What’s so bad about job-hopping? I’m trying to understand.

You’ve had a few working experiences, and you decided that they are a good experience to be added to your resume, so you did. But when a new job opportunity came up, the interviewers took a look at your resume and asked you a question you might not have been prepared for: what’s with the short-term job experiences? 

Apparently, what we’ve been doing with our short-term job experiences is called job-hopping. By definition, it’s the act of spending less than two years in a position, or simply the practice of changing your job very often, as described by Cambridge Dictionary. 

Or as defined by hiring managers: the death of your résumé.

Job hopping AKA The Résumé Boogeyman

Let’s set the record straight: A series of short-term jobs that are contract-based are not usually considered job-hopping. In fact, companies nowadays are more open to outsourcing their workloads, making contract roles acceptable to be listed in a candidate’s resume.

However, when it comes to jobs that are not based on short-term contracts (with a probationary period lasting between three to six months) and ongoing training for specific skills, employers are a bit wary about job hoppers. This is why they tend to consider these job-hopping gigs as ‘the boogeyman’ on a candidate’s resume.

So, if job-hopping is not favoured by recruiters, why do most millennials and Gen Z prefer it anyway?

Millennials and Gen Z: The misunderstood trendsetters

Most job hoppers in Malaysia are made up of millennials and Gen Z who are still fresh out of school. Darven Ganesan, Associate Director at Randstad Sourceright APAC Sourcing Centre believes that because they are yet to have commitments in their lives, millennials and Gen Z are fearless and unafraid to take risks when it comes to their career.

It is worth mentioning that every generation has a job-hopping phase in their youth in order to find the careers that suit them. Furthermore, some data are even suggesting that millennials are actually job-hopping at a slower pace than their counterparts in the previous generation.

However, trying to pinpoint the main reasons for this dissatisfaction is proven to be a tough thing to do, as every employee prioritises different factors for their case – distance and location, work culture, salary and benefits, career growth – the list goes on.

In the aftermath of COVID-19…

As the world is still healing from the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunities for career growth in millennials and Gen Z have been affected due to the uncertain economic landscape both locally and globally. This adds on to the worries that their career growth will be held back due to the lack of experience when it comes to competing with the older generation in their fields.

So where will this lead to?

Two good things might come out of this predicament:

One. Millennials and Gen Z realised that they need to do some up-skilling on their part in order to catch up to the older generation in their workplace. This will also reduce the ageism culture in offices that has become a barrier for their career growth.

Two. Employers, out of seeing how more reliable and skillful the younger generations of employees are becoming, will be more willing to allow flexible work schedules, remote working days and other essential benefits that will prevent the employees from job-hopping to the next best offer they get.

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