Job hopping is an increasingly common way to gain more experience and a higher salary. Here's how to tell if it's time to make a change.
As many tech professionals know, the days of spending your entire career at one or two companies are long gone. The average employee tenure is only 4.2 years, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some 71% of US employees said they are thinking about or actively looking for new job opportunities, one report found.
While this represents a cultural change from previous decades, it also relieves the pressure to stay in a job that isn't meeting your career goals, said Holly Caplan, a career coach and author of Surviving the Dick Clique: A Girl's Guide to Surviving the Male Dominated Corporate World.
"Things are changing now, because when I was coming up in the mid-to late-'90s, the thought was the longer you stay with the job, the more marketable you are," Caplan said. "Now it's viewed as if you stay too long, you're stunting your own growth."
SEE: Employee non-compete agreement policy (Tech Pro Research)
Job hopping is often more common in the tech industry, where talent is in-demand and highly compensated, Caplan said. It can stimulate growth, and promote professional and personal development through learning new skills and avoiding boredom, she added. Finally, changing positions can demonstrate that you are taking the initiative to explore opportunities that you are interested in and control your career, Caplan said.
Moving to a new role also often comes with a salary benefit: Workers who stay at the same job, can on average expect only about a 3% increase per year. But, when changing jobs, the average employee sees a pay increase between 10% and 20%, according to a PayScale report.
Here are three signs that it may be time to quit your job and move onto another opportunity.
1. Lack of development opportunities
"If the company is not trying to develop, train, or promote you, that's not a good sign, because that's going to stunt your growth," Caplan said. It also shows that they are not interested in your future, and how you can contribute to the organization, she added.
2. Dreading the work
Everyone goes through periods of tedium in their job, but if you consistently dread going to your job and lack the motivation and mental engagement to do it, it may be time to go, Caplan said. It's not good for your career to stay stagnant or bored for long periods of time, she added.
SEE: Interviewing guidelines policy (Tech Pro Research)
3. High turnover
"If you see your colleagues jumping ship, chances are the problem is systematic, and you should probably be leaving too," Caplan said. Employees that like their work environment and company leadership tend to stay in their jobs for a longer period of time, she added.
However, there are some circumstances under which you should try to tough it out in your current position for a bit longer, Caplan said. Ideally, you should try to stay at least 12 months in one position, to show stability. A change in leadership is another reason to stay on, as it could mean a positive change in terms of your own career advancement or work culture. It's also best to look for a new job while you're still working in your current position, rather than after you quit, Caplan said. This allows you to maintain your current income, and appear more desirable to potential employers.
"Every organization is going to have its issues," Caplan said. "You have to consider what you're willing to take. If it's palatable and you're still excited, then stay."
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