The Pro's of Job-hopping, and how to do it right.
Now-a-days, people aren't coming out of college, stumbling upon a company, and then staying there for 40+ years.
Workers move more freely, stay in one place for shorter spans of time, and most importantly, vote with their feet.
This is paired with today's higher expectations from employment. Where workers choose to stay is influenced by many factors: work life balance, working from home and flexible schedules, workplace culture, influence and impact of the work itself, and many more.
It's safe to say, then, that switching companies, roles, or even fields is becoming increasingly normal. And there are some real upsides to this tactic.
The jumps in salary that one can make from a move to another company, even a lateral one in title, can be exponentially higher than the gradual increases you are likely to make growing within the same organization. You could potentially double or triple your income in a short amount of time, like I did in under 4 years.
Every time someone enters a company, they are automatically immersed in a network. Moving companies gives workers the ability to broaden their own professional network by simply giving them guaranteed exposure to more people.
For designers or creatives, this one is especially relevant. An in-house designer
All of this being said, switching jobs is something that needs to be done strategically and tactfully. Burning bridges and damaging relationships, for example, counteracts the networking impact. Bad negotiating will not lead to large increases in salary.
There is a right and a wrong way to do it.
Consider the field.
If the longterm goal is to be a partner at an established law firm, job-hopping may not be the right course of action. In a creative field, however, it is almost expected. The industry or function may dictate how much moving around is appropriate.
Have a trajectory & know the narrative.
It's crucial to have a goal, even a tentative one. It can evolve over time while still being a guiding light in the present.
The narrative of progress is also key to successfully moving around. If there is a logical story of ambition, growth, and progression that can make sense to an employer, they will be much more likely to understand past leaps.
Build out skills & capture the progress.
Throughout the journey, a worker likely starts with a (minimal) set of skills. It is imperative to actively improve that skillset over time and document the progress. For a designer, that could mean gaining experience through working with clients and adding that work to a portfolio along the way, and it makes all of the difference.
It looks different in other industries, but the principle remains the same: seeking out professional development opportunities either through training or experience, building up a robust suite of expertise, and finding a way to showcase that in a marketable or employable way.