A Brief Guide to Job Hopping

A Brief Guide to Job Hopping

A little background on job hopping…

Job hopping, which is frequently changing jobs after a short duration, is a behavior that’s more common among younger workers. An Economic News Release from 2018 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that median tenure at a current place of employment was 10.1 years in workers ages 55 to 64, and for workers aged 25 to 34, the median number was 2.8 years.1 This trend isn’t necessarily new, as the a release from the BLS showed that in the mid 1990s, younger workers also had low rates of tenure at a position, while workers ages 55 to 64 had longer stays at companies.2

Even though this isn’t a new behavior, it’s natural to have concerns over how changing jobs after a short period of time can impact your resume and future employment prospects. Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Gen Z (born between 1996 and 2010) want more from their jobs – 55% of millennials are not engaged at work3  and 45% of Gen Z want more than a paycheck, they want their work to feel meaningful and purposeful.4

Work with me through online counseling in New Jersey to gain clarity on your next career move

As your therapist, I partner with you to explore what barriers you are facing and how to move forward. Working with a therapist can help you to identify patterns that leave you feeling stuck, implement strategies to help you build new habits, uncover your values and why they matter, and develop a plan of action to move toward goals that are meaningful to you. Reach out to me through online counseling in New Jersey to learn more about working together.

Things to consider when leaving a job after a short period of time

A job change is one of the most stressful life events – on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale5, almost ¼ of the items are related to work. It makes sense that we want to be satisfied at work, but it’s also important to be mindful and strategic about how you are approaching job transitions. Here’s a few questions to consider before making your next move.

  1. How long was I intending to be at this job initially? This may not be something you thought about, but it’s actually really important to ask yourself where you see your job fitting in to your five year plan. This can give you perspective, and if you were planning to be there for three years but want to leave after six months, that points to other issues. However, if you’re close to the goal you set for yourself, this can be a reassuring sign that you’re on track.
  2. Am I running from something or to something? Maybe you hate your current job – you feel like it’s not a culture fit, you find your work tedious, you can’t stand your coworkers, or any other reason – so you find yourself desperately applying for anything you are qualified for. This is a recipe for disaster. Leaving a job out of desperation and not looking before you leap can put you in the same exact position you’re currently in and can hurt your resume. However, if you are leaving your current position because the opportunity you have is too good to pass up – maybe it’s with a company you’ve been wanting to work for, or it’s more in line with your career goals – then you are being mindful about what you are running to and have a better chance of making a beneficial decision.
  3. Is this a pattern? I’ll start by saying that just because you have a pattern of short stays at a job doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. If you have solid reasons for transitioning each time, such as a promotion or a raise, or it fits into your big picture plans, then moving can be beneficial and can be explained in a job interview. However, if you’ve left your last few positions in a year or less because you feel restless, don’t like your boss, or feel like the grass will be greener, then you are likely perpetuating a destructive pattern that can undermine your success. If you have a pattern of job hopping for the latter of these reasons, it could be helpful to talk to a therapist to get to the root of the issue.

Sarah Tronco, LCSW, provides Online Counseling in New Jersey and works to develop a strong therapeutic relationship with her clients, which helps to create a secure place where individuals can achieve meaningful change.


  1. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/tenure.pdf
  2. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/history/tenure_013097.txt
  3. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/238073/millennials-work-live.aspx
  4. https://cmo.adobe.com/articles/2019/6/what-gen-z-want-from-the-workplace.html#gs.tjkvo7
  5. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_82.htm

Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash


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