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Changing Your Career Without Job Hopping

Changing Your Career Without Job Hopping

People switch jobs several times throughout their lives, with many people even starting a new career at some point or another, but this might lead to appearing like a job hopper.

Changing jobs and swapping careers only becomes a problem when it begins to look as though you’re job hopping. Job hopping is a recent phrase that has sprung up as this new trend has enveloped professionals across every industry. Many people may not have heard of the term even though you've probably seen someone engage in the behavior or participated in it yourself.

Those of us who are aware of what job-hopping is or even participated in it in the past might feel like this is holding us back from advancing in a chosen career path. This is something that’s especially true in the healthcare industry, as being a job hopper isn’t looked upon favorably.

As such, those of us who have switched jobs a number of times over the past few years may wonder how to properly explain job hopping to a potential employer or recruiter who is evaluating us for a new position. While people switch from one position to another much more than they have in the past, job hoppers do so with increasing regularity than many of us.

If you happen to fall into this category, then you might have what’s known as a job hopping resume, and it reads as though it’s a menu of various positions and companies with very little time at each position. We've taken the time to outline what a job-hopping resume might look like below as you learn about job hopping and the drawbacks associated with it. To figure out if you’re a job hopper or not, it’s worth understanding what job hopping is and identify what the signs are. Alongside that, we've outlined some ways that you can explain away your job-hopping tendencies to future employers and recruiters when you're in an interview.

What Is Job Hopping?

Job hopping is the process of changing positions or jobs quite regularly, with this typically occurring several times over a short period. While this is something that happened in the past, it has become more prevalent in recent years in the competitive job marketplace. Even though it has become more prevalent and more job seekers and professionals are engaging in job-hopping behavior, employers’ attitudes toward it haven’t changed.

Not long ago, it wasn’t uncommon for somebody to spend the majority of their working life with one or two companies. Workers had much more job stability, and employers also saw them as reliable, which lead to a variety of benefits for everybody involved. Previous generations often said that you needed to find a reliable company so you could work for them for the rest of your life, and in return, that employer would watch out for you and your family. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case as both job seekers and employers have changed their stances on the topic.

This has been changing somewhat in recent years, with it now being increasingly more uncommon for people to spend a decade or more with a particular firm.

Employers, job seekers, and professionals are changing their careers and roles for a variety of reasons. For one, employers are no longer employing individuals for their entire career because they've been an employee for quite some time. Instead, employers are constantly finding ways to make sure that they are employing individuals who are constantly learning new skills, adding value to the organization, and also align with budgetary restrictions. In contrast, job seekers aren't sticking around for positions they're no longer passionate about or feel like they're actively growing in. Job seekers are much more likely to switch careers at the drop of a hat if they feel like it'd be a more fulfilling career elsewhere or if they feel like they can get more value elsewhere.

In addition, job stability isn't what it used to be. Job seekers are less likely to stay at a position they've previously worked at due to changing marketplaces and a volatile economy. In the old days, employers and organizations were more likely to retain employees and adopt a penny-pinching strategy to "get through the storm". With increased pressures to perform, companies are now more likely to temporarily lay off an employee until things get better. Though there are a variety of reasons why somebody might lose a role or leave their position, such as a company making cutbacks or going out of business, a job hopper is someone who leaves of their own volition. As a result of this, many potential employers may have a negative opinion of somebody who applies when they have a tendency of job-hopping throughout their resume and career.

Much of this is because job hoppers can often be seen as unreliable, which leads to many people being reluctant to hire them or even consider them for a position. This is naturally something that many of us will want to avoid as we begin to pursue new opportunities throughout our careers and evaluate why we're not being considered for certain positions based on our job experience.

Signs You’re A Job Hopper

We've outlined some of the top signs to watch out for to tell if you're a job hopper or not, or if you're starting to show signs that you might be on the verge of displaying some job hopping tendencies. The most obvious sign that you're a job hopper is if you have a CV or resume that looks similar to the job hopping resume example we have below. While having a job hopping resume might be the most obvious sign that you're a job hopper, there can be quite a few others. The first of these many other obvious signs is that you lack a sense of passion for the work you do, which is something that many potential employers will pick up on.

People want to work with professionals who have a significant interest in the position; if it looks as though you’re applying for the sake of having a job, then you’ll find it more difficult to get the role. This will affect many people who try to hop from position to position because it's obvious they're just trying to find a paycheck instead of finding a career where they have a passion or interest in something.

Another indication that you might not have any passion or interest in your career is if there is no forward progression in your CV or resume. If you take a cursory look at the job hopping resume example we have below later, you should see that many of the positions are at roughly the same entry-level. While many of us will have zigzags during our career, not having any upward or forward movement during your career is a sign that you could be a job hopper. Not having any upward momentum or movement in your career might send the signal that you're not climbing the progression ladder because you're not willing to go above and beyond to learn new skills, provide the best work, and more.

