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Switching Jobs

“Stay at your job for at least a year.”

“It looks bad if you keep switching jobs.”

“Don’t let your employee know that you are looking for a new job.”

How many times have you heard this from a friend, family member, co-worker or stranger when changing jobs after being at your current job for under 12 months? Who do you listen to? Or do you block out the white noise and trust your own judgment? No two people have the same experience and the current job market is constantly changing. What might have been relevant pre-COVID, might no longer be true in 2024.

With more bargaining power than ever before and a candidate-driven market, employees have the power to call the shots. However, this depends greatly on the industry, location, skill set, etc. So, what does this mean when it comes to switching jobs?

“Don’t Ever Tell Your Boss You’re Looking For Work!“

That’s a classic line that I’m sure you’ve heard over and over again. Well IMO, this is your judgment call.  If you have a close relationship with your manager and you feel the conversation will be positive, transparent and open, then go with your gut. 

Some critical things to consider before having the conversation are listed below: 

  • Do you have an open and trusting relationship with your manager, where you can genuinely talk to them about how you are feeling and know that they will have you back?
  • Do you feel that your manager already has an idea that you may be unhappy in your current role? Or possibly looking for something else? 
  • Have you recently had a performance review and you expressed how to make the position/workplace better?  
  • Are you prepared to be walked if the conversation does now go to plan? Do you have a Plan B?
  • Are you open with your co-workers about wanting to leave? Chances are if you have spoken to co-workers, word has gotten back to your employer!

I recently asked people on LinkedIn to share their opinions about the green #OpenToWork profile banner. The opinions were mixed, some respondents felt that it would cause negative outcomes, while others thought it would be beneficial. 

Job Switching Looks Bad 

Have you been in your job for 10 months, only to start looking for a new position? I’m sure you’ve been told by someone to stay at your job for at least 12 months because it “looks better” on your CV. 

Well, it;’s just not true!

In this day and age post-COVID, employment and the workplace have forever changed. Flexibility, a focus on well-being, and upskilling are more of a priority than ever before and employees are constantly seeking better opportunities. 

According to multiple studies (Oliver Wyman Forum, Resumelab), Gen Zers (1007-2012)  have fewer hang-ups about job hopping than previous generations. By 2025, they will make up 27% of the workforce, while Millennials (1981-1996) are also notorious for job hopping. Given the fact that Millenials and Gen Zers will make up more than 50% of the workforce in the next few years, it’s no surprise that short job stints are no longer seen negatively.

Don’t Go Backwards 

It used to be that employees started at the bottom and worked their way up to managerial positions within the company. While this might be true for Baby Boomers (1946-1964) who stay an average of 20 years with the same employer, it’s no longer the case for the younger generation. 

Often employees find themselves stuck in their positions with little opportunity to move up in their company. Plus, workplace loyalty is no longer at the forefront of employees’ minds, especially when there are redundancies, changes to WFH policies, and pay disparities. At the same time, especially in this current climate, employees feel more in power than ever before.

Switching jobs even if it’s a similar position to your current job can also mean better working conditions, better pay, and more opportunities for growth and development. No two companies are identical and workplace culture and atmosphere can vary greatly. 

The workplace is constantly changing with the times. What might have been true ten years ago, doesn’t hold today in the ever-evolving world. Don’t listen to outdated opinions, just go for it!


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