How to job hop without ruining your career in the process

You wouldn’t stay in a romantic relationship if red flags started appearing within days of pledging exclusivity.  

Nor would you keep being friends with someone if their toxic behaviour left you feeling miserable every time you spent a day in their company.  

So why is it that workers are conditioned to stay in jobs that are not only damaging their mental health and wellness, but not adding to or developing their experience and skill set? 

Fear of losing your income is the most obvious reason why so many people stay in jobs they hate but for a lot of employees, the longer they spend in a toxic workplace, the harder it is to leave for a myriad of reasons, including knocked confidence or not wanting to leave the nicer members of your team behind.  

This begs the question: is it ever okay to leave a job after a few months if all the telltale hallmarks of toxicity are there, or should you resign yourself to putting in a solid year for the sole purpose of your CV not looking patchy? 

For starters, it’s important to know that starting a new job and instantly regretting it doesn’t make you flaky or unambitious.  

In fact, a recent survey into the phenomenon found that 72% of job hoppers have experienced ‘Shift Shock’: the feeling of starting a new job and realising pretty quickly that it wasn’t what you expected or were led to believe.  

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Additionally, 80% felt it was acceptable to leave a new job before the six-month mark if it didn’t live up to expectations. 

So how can you navigate the process of jumping ship less than a year into your tenure to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact your future prospects?  

Don’t make it a habit  

Accepting a job and quickly realising it was a mistake to do so can happen to the best of us.  

However, if you find yourself hating each and every job you’ve ever worked in and your work experience pattern is that you never stay longer than a couple of months in each job, prospective employers might start to wonder if your job hopping is more of a you problem.  

Be honest  

While it might be tempting to leave a job off your CV if you only worked in it for a short period of time or feel like you didn’t gain anything professionally from the experience, unexplained gaps on your CV are often viewed in a negative light.  

According to a recent study, 49% of HR professionals and employers say that candidates who have taken a career break should be ‘prepared to explain’ why to prospective employers.  

Instead, if questioned about a short tenure, be fully transparent about why you only lasted a couple of months in this role and give some examples of why it didn’t work out without going into granular detail.  

Perhaps you might explain that the company’s objectives didn’t align with your values or your skills and experience weren’t a good fit. Work-specific examples should suffice and provide you with the perfect opportunity to pivot to what your skills and experience are and how they were suited to other jobs you’ve worked in.  

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Most importantly, don’t fall into the trap of speaking negatively about the people you worked with, especially senior management, even if they don’t deserve your discretion. Complaining about specific people only serves to paint you in a negative light and will detract from your other valid reasons for wanting to leave.  

Learn from the process  

Companies that are household names or a job that offers an attractive salary and benefits package can sometimes lure job seekers into a false sense of security and have you signing on the dotted line before you’ve really considered the ins and outs of the day to day, but it’s always prudent to do your due diligence before accepting a job offer.  

Better yet, start the process at the application stage and only apply for jobs in companies that you are suited to – according to recent research by Glassdoor, 83% of job seekers in the UK are likely to research company reviews and ratings when deciding where to apply for a job.  

And if you do find yourself wishing you worked elsewhere, there’s no time like the present to get your search underway.  

Head over to the Metro Job Board where you will find thousands of job opportunities in companies that are actively hiring.  

Looking for the right opportunity that will allow you to progress in your career? Browse The Metro Job Board today 

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