How Many Job Changes Make a Normal Career in Business Today?

job changesFor anyone with a resume filled with a slew of job titles and positions, the common question from interviewers, recruiters, and hiring managers can get a bit repetitive. “Why did you leave your last job?” Sure, there are plenty of great answers to help you navigate these choppy waters. But there may come a point in your career when you worry about the impact of too many job changes.

But what even counts as “too many” in today’s modern job market?

The average worker will have seven different positions over the course of their career. Where exactly this figure originates from is a bit of a mystery, though. And “experts” in the field of labor statistics pretty much agree: the figure isn’t an accurate measure across the board. Although uncommon now, some workers still choose a company and stick with it their entire careers.  Others, as we know, flit from job to job, racking up a dozen or more changes.

According to a survey by Future Workplace 91 percent of Millennials expect to stay at a job for less than three years. You may be tempted to chalk this figure up to the flightiness of the younger generation, of course. But the reasoning behind modern workforce entrants expecting a shorter term is more complicated than the whims of the age.

Here we delve into the why’s of the boom in short job stays. We also look at the impact numerous positions may have on your ability to score a future job.

More than a Modern Trend

The penchant for shorter stays at a given company isn’t something that has developed overnight. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor show that in 1996, 9 percent of workers had been with their present employer for 20 years or more. Recent figures show that number dropping drastically post-recession. In addition, modern job seekers seem to be “trying on for size” a greater number of initial positions before settling on a long-term career or company.

Most analysts agree: this trend has less to do with age and more to do with changes in thinking. Specifically, thinking about total compensation and the overhead of a large workforce, post-recession. With increasing costs of healthcare, the concept of pensions is all but gone the way of the dinosaur. With a new focus on efficiency and eliminating excess costs, many companies have tightened the purse strings when it comes to bonuses, raises, and internal promotions. This has led to employees having to seek different jobs with other companies. For many, it seems to be the only way to get that bump in salary or responsibility.

What Can You Do to Be Prepared for Questions re Job Changes?

Given the increase in “job-hopping” employers and employees both have to accept our new normal. They must comfortable with the fact that today’s newest hire may not be the long-term solution to your employment needs. Employers should recognize that in order to retain quality candidates they may need to make bigger strides in compensation. They also must leverage other methods for increasing employee satisfaction.

For prospective employees, try to address the why’s and how’s of numerous job changes. Yes, employers should be more understanding based on current trends. But this won’t stop them from quizzing you if you have a history of not short-terming your prior job positions. Share the facts regarding your departure from previous positions and the characteristics you want in a long-term career.

Assurances in these areas will help your employer see that you can commit to a position… if it’s the right one.

For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Simply Hired.


Simply Hired



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