Job Hopping

How much is too much?

Is it a situation where as long as the jobs are increasing in prestige and responsibility, it is acceptable?

At what point does the employer throw up a red flag and say, 'this person is too risky to hire. they are probably going to leave"

How many years of service do they expect to get from someone?

Just kind of curious as to everyone’s opinions. You hear so many conflicting arguments- some people say to stay at one company and work your way up and be loyal, but others say leave every two years and I have even seen a study about how people that job hop make much more money over those that stay at one place since they are obviously only accepting and negotiating for higher salaries in order to leave

if you wanna make those sweet 40% pay hikes without getting promoted. this is how you roll son.

I really wouldn’t recommend job hopping two weeks into your first job…

If you stay at least 1 year+ and indeed move to a better place and you can justify it, I’m cool with that. Even if you got let go during the bad years, still fine.

If you moved around in short time among similar roles at similar prestige/size firms, red flag.

If you moved among a bunch of different roles, tells me you either don’t know what you want, or have some personal issues. red flag.

Im not. No plans to leave at all. I want to be there. Just curious because my friends (peers) are always arguing about this and I really dont know what the right answer is. I can understand the merits of each of the various perspectives.

Does it concern you that you may lose someone after only one year after dumping so much time and effort into them? I suppose that risk could happen with any hire, though. Even if you only hire people that have been with their prior firm 5+ years im not sure how much less likely that makes it for them to leave quickly

^Feed the horse man. I asked for a raise once, was turned down for a bunch of externalities like, “Oh, in this economy…” Then hit the street and got a job paying over 30% more than I was currently making.

Had my quantified results request for a raise been honored, I wouldn’t have hit the street hard.

in ER and AM, that’s pretty typical. for example - say on a sell side research team- New analysts are usually trained by the associates and learn whatever they pick up while on the team. it’s not a huge loss if they leave. The best assoc in SS research typically will get snapped up by a hedge fund - that could be a decent loss, which is why more effort is used to keep the better performers. but the ambitious ones usu do leave, that’s how it is. It’s more cutthroat in AM, turnover can be even higher… lots of big funds will cut analysts in a couple quarters or as soon as your performance lags. A lot of willing replacements to cycle through until you find one that’s good and can weather through.

^ thanks for the serious reply, Itera. Probably the first time you have ever not flamed me or said something negative about me

This quote sums this concern up pretty well I think:

“I’d rather invest time in someone and they leave than not and they stay.”

Job hopping is a good way to increase salary, as has been mentioned. The risk IMO is not so much reputational or resume as it is job hopping at the wrong time in the business cycle. If you started a new job in March 2008, it’s possible you would be first in line for the axe when some consultant comes in and recommends headcount reduction. Having that security is worth something.

I have been thinking about changing jobs as well. I’ve been at the same company for about 5 years with no major complaints. The work is interesting and I’ve been progressively increasing in compensation and seniority. The issue is that I was recently referred for what could potentially be a bigger job that may increase my salary by 30% or more. My concerns are:

  1. Switching at this point in the cycle could put me in a precarious position if the market were to tank.

  2. Obviously this crap always happens just before bonus season. Not sure how to handle that since previously when I changed jobs I did it in the Spring.

Job hopping definitely boosts your salary. I moved about every year for my first 3-4 years of my career then found my last gig I stayed at for 4 years. My current plan is to be here 2-5 years depending on how things progress. Before my last job it became and interview question where people would ask about the movement. Just make sure the story makes good sense from a career progression standpoint so they don’t think you’re just flakey and lost. In other words, while job movement has helped my total comp tremendously (3.1x what it was in 2009 almost entirely due to job movement) I never once made a decision to move jobs based on salary. In many cases prior to 2009 I took lower paying jobs to position myself towards my final career target. In other words, don’t make short term salary based decisions, make longer term career based decisions or you’ll wind up getting burned in the end.

Anyhow, keep your focus on your career and make transitions as soon as makes sense (sometimes even earlier if you’re aggressive) but don’t focus on the salary number too much initially, that will come later. It’s more of a marathon than a sprint.

Don’t know what to tell you. #1 is definitely a very real risk with a very real reward. I think it will honestly come down to your personal risk profile. Also, take your age into consideration. If you’re below 35 I’d go for it. Plenty of time to recover and dig yourself out. Just save heavily for your first year or two.

For #2, ask for a sign on bonus to offset your lost performance bonus?

Anyhow, let me know what you decide and how it works out.

some outstanding posts in this thread so far. Thanks everyone. Interesting food for thought

It’s better to job hop with actual progression, rather than chasing numbers or better hours.

I’d always pick a better job in terms of company name, even if it might mean less salary, or a different role altogether (as long as it’s not a career shift). The competence and size of the company you work in should come first, as cliche as that sounds. It’s true that big names make a difference.