Job hopping: unemployable or inevitable?

The Great Resignation. The Big Quit. The Great Reshuffle. However we frame it, there’s no denying that the pandemic triggered a reset in the way employees view their roles, how workforces see employee loyalty and how teams approach their work-life balance. It’s become a movement, where individuals are advocating for their needs in the way they know how – job hopping. But who are the people actually making the move?  

To many, there’s one key culprit: Gen Z. But the truth is, while Gen Z accounted for 33% of job hoppers in 2020, with 65% saying they intend to leave their job by the end of 2021, there’s one good reason they’re not ready to settle down for the long-run. When COVID-19 first reared its head, most Gen Z professionals were in the early days of their careers. They hadn’t yet established a presence, built a name, or formed an allegiance with their company before everything they knew was questioned. The knock-on effect? A generation of professionals scrambling to find their feet as they return to the ‘new normal’.

In fact, millennials are slowly following behind Gen Z, with 72% of Gen Zers and 66% of millennials contemplating a career switch within the next 12 months – in contrast to 55% of Gen Xers. While millennials tend to hop into a new role every 2.75 years, compared to just over 2 years for Gen Z, millennials are changing their jobs at a rate three times that of other generations. While some see this as a concerning trend, others see it as an opportunity to gain “greater experience”, and acquire “deeper skills that now give… leverage in a buoyant job market.”

To many employers, job-hoppers are viewed as untrustworthy, undesirable, and, according to Forbes, bad employees, with 43% going on to say they wouldn’t consider hiring an employee that has “had short tenures with several employers”. In contrast, 53% of employers believe job-hopping helps employees gain “a wide range of expertise”. While job-hopping perceptions vary from industry to industry, one thing can be agreed -regardless of whether a candidate has held multiple jobs for less than six months, this has “no correlation to job tenure or performance”.


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