If you change jobs once a year you’ll probably get dubbed a “job hopper.” Even with your own good reason to make a switch, that kind of track record not only pegs you with the label, but sends up red flags to the majority of human resource professionals.
You will be seen as somewhat unreliable and lacking clear career direction, according to both human resources professionals and job seekers who were polled by the Society for Human Resource Management and careers.wsj.com. And neither polled group buys into the notion that people who leave jobs frequently demonstrate more flexibility or have broader work experience.
Most people leave jobs for higher pay elsewhere, the poll concludes. Other reasons people leave jobs include the pursuit of new challenges, change of environment or to get away from a bad boss or colleague.
It’s more tempting today to leave for a higher salary or perks or to get away from a bad situation, since there are more jobs than workers. But no matter what the climate, there is only one good reason to change jobs. And that is when you’ve been offered a position that:
utilizes your unique skills
challenges you to think and grow
will enhance your expertise and reputation
is in an environment that fits your values and personality and recognizes your contributions
is in a business you support
pays you what you’re worth
If you take a job that doesn’t have some degree of those elements, you’ll find yourself job hopping to find what’s missing. The exception to this is if you’re in a position that is so stressful it’s making you sick. Even then, you need to look at the move as temporary solution.