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Job Hopping Isn't Bad. 5 Ways It Helped Me Immensely

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When I graduated from college, I thought that I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Little did I know at the time, I had no clue whatsoever. After making it fourteen months in financial services, I gave the insurance world a try.

And while my full-time roles have been in the insurance industry ever since, I have had three additional roles in the last four years since I left financial services.

To some, this would earn me the label of a job hopper. And you know what? It is a badge that I wear proudly each and every day.

Today, I'm back to show you why job hopping isn't bad. In fact, it helped me immensely.

What is job hopping?

Job hopping is the process of switching jobs and companies in somewhat quick succession. The actual time frame that defines job hopping varies from person to person, but generally, job hopping refers to changing jobs after spending less than 18-24 months in any given role.

Job hopping are voluntary changes, meaning things like company downsizing don't really apply.

Why do people job hop?

People may hop from job to job for a number of reasons, but the following reasons seem to be the most popular:

  • Lack of interest in work

  • Boredom at work

  • Better pay

  • Better benefits

  • More flexibility/remote work

  • Toxic work environment

For me personally, my moves have been mainly about growing my skills and my income. I did experience one toxic work environment where it was no longer mentally healthy for me to stay, but most of my moves have been for more muted reasons.

How job hopping helped me

Like I mentioned, job hopping has been a good thing for me. Here's why.

1. I've learned about what is out there

First, I've job hopped for multiple different reasons, which has given me a really unique perspective that most people my age don't have. I left financial services in a year after spending four years studying finances because I hated the work and couldn't shake the feeling that I was enriching already wealthy institutions, rather than helping Americans that most needed it (my ultimate motive for The Student Debt Destroyer).

Then, I worked for a small local health insurer. I enjoyed how the culture felt more relaxed and I gained the flexibility to work from home twice a week. I was in this role the longest, nearly 2.5 years. But after awhile, I felt like I was on borrowed time where I was.

I stopped learning new skills, and there wasn't a ton of opportunity available to me, since the company was quite small. So, I decided to start looking at other roles within the field of health insurance.

I then took a highly technical role with an industry leader. I began to learn a lot again, but another problem soon surfaced. I worked in an organization with a toxic work environment. People stabbed each other in the back, but it was also incredibly unprofessional in just about every sense of the word.

Eventually, it wore me down, and I couldn't take it anymore.

This leads me to my current role. Five years later, I am again in a new role, with a supportive manager and great coworkers. For quite possibly the first time in my career, I am happy with how things are going.

I still can't wait to become a full-time entrepreneur, but I'm really happy and enjoy my work for now.

2. I got pretty sizable raises

Switching companies can be a great way to earn some pretty sizable raises, which really add up in the long run. Most companies have rules on maximum raises you can earn when switching roles internally. 10% is a pretty common figure thrown out there.

But taking new roles with other companies does not subject you to these rules.

For instance, when I left my entry level job for the insurance field, I actually earned a 41% raise! And though that was the largest raise I've ever earned, I've also earned a bump of 28% on a separate occasion!

All of this is in addition to the performance bonuses and annual raises I've earned along the way each year. These raises would have taken years and years to earn had I not been willing to move on when I did.

I was never explicitly asked for my current salary as part of an interview process, but even if I had, there is really no incentive to answer honestly. Giving that level of transparency to a prospective employer and human resources department has very limited upside.

3. I learned plenty of new skills

What I think is often lost in translation when hating on job hoppers is the diversity of skills they've learned along the way. Not only do job hoppers have demonstrated the ability to fit into different corporate cultures, but they have also shown that they are able to handle lots of change in a short period of time, a must in the workforce.

But beyond the soft skills, I learned a lot of hard and technical skills too!

I've worked in very data centric roles and environments, and now feel comfortable manipulating extremely large data sets and working with/in SQL, R, Python, and other tools. And I picked up bits and pieces of these programs and skills at different points in different roles.

4. I built a network

Though I've been a job hopper at times, I've also built relationships everywhere I've worked. I've been fortunate enough to work for some young leaders along the way who have understood that moving on is much more common now than it was just ten or twenty years ago.

I still talk to some former colleagues and managers from previous roles, and I'd like to think these connections would help me in the event that I needed to find a new job in short order.

It was instilled in me from a young age to always take the high road, even when I don't feel like it was warranted.

5. I perfected my interview skills

For a 27-year-old, I've been on a lot of interviews. Like so many interviews. But all this practice has made me really proficient in the art and I've learned a lot about how to get a job over the past half decade.

Since I graduated college, I have been on over 15 interviews, excluding informational interviews with human resources departments. And while I have interviewed for some roles up to three times, I have also interviewed for roles that I didn't really have that much interest in, just for the practice.

In this weird way, job hopping prepared me and taught me how to sell myself and my skills.


When I graduated from college, I wouldn't say it was my intent to become a job hopper. It just sort of happened that way, and I wouldn't change my experience for the world.

Is job hopping bad?

There absolutely are some risks to job hopping. That is clear. But sometimes, the potential benefits can outweigh these risks. But by and large, I do not believe that job hopping is bad, regardless of what others may think.

To help you decide whether it may be able to help you get ahead in your career, I recommend you check out my list of pros and cons.

Job hopping pros and cons

The pros of job hopping are many of the aspects I've mentioned already, like:

  • More lucrative raises

  • Climbing the corporate ladder more quickly

  • Learning new skills

But because I've already covered much of this already, I want to focus on the potential downsides.

1. Potential job insecurity

If you're a job hopper that is seemingly always low on your team's seniority list, this could be a bit of a problem in the event of downsizing or layoffs, since these events tend to hit the least experienced and newest team members at times.

Plus, having to look for and add another role to your already busy resume may not be ideal.

2. Lack of opportunity

While I have not personally experienced this, some organizations may be somewhat hesitant to give you lots of new opportunities if they feel there is a good chance you'll move on in the short to medium term.

Of course, I see this as counterproductive and a contributing factor to why employees tend to move on and look for new opportunities in the first place.

3. Impact on retirement savings

One other con that I wanted to be sure to mention was the potential impact to your retirement savings. When switching roles frequently, you may find it difficult to take full advantage of things like 401(k) matches, since they typically require you to vest before the money is yours.

Each company has its own vesting schedule, but anywhere from 2 to 5 years is considered normal.


Job hopping has actually been really good for me. It has helped me learn a lot of skills more quickly than I otherwise would have, and it has benefited me financially and career wise. But I want to hear about your experiences.

Are you a job hopper? And if so, how has it worked out for you?

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About Nathan Zarcaro

Nathan Zarcaro is the founder of The Student Debt Destroyer and is passionate about personal finance related causes.  A 2018 graduate of Providence College's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Nathan studied Finance, and worked for one of the world's largest asset management firms before starting his own consulting practice.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife Brigid.

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