Is job hopping finally acceptable?

A new study of UK workers reveals that job hopping is becoming more acceptable. Here's why.

As freelance and flexible working become increasingly popular, new research from job board CV-Library reveals that three in four UK employees believe that job hopping has become more acceptable over the years, with this figure increasing to 87 per cent amongst under 18s.

The study surveyed 1,200 professionals to explore whether or not it’s acceptable to move jobs more often, and for how long you should ideally stay in one company. The study found that nearly half of workers believe it’s acceptable to leave a job after less than a year, with this number increasing to 65 per cent amongst 18 to 24 year olds. When asked why they believe job hopping is becoming increasingly acceptable, respondents believe it’s fine in principle if a better opportunity comes along (35 per cent), if circumstances were to change (26 per cent), if the job isn’t right for you (17.9 per cent), if freelancing is appealing to you, especially considering its growing popularity (7.9 per cent), and if you’ll get a wider range of experience (7.5 per cent).

The research found that one in three professionals expect to have more than 10 jobs in their lifetime, with one in five admitting that they think it’s unrealistic for businesses to expect employees to stay with their company for more than two years.

That said, one third of respondents believe that leaving a company after less than a year means you haven’t given it a chance. 28.8 per cent think that leaving a job after a short period looks bad on your CV, with 19.6 per cent agreeing it’s unprofessional.

“Though some believe that job hopping looks unprofessional, many workers across the nation are seeing the benefits, with the majority agreeing that it is becoming more acceptable. It’s interesting to note the generational gap, with younger workers more likely to job hop than their elders, suggesting that this trend could continue to grow as the next generation enters the job market,” CV-Library’s Lee Biggins said.

“As a result, businesses need to ensure that they’re doing all they can to retain talented employees, especially as such a huge percentage of the younger generation are not afraid to move jobs more frequently if certain opportunities fit in with their career goals. It’s clear from the data that professionals are always on the lookout for the best opportunities and are keen to progress in their careers, even if this means changing jobs frequently. Employers need to be sure that they’re offering opportunities for progression, training and fair packages. Otherwise they could risk talented staff looking elsewhere,” Biggins added.

Digging deeper, respondents were asked why they chose to leave their last job with the top response being that they were offered a better opportunity, followed by 16.3 per cent of workers who left because there was no room for progression in their existing role. 8.1 per cent revealed that they wanted to change fields completely.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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