Is Job Hopping Worth The Risk? The Benefits And Downsides Explained

Job hopping has a lot of negative connotations in the workforce today but there are some real benefits that can pay off handsomely. Job hopping can lead to giant promotions and huge raises that could otherwise take years or decades to earn.

The benefits to job hopping are obvious to some, but they have more far reaching impacts than you might initially think. Yes, big promotions and raises are awesome and they’re the main benefit of job hopping. The problem is they come with a down side, too.

The Benefits Of Job Hopping

Changing jobs provides the largest opportunity for an increase in both responsibility and compensation due to the ways that many companies are run. Not all companies can give big raises or promotions even if they see great talent within their ranks. By changing jobs every couple of years, you can greatly accelerate this process in companies that are bogged down in corporate red tape.

Another benefit to job hopping is the fact that you’ll constantly be in a new environment. You won’t have a chance to get bored. If you stay in the same job too long, it is easy to get into a groove and get bored completing the same tasks over and over waiting for someone to retire so you can be promoted.

Promotions and raises are awesome, but you need to make sure that you put that extra money to good use! If you have debt, you can accelerate your debt pay off plan. If you’ve already killed all of your bad debt, your raises and bonuses from your new job can easily be put toward increasing your emergency fund or your retirement contributions.

In addition to monetary benefits, you’ll learn how to deal with many diverse situations. Companies are run by people with very different management styles. Since you’ll likely be working at many companies in a short period of time as a job hopper, you’ll learn how to deal with these different styles which will increase your worth to future employers.

Job Hopping Can Backfire

Job hopping has its downsides, too. It’s easy to see the big promotions and raises without seeing how you could be making yourself unhireable. Companies can quickly catch on to your plans after just a couple of short 1 or 2 year jobs. You’ll need to have good reasons for your moves and be able to show how much value you added at your previous employers. It costs a lot of money to train new employees and most won’t want to risk that money on someone who constantly changes jobs.

Another risk of being a job hopper is the fact that you could be the first to get let go if your company needs to downsize. Since you’re likely one of the newest additions to the team, you could easily be one of the first cut. Combine that with the fact that you likely are one of the higher paid people in the position and you have a recipe for disaster at the first sign of a major economic down turn.

The risks listed above a pretty major, but you can incur a lot of financial strains in your personal life by job hopping as well. Some major costs you might have to pay for out of your own pocket include relocating yourself, breaking a lease and selling a home. You could end up losing out on some major benefits like 401(k) vesting, health insurance (during time between jobs or during probationary periods) and many other common job benefits.

As you can see, job hopping isn’t something to be taken lightly. At the right points in your career, hopping jobs can catapult you to higher levels in both the organizational chart and in your finances. However, if you job hop too much then you could commit career suicide.

Do you think job hopping is ever justified? Would you take the risk?

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. I actually think job-hopping is almost necessary these days. Big business isn’t as loyal to you as they once were and workers have to go where they get the best deal. Job-hopping would make me nervous but I would do it if needed.

  2. Great post, Lance. Although I think job-hopping is more acceptable these days than it was 20 or 30 years ago, I think one needs to be careful about how they approach job-hopping, for the reasons you mention above. My husband changes jobs only after careful consideration about why he is looking for change, and only after exploring all options in his current position for the advancement he seeks. This has led to him having a fine reputation in the large and successful company he works for.

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