Perhaps you're one of the 20% of Americans who have changed careers in the past few years. Maybe you're getting tired of your job, and you wish to try something new, but you hesitate at the prospect of being labeled a "job hopper."
Job longevity is not perceived the same way it was even 20 years ago. Read through our guide to learn why job hopping may not be the resume-killer it used to be — and how it may even benefit your agricultural career.
Job Longevity vs Job Hopping: Which Is Better?
"Job hopping" refers to the practice of holding a job for a short period of time and then moving to another one. An ag company may consider you a job hopper if you fall into one of the following categories:
- You've held several jobs over the last five years.
- You worked at one job for a long time, but in the past few years you've taken various short-term, freelance, or contract jobs.
- You have an inconsistent work history or gaps on your resume.
Is job hopping bad? Not necessarily. There are several legitimate reasons why you may want or need to take several jobs in a few years. However, you need to learn how to use the skills you've gained to your advantage rather than letting a colorful resume give a potential ag employer the wrong impression of your abilities and work ethic.
Why Would Ag Employers Care About Job Hopping?
Historically, employers have looked at resumes with hesitation if they notice large, unexplained gaps, confusing work or educational history, or several jobs listed within the past few years. There are several obvious "no's" for resume writing, such as including your picture, listing unrelated talents, or setting the entire resume in a stylized typeface — but is job hopping ever viewed favorably?
Agricultural employers may or may not care about job hopping. While job longevity is almost always a strength, job hopping is a mixed bag. Demographics sometimes come into play here. Older employers, for example, may see job hopping as "flightiness" or the inability of a person to commit to a specific career. Younger employers, though, may see multiple jobs as a strength — especially if you took time off to go back to school, switch careers, or take a contract job in an area you've always been curious about.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Job Hopping?
Job hopping isn't for everyone. People who are doing well in their jobs, who are financially content, and who are interested in their current field of work may never give a different job a second glance. However, if you're unsatisfied, you may think about looking around for a better opportunity until you find a good fit. Consider the following benefits and drawbacks of trying out several different types of work.
There are several advantages to job hopping over job longevity for ag job seekers as well as employers. Job hopping can be risky if you don't know what you're hopping to, but it can also pay off if you have a plan for your next steps. Consider these advantages of job hopping:
- It showcases your willingness to take risks.
- It opens the door to new opportunities.
- It might lead to financial gain.
- It provides access to many professional relationships and connections you wouldn't have met otherwise.
Job hopping may understandably make employers nervous if they assume that you're only going to stay with them for a short amount of time. Your potential employers will likely ask you about the gaps on your resume or what appears to be a long list of jobs that you didn't see as careers.
Experts advise job hoppers not to wait until the interview process to explain their job hopping. Use your cover letter to your advantage: Did you have a clear reason for leaving each of these jobs? What did you gain from each job, and why do you want to move on? Why is the job you're hoping to interview for the place you want to be right now?
Don't try to hide your job hopping or pretend that you were at a job for longer than you were. Remember, most employers no longer see job hopping as a negative if you have solid reasoning behind your choices. Be upfront about your career trajectory and find the positives in holding several jobs over a few.
There are a few downsides to choosing job hopping over job longevity. The first obvious disadvantage is that your employer may think you're going to leave them in a few months to years. Job hopping may have other drawbacks for your career:
- You may not get to know people at your new workplace well enough to form professional connections.
- You may not work at a job long enough to discover what you like about a specific industry.
- You may have more gaps in your work history than you are comfortable with due to the time spent looking for new jobs.
Sometimes job hopping is unavoidable. