Career

Can Job-Hopping Further or Hurt Your Career?

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Karan NaikCareer,,,,,,

For those of you not in tune with the job market, there’s been a major change in labour laws since the start of the year.

Without diving into too much detail, employees now have a higher degree of freedom to switch jobs and seek out better opportunities. Naturally, you’d expect an increase in those looking to move, but this hasn’t been the case in 2016.

The first and second generation of expats were from the Baby Boomers and Generation X, and characterized by one-company careers and long tenures. Fast forward to the present decade, we see the presence of the one-company employee is diminishing.

At the same time, recent research shows that since there have been more hiring freezes in the UAE in the first half of 2016, more employees are committed to staying in their current positions.

Frequent switching of companies is no longer frowned upon, and some may even consider it a sign of ambition and keeping up with industry standards.

Should you be switching jobs frequently in a competitive market?

You have to carefully consider your options, be absolutely sure and justified in your reason for moving jobs. Here are broad questions you should ask yourself:

1. Is job-hopping in your field considered a sign of growth and ambition or disloyalty?

2. What are the chances of getting a new job within 2-3 months in the country?

3. What are your intentions with a new role and position?

4. How long have you stayed in your current role – can it be perceived as long enough to learn on the job?

According to some employers, it’s not just your loyalty that’s being questioned – it’s your growth.

No matter how talented, there’s only so much a candidate can learn within a span of two years.

According to this study done in the UAE, job-hopping during the early stages of your career hurts your chances for future growth.

Seeking short-term rewards like minimal increases in salary hurts career chances because the candidate doesn’t possess the industry experience and stability that could have been gained at the previous jobs. Also, and this is very important – like I mentioned before, Dubai is small. Word spreads fast so don’t be surprised if you’ve entered the company with an air of prejudice.

For those involved in contractor or consultant-based sector looking for project based work, this can be a deal breaker. No one will want to hire someone with a high possibility of leaving a project mid-way. These companies thrive on stability and will not want weak links.

Frequent job hopping may also signal you can’t take pressure and lack resilience.

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While frowning upon job-hoppers used to be the norm, there’s no denying that recruiter attitudes are changing.

In certain professions, it’s acceptable to switch frequently. The first that comes to mind is sales, marketing and business development. It’s the most sought after by headhunters and experiences the largest turnover.

Several firms, even SME’s, will pay well for talented Sales reps to front the business.

It’s important to remember that, as a generation, our basic needs have moved on to include flexibility, not simply stability.

Millennials are the type to get bored easily and will look elsewhere for sources of opportunity if only simply to break the monotonicity and learn something new.

It’s up to employers to keep up with this trend.

What’s your take? Is it a good time to be job-hopping? How many times have you switched jobs in the last 5 years?

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