their Work Must Be Outstanding
Look around your office, and find someone who cares about their work. And I mean “care” to the point of 98 hour work weeks and a wife threatening divorce.
Now double that guy’s perfectionism, and you have an idea how hard the successful job hopper works.
“In order to job hop, your work needs to be good,” Angeline says, “Mediocre or poor workers hop around and earn maybe 10% or 20% more each time. Then they’ve hit the limit, and stay at that pay range. These people would have been better off staying with one employer, and slowly rising up the ranks.”
Angeline estimates that, over a 10 year period, job hoppers only earn significantly more than loyal employees if “Their work is notably above-average.”
2. We’re Talking About SMEs
In general, job hopping makes more sense when moving between SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises).
“Large corporations have preventative measures against job hoppers,” says Angeline, “If you leave for reasons of money, for example, the company policy may be to never re-hire you. That makes job hoppers think twice.
Also, at the corporate level, the pay scale is quite fixed. You will ultimately earn more by working your way up the ladder, than by bouncing between entry level positions.”
SMEs are a different matter. Angeline says:
“The disparity between SMEs, especially when it comes to transport subsidies, health insurance and so forth, means their employees stand to profit more from active job hunting. I would add that we have no minimum wage, so at the low end of the pay scale, it’s expected that workers are on the lookout.”
3. They Look at More Than Income
Smart job hoppers don’t just look at income. They consider the scale of the work, and the number of hours put into it.
“For an extra $500 a month, how much more work will you do?” Angeline asks, “If you’re putting in an extra 20 hours a week, then maybe it’s deluded to think you’re earning more.”
If you want to earn more by job hopping, you need factor in the workload. If it ends up you’ll be working more hours, or it will disrupt your quality of life, it’s probably a bad swap.”
Angeline also cautions against pay that’s “too good to be true“. She says job hoppers often fall victim to bad employers, who “pay late, run scams, or just don’t pay. On two occasions, I have encountered a situation whereby, after the employer hired the worker, he cut their pay less than a few months later.”
If you want to earn more as a job hopper, do background research on the company you jump to. Want to know how to do this? Follow us on Facebook. We’ll update you with career news.
4. They Are In the Right Field
Some fields reward job hoppers more than others. So far, Angeline says, these seem to be “Finance, IT, and creative fields like advertising.”
In other fields, such as metalwork and construction, it doesn’t pay to job hop frequently. The “pay scale for such industries is quite fixed. If you are a welder, for example, you won’t make a lot more by job hopping all the time.”
But wait. The point is, you hop when someone offers more money. Even if it’s just 5% to 10% more, these job hoppers do earn more right?
“But their employers are less likely to trust or promote them,” Angeline says, “Over a period of 10 years, you will see that loyal employees rise in the ranks and earn more (In these particular industries – Ed.)
Job hopping is only a significant advantage in certain industries. For example, in businesses that require product innovation, where the job hopper is a creative talent. Or sales-driven lines, like selling investments, where high turnover is a given anyway.”
Angeline adds that the worst fields for job hopping are “Usually in infrastructure businesses. An electrical engineer who wants to earn more is better off starting his own business, compared to job hopping.”
Do you job hop? Comment and let us know how it goes!
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