The ups and downs of job hopping

If you're thinking of leaving your current job for another one, it's important to weigh up the pros and cons of constantly changing positions

It seems job hopping has become the norm, with younger individuals bucking the trend and moving around.  A 2014 report by Forbes magazine shows that millennials are leading the pack when it comes to changing jobs.

According to the report, the average length of time that a worker stays at any one job is just over four years. Millennials, however, sometimes spend less time than that.

Ashleigh van Vyk, a recruitment specialist based in Johannesburg, says that young people are less scared of changing jobs if they feel they aren’t getting what they want.

“Kids born in the early 90s, youngsters between 20 and 27 years old, take that risk all the time. They don’t think it’s a problem having three jobs in 18 months,” she says.

Van Vyk says people change jobs for many reasons.

“People move because they are desperate. They are in a situation where they are unhappy because they are not performing. Or they’re not making it financially, so they’re going to take the next best thing.”

READ MORE: How to make jobs come to you

Often people don’t have time to research and plan their move, she says. “When they arrive at the next role, they probably underperform again. What they assumed they were applying for is probably not what they end up doing.”

Moving jobs has benefits as well as drawbacks. It can give people a chance to finally find the job they really love. It’s also a chance to make more money and not be trapped in a job where they have to deal with a slow ascent up the ladder.

READ MORE: Why you need a career plan

However, moving from one job to another can also harm your future prospects. Forbes says that companies are reluctant to hire someone who changes jobs the way they change their underwear. The companies may be hesitant because they feel like they aren’t getting value from someone they have invested in. Recruiters will also be concerned that the person hasn’t learnt enough from their previous position.

Van Vyk says that both employers and employees can work together to ensure that people stay longer at their jobs. Sometimes people leave their jobs because there is a lack of communication.

Individuals often don’t feel comfortable talking to their managers about issues such as financial stress and lack of job satisfaction, says Van Vyk.

“There is a lack of communication between employer and employee these days. It’s all about communication. Go to your manager and say to them that you aren’t happy in your role. Tell them if you feel frustrated.”