Job Hopping


ollyy, shutterstock

A hot topic in the working world is the decreasing length of time people work for a given company, either out of choice or necessity. This trend towards shorter job stints correlates with youth, in particular with Millennials (1980 – 2000), which includes my son.

A 2013 Statscan study examined what was different about the work and life situation of younger people (What has changed for young people in Canada?). A couple of salient points emerge:

  • Younger people a smaller proportion of the overall population
  • As a group they are more educated, putting off their entry in the labour market
  • Women are gaining on men in terms of economic outlook

According to a recent Forbes article, Job Hopping the New Normal for Millennials, “Ninety-one percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace Multiple Generations @ Work” survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers.” This is often the path to faster advancement and greater job fulfillment – they are more focused on happiness and personal fulfillment.

This US research is supported by a Workopolis study, Thinkopolis VI: Moving Work. Mining information from resumes in the Workopolis database, 51% of employees stay in one role for less than two years. And Millennials changed jobs 22% more often over a 12 year period than Gen Xers. Follow this link for an infographic summary of the report.

Employees are changing jobs to advance their careers. According the study, 88% change companies in order to get a position with more responsibility. Put another way, there’s a marked bias against promoting from within in favour of hiring from outside.

Another trend is switching career paths at least two or three times. The report says:

The most common reasons people gave for changing career paths were discovering a new field they were passionate about (35%), becoming bored/disillusioned with their original work (24%), and setbacks such as lack of advancement and /or cutbacks, layoffs in a career path (19%). [Moving Work, p.4]

This suggests the need to embrace life-long learning and to continue to build on your skill-base as technology evolves – such as embracing social media. Stay sharp, son, stay sharp!

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1 Response to Job Hopping

  1. stevelpiazza says:

    Ah millennials in the workforce, when will we ever understand them (full disclosure, I’m a millennial). This is a great piece that demonstrates that millennials are motivated in different ways than their parents. I confess that upward mobility and persona fulfillment are important factors for me in the workplace. Perhaps this explains why I and so many of my classmates were willing to work as unpaid interns in order to gain experience in our chosen field of study after we graduated.

    That said, I would also note that many young workers are forced to “job hop”. With less full time, permanent jobs available in Ontario, especially at the entry level, young workers are forced to work perpetual contracts. Many would like to have employment security but are forced into precarious work.


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