One of the other notable signs that you're a job hopper is that you may seem short-sighted and often hold positions for months rather than years. A primary example of this is that job hoppers typically look for short-term gains rather than long-term goals. As a result, many will go for a role that offers more money, regardless of whether they have an interest in the position itself.

The majority of employers don’t look favorably on prospective hires who take this approach, which is one of the primary reasons why it should be avoided. Employers and recruiters take note of how long you've spent at previous positions or roles and begin to expect the same out of you if they hire you. Due to the fact that evaluating, hiring, and training new professionals is incredibly costly, they cannot afford to hire someone who is expected to leave within a year or two and then restart the process all over again.

Job Hopping Resume Example

If you're wondering whether or not you have a tendency to job hop, looking at a job hopping resume example might help. We've put together an example job hopping resume for you to look at using a free resume template we edited from ResumeGenius. Take a look at this job hopping resume example to ensure that your resume doesn't make it seem like you're a job hopping risk.

Job Hopping Resume Example -

Take a look at this job hopping resume example. Ignore some of the dummy and filler text that we put in there. The thing that you want to focus on are the dates. Because one of the first things that employers and recruiters will evaluate when they look at your resume is not just the position, experience, where you worked, but also how long you worked there. If you find that mapping out where you've been in your previous positions highlight how short of a time you were in previous positions, then you most likely have a job hopping resume.

When you're crafting your resume, make sure you take a look at our comprehensive Resume Guide to make sure that you're doing all you can to stand out from the competitive crowd and ensure that you secure a job with ease.

What Are The Drawbacks of Job Hopping?

While there may be a few benefits to job hopping, such as a better paycheck, a larger network of connections, there can be a variety of drawbacks. Perhaps the most obvious of these is that potential employers will be more hesitant to employ you, as they may believe that you’ll be unreliable.

This is especially true in the healthcare industry, where reliability is a quality that has a significant amount of importance. If you go through positions quite quickly, then many employers will believe that you’ll be likely to leave their company faster than many others.

This is something that employers will naturally want to avoid, as they could end up spending a significant amount of time and resources during the hiring process. Alongside this, a company will have to pay a notable amount of time training you and ensuring that you can do the job the way they’ll expect you to.

Should you be a job hopper and leave the firm quickly, then they’ll have to repeat this process, which will lead to a waste of a considerable number of resources. As such, businesses will want to avoid this as much as possible and consider those candidates who don't demonstrate a track record of job hopping behavior. Employers and recruiters will choose somebody who doesn’t show any signs of being a job hopper, as it could prove to be more cost-effective in the long run, even if the candidates don't have all of the necessary skills or experience that they're looking for.

Job hopping isn't always our fault though, as it can often be a direct result of some misinformed decision-making or bad judgement calls. For instance, sometimes leaving a job isn't due to the fact that you're looking to get ahead in your career, sometimes we just make bad decisions when it comes to accepting one job over another. Even though we might make mistakes in the job opportunities we choose, it could send a couple red flags waving in the direction of employers and recruiters. Many employers may question your judgment and may believe that you’re prone to making bad decisions if you indicate you're job hopping because you're unhappy with the jobs you've chosen in your past. While some short stints in your career may be overlooked, many businesses will find that an excess of them means that you have a history of poor judgment.

As a result, they may expect that you might not be able to make the right decisions if you join the company, with this being especially true if it’s a management role. As more positions increasingly need professionals who can be self-reliant and effective decision-makers, the last sign that you want to send is that you're incapable of making sound decisions on your own. This could mean that you’ll be less likely to receive a job offer from them.

As a job hopper, you may also damage the professional relationships that you’ve developed throughout your career. After all, no employer wants or expects employees to leave quickly, or suddenly. While there may be situations where both parties can separate amicably within a short period, these are relatively rare. This could mean that you’ll leave a previous employer with a negative impression of you and your co-workers will often feel like you abandoned them in their time of need or that the relationships you developed with them don't really matter.

While the impression you left with a former manager or employer might not be of the largest concern to you, it can still be vital. This is because the majority of companies will look for references when you apply. As such, you’ll need to leave as positive an impression as possible, which might not be the case if you hop between jobs.

How To Explain Job Hopping to Employers and Recruiters

If you happen to have a history of being a job hopper or you show the telltale signs of becoming a job hopper based on your previous actions, then you might need to figure out how to explain job hopping to a potential employer or recruiter. Perhaps the most effective way of doing so is by addressing any position changes that you believe might be of concern to future employers.

You should do this in your cover letter when you first apply and offer an explanation that shows your decision to leave a particular role in a positive light. When you’re doing so, you should aim to sound like you left a position to gain something following the departure. For instance, if you've left a marketing position because you're applying to a healthcare position, you can state somewhere in your cover letter that you left the role because you're hoping to have an impact on patients and you're seeking a role where that passion will shine.

Another example if you left one role for another, is that you could say that you saw the other role as a better learning opportunity. When you’re looking for ways on how to explain job hopping to a new employer, you should aim to be as positive as possible when you do so.

This means that you’ll need to refrain from using any negative language about a past employer. When doing so, you should try to be as direct as possible in the language you use when explaining why you left. For example, instead of using terms such as ‘we parted ways,’ you could choose to say ‘I resigned because…’

Lastly, you should explain what you’re looking for in a new role, and why the position that you’re applying for will be the right fit for you. Doing so should help to leave a positive impression when you apply for the role.

How To Avoid Job Hopping When Switching Careers

With the many drawbacks to being a job hopper, many of us will want to avoid it. However, that can often be easier said than done. This is especially true if you’re looking for a career in a new industry, such as healthcare.

While many of us will leave a role for a better-paid position or new opportunities, doing so frequently or without a strategy might not be a good thing. As such, the fundamental key to avoiding looking like a job hopper is to have a plan in place when you’re looking for new roles.

There can be a few aspects to this, especially when changing careers. The first of these is to be intentional with the roles you apply for, and even more intentional when accepting one. There are quite a significant number of people that will accept any opportunity that’s given to them and you don't want to become another member of this statistic.

You should avoid doing this as much as possible. Instead, you should research the professions and roles that you want to get to and then determine how to get there. In the healthcare industry, we have some of the most comprehensive career guides, career profiles, and career pathways that will help you identify potential careers that interest you, assist you in the planning of achieving those career opportunities, and provide you with thousands of hospital jobs and healthcare jobs for you to apply to.

Should this be the case, you’ll need to research what’s required in order to get there and if there are any positions required to get to this role. In many cases, you might find that the route may be longer than you might have thought. By doing so, you’ll be able to avoid making your C.V look like a job hopping resume and ensure that it looks like you've been working towards a particular career your entire life.

Alongside this, you’ll need to be as informed as possible about a particular company or role. Failure to do so could mean that you’ll find that you’re unsuited to the role, or even uninterested in it once you’ve got it. As a result, you could find yourself looking for a new job not long after receiving your current one which will only compound the problems you've already had.

Even though many of us will look at the financial benefits of accepting a particular role, there should be much more to your decision than this. For example, you should determine whether the company culture is something that you might like and whether you can see yourself working there in several years.

While there can be a variety of other factors in your choice, if the answer is ‘no’ to both of these, then it might not be the position for you. Much of this can be done before you apply for the job. You’ll be able to find out more during an interview, during which time you should ask as many questions as possible.

Enquiring about the company in detail during the interview is often the most effective way to get a representation of what it will be like to work there. Alongside this, you should research the firm to get a general idea of what previous employees have said about working there.

If it seems as though it’s somewhere you wouldn’t want to work, then don’t apply. If you start a position there, then you could end up leaving quickly, which can make you look like a job hopper if done regularly. Not to mention you've not only wasted your own time, but you've also wasted time for the employer.

When you’re applying for a job, it can be quite easy to accept the role that offers the largest paycheck or requires the least amount of effort. While this could be good for your bank balance in the short-term, it won't be for future employment.

As such, you should take the time to have a long-term approach to the jobs you apply to, increase the time that you take when evaluating and accepting positions. While you may see some roles as stepping stones to your dream role, you shouldn’t see them as such. Instead, treat them as learning opportunities and pick the jobs that will best suit your talents and your future goals and align with your commitment to stick with the role for a considerable length of time.

Doing so should ensure that you don't leave a position, or positions, quickly. As a result, you should be able to avoid looking like a job hopper as much as possible.


While job hopping has been somewhat common over the past few years, that doesn't mean that employers look positively on it. Instead, the majority of employers and recruiters will see it negatively, with much of this being driven by the belief that you may not stay with their company for long and they'll have to pay a fortune down the road when they have to restart the evaluating and hiring process with someone else.

As such, you should aim to ensure that you avoid the appearance of hopping from position to position as much as possible. While leaving a job may sometimes be unavoidable, you should aim to ensure that you don’t leave a company too quickly.

Keeping all of the above in mind will help you avoid the appearance of being a job hopper. If it already appears that you are one, then being able to explain it adequately will work wonders for you.

Like many other large life decisions, switching jobs or careers need a significant amount of thought. This is especially true when it comes to accepting a position, as you should put a considerable amount of effort into determining whether a role is right for you to ensure that you don't appear as a job hopper.

This is true across all industries, although it can be of prime importance in the healthcare niche. By following all of the above as closely as possible, you should be able to avoid looking like a job hopper.

Advance your career. Change your life. - HospitalCareers