Job hopping, the practice of moving from one job to another, voluntarily, has gained traction over the years — during the “Great Resignation” in 2021 and 2022, quit rates reached highs that hadn’t been seen since the 1970s, Pew Research Center found.
Now, a new report by ResumeBuilder has found that job hopping can actually yield substantial increases in pay.
In a survey of 1,000 full-time U.S. workers between the ages of 18 and 40, the report found that 80% of job hoppers have increased their salary over the past five years, with 20% seeing increases of $50,000 or more.
Fifty-one percent of survey participants reported voluntarily leaving at least one job within a span of fewer than two years over the past five years, with the primary motivation cited as the pursuit of a higher salary (62%), followed by improved working conditions (51%), greater growth opportunities (51%), and enhanced benefits (49%).
Interestingly, Gen Z was significantly more likely to engage in job hopping over the last four years, with 73% acknowledging such career moves, compared to 44% of millennials.
ResumeBuilder also found that 49% of respondents don’t believe that there is a set amount of time one needs to stay in a job. Of the 51% who do think there is a “certain amount of time,” 65% stated that they think it is one year or less.
While there is a case for staying with a job for lengthy periods of time (promotions, career development, etc.), some experts say there are situations where one should leave, regardless of how short one’s tenure.
“I encourage my clients to stay at a company for at least 2 years, but in situations where there is toxicity, unmet/unclear expectations, or it’s not a good fit, I would encourage someone to take the steps to leave,” said career strategist at ResumeBuilder, Julia Toothacre, in the report. “Loyalty isn’t worth your mental and emotional health.”
The practice of job hopping can have significant other benefits, too, per Indeed, such as gaining skills in adaptability and the opportunity to relocate to new cities. However, it also cites disadvantages, such as inconsistent experience, increased stress due to uncertainty, and loss of benefits.
Also, switching jobs too soon or impulsively may lead to buyer’s remorse.
“So many people get ‘Shiny Object Syndrome,’ where they just see a job title or salary range and they just pounce,” career coach Sarah Doody told CNBC. “It isn’t until the third round of interviews or unfortunately for some people, after they’ve accepted the job and they’re there for two months that they realize, ‘I didn’t think about this.'”
In short, job hopping isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all scenario, so if you’re thinking of hopping on the trend, reevaluate where you are, want to go, and how staying or leaving will impact your career trajectory and mental health.