How much job hopping is too much?

Happy Friday, Penny Hoarders! In the last year, it’s become really popular to quit your job. We see headlines every day about the Great Resignation and worker shortages. But what I’m wondering about is how much job hopping is too much?

Last month, I received a letter from a reader who was fed up with her husband’s constant job hopping.…endless-job-hopping/ He switches jobs every six months to a year, and it sounds like he has a lot of problems with co-workers. And of course, that becomes her problem because she has to hear about his problems with co-workers. She worries about what will happen should he get himself fired someday.

I certainly think some job hopping is good. Often, the only way to get a substantial raise is to switch jobs or get promoted. I’m definitely in favor of doing whatever you need to do to improve your financial situation and overall quality of life. But when you’re switching jobs every few months, you don’t really let yourself develop mastery of anything. You also don’t build deep connections with colleagues who can vouch for you should you find yourself out of work.

In the letter writer’s case, it sounds like the husband’s problems are much bigger than work. I doubt that there’s any job that will make him happy.

But I guess I’m curious about how you approach switching jobs, especially at a time when workers are in such high demand. If you see a job that has better pay and benefits and you’re qualified, do you automatically apply? Or are there other factors beyond salary and benefits that you consider? Do you still subscribe to the old rule that you should stay at a job for at least a year? Is there a job you regret staying at for too long — or not long enough?


A year or so ago I was at a point where I was going from contract job to contract job. During this time, I had countless recruiters reach out to me on LinkedIn and had interview after interview after interview. It. Was. Exhausting. Give me a steady job with good pay, a pathway to grow professionally and good benefits for me and my family, and I’ll stay put for years. Oh, and throw in a great work/life balance for good measure.


I had no problem leaving jobs and trying something new…but I was often at a job for about 3 years, and I always left for reasons other than money. I worked for myself for 10 years and made great money, but moved to the job I hold now for better work/life balance, benefits, etc. I have been at this agency for 9 years, and held 2 positions. I wouldn’t mind moving up once the kids are out of the house, but for now I like being able to leave and not be on call.
Money is certainly important, but I have learned that it is not the only thing.


always enjoy learning from this community


I was going to just read the comments and not respond until I realized that none of the comments answered the question of what is TOO MUCH job-hopping. Granted I come from a generation of workers, that tend to try to stay at one job, as long as it provides enough salary to meet your lifestyle and necessity bills. Granted there were times, I wanted to quit because of things like coworkers who took advantage of others, by slacking off and only appearing “busy” when they wanted to impress the boss, or never getting holidays off, because “someone has to work”, etc. But I learned to realize that I valued having a roof over my head and having a steady income to looking to start all over again in a new job. I did have a bit of newness every now and then with the job I had because I was the one asked to transfer to different stores, as they closed down units or to fill in for shortages, which I did as long as the travel (commute) was overwhelming. This is not to say that I didn’t interview for job positions over my years working, but I realized that I would never gain the salary I wanted for my position because the companies were looking to hire the most amount of talent with the least amount of pay, which I h see myself as the years went by, stepping back in pay, to be abused in a new company. I gave myself a temporary raise by working a second job which turned into a full-time job at the level of pay I wanted, so I could quit one job, but finding jobs that pay better doesn’t guarantee better work/life situations. There’s always a catch.

I can understand the need to find the perfect life/work situation but one also has to realize that work involves being part of a team, which means one has to compromise certain things, which one should negotiate up front in the initial interviews plus really research the actual job situations and don’t assume that everything is perfect. Yes, there are certain situations that are instantaneously intolerable, but there are plenty of situations in jobs, where you have to just go with the flow. Changing jobs often put up red flags, unless the company hiring doesn’t care about retaining their employees and likes constant turnover, which should be a red flag warning for the job candidate to ask.


@maria.rose Good points! If I were a hiring manager, I’d be concerned about a candidate who had multiple jobs a year. For me, I always felt it takes about six months to learn everything and be good at a job and at least 2 years to fully master it. On that note, if someone had the exact same position for 2+ years (i.e. no internal promotions), I would be concerned as a hiring manager as well.

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Both your points were two things that I also looked at and made a point to discuss with any potential candidate—( towards the end of my work life, I went back into management to get the needed raise in pay, so I understood the duality of what people look for in their jobs). With a multiple job skipping, I would be concerned about what they wanted from the position that they are applying for, to see if they were bringing anything positive ( fresh perception) and what they were looking to gain from the experience. On the other hand, someone who has stayed in the same position without charge, I would looking to see how well they explain their desire to look for change, besides more money. Some people can only achieve a certain level of performance and be a good fit, or they have maintained that same job because they are pros at avoiding being written up or fired. You have to really look beyond what is written on the resume and application to find the right person for the job position. I hired for both short term ( seasonal) and permanent positions when I worked in management. And when I wasn’t working in management, I made a point of being friendly enough to work with my coworkers but I didn’t maintain closeness (like BFFs) outside the workplace so whatever way they felt like being with me didn’t affect my work performance.

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