Should you leave that job you hate?
You don’t want to be labeled a job-hopper. You don’t want recruiters to shun you. You don’t want to ruin your resume. But you do want to leave.
Well, if an employee doesn’t want to be termed a job-hopper, then generally speaking he or she needs to put in that minimum of 2-3 years in successive jobs. At junior levels that is. By the time an employee is a middle manager, its time to start thinking of staying put for at least 3-5 years, which by the way will be considered short by the standards of some industries.
That is how HR professionals and employers see it.
This site details the different kinds of job-hoppers
1. Those who change jobs for more money
2. Those who change jobs for new challenges and personal growth
3. Those who change because of some problems they perceive at the present job…most often because they feel they have suffered injustice.
Other reasons to leave a job can be because of loss of a job or personal reasons. In fact a job-hopper can fall victim to different reasons at different times.
But coming back to the question: Should one leave one’s job because of one of the above reasons, or a combination of the above reasons?
Well, it depends on your history, how many jobs you have been in earlier. Here are some aspects to keep in mind for would-be job leavers. (Sources:     and )
1. Job descriptions. Headhunters often paint a rosy picture of the new job. In fact there can be a fair amount of hype. At times job applicants are lured with glossy titles and attractive job descriptions, which in fact may not give the real picture.
2. Company culture. Going into a completely different work culture can be a shock. Work culture doesn’t just mean work pressure, but also the ethics and morals of the new company. Senior managers in particular can be asked to do some very unpalatable things.
3. Being clear about why you want to leave. The best reasons to leave are not necessarily more money, better growth, or even a challenge. Well okay, these reasons are great if you have been in your present job for a longish time, not otherwise. If you are leaving your present job within three years its advisable to leave only if you have a boss who is clearly hostile (and nothing has worked, not even going to his boss), and the poor relationship is hampering your functionality. Also think of leaving if you perceive that you have been demoted or sidelined. Otherwise, patience is best.
Patience is best because:
1. In your new job you will have to prove yourself all over again and build up all your contacts and relationships, all over again.
2. At every job you need to have learnt something, achieved something, or at least built up a set of skills. And 1-2 years is usually too short a period to do this in. In fact, its important to build your roots in at least one company. Ten years down the line an employer will look for that root, or at least a strong branch…
3. You could lose long term benefits like pension, gratuity etc.
Anyway, if you decide to quit, do it gracefully. Keep all your relationships intact because the word spreads, specially if you are moving within the same industry.
Changing jobs is good for personal development
If you take two people with similar track records, then those who have been in different jobs are seen to be better managers as compared to those who have never changed their job, or those who changed their jobs only at junior levels. (Sources:  and .)
The movers are seen to adjust better to new environments, seen to tackle new challenges better, and are overall seen to have a wider set of skills. One of the reasons for this is that changing a job at the right time and before one stagnates, keeps an employee’s learning curve up, and new challenges keep him or her fresh and motivated.
Ofcourse, these positive effects can be wiped out by too much moving… (at least from the point of view of employability) because the prospective employee can be perceived to be unstable, disloyal and incompetent.
Related Reading: Job Hopping and Blogging Trends