While the booming economy has allowed more workers from nearly every sector to change jobs more frequently, none have had more opportunity to move into new jobs than high-tech workers. But just because you can change jobs, does it mean you should?

In last week’s TechWatch, “Job-hopping may not be your best move,” columnist Bob Weinstein discussed some of the drawbacks that come with switching employers too frequently.

But that’s not the case with everyone.

Justyn Waby, 26, is a business analyst who has worked with a multi-national corporation in the United Kingdom for 18 months. This is his fifth job in the past nine years, with four coming during the last 4 and a half years.

He sent us his story last week after reading TechWatch. Here’s how job-hopping worked for him.

Justyn’s job-hopping journey
I would say the “job hopping” I have done so far has been beneficial to me in a number of ways:

  • Rapid salary and benefits increase
  • Huge experience learning curve
  • Ability to change locations on a whim

Of the four jobs I have had during the past 4 and a half years, I’ve stayed at each an average of one year.

Job number one
My first job was as a Network/PC Administrator for a large food manufacturing group installing and networking PC’s around the UK, training users, resolving problems, setting up new LANs/WANs, and so forth. This job was my first full IT-related job.

While I felt that the salary and benefits were good considering my experience and qualifications, most of the time I spent at this company was difficult because there was a personality clash with my immediate supervisor, the IT Manager.

Job number two
I left this job, under the threat of redundancy, as the company was being asset stripped. I moved to an EDI software house as an installer/trainer/consultant.

This job required me to travel the UK installing, configuring, and consulting on the EDI software for small- and medium-size enterprises forced down the EDI route by their Hubs (usually major Hubs in the UK EDI Sector).

The working conditions and atmosphere were great, and the salary and benefits were better than before. I also received a salary increase as my responsibilities increased as a consultant.

Job number three
While at the second job, a friend gave me an article from Computing Magazine stating that a major US/UK player in the EDI market was recruiting. I thought that it must be worth a shot, as I had now been in this market for a little over a year.

On spec, with no real intentions of taking the job, I sent a curriculum vitae to the agency and was surprised to almost immediately receive a phone call, which put me in the position of being offered a job as a European EDI consultant for much more money and benefits than I expected. I decided that, due to this generous offer, I would take this job.

One of the assignments I was given was to supply on-site EDI consulting services to my current employer. During this assignment, I became aware of an opening they had for an e-commerce business analyst. I jumped at the chance.

While the salary and benefits were comparable to my current level, the job required less travel, which I liked, since I had been looking for a way to reduce my traveling commitments.

Job number four
So I accepted the job. The only barrier I have encountered so far was when my current employer was initially concerned at my apparent lack of “staying power.” However, I believe I’ve been able to convince them of my value and have been fully accepted and given great opportunities.

In hindsight, I would not change the way I have progressed in my career. However, I plan on staying with my current employer for some time, since I think that stability and longevity will be an important thing to show on my [résumé].
Have you jumped at the same kinds of opportunities that Justyn did? Tell us about your experiences in an e-mail, or post your comments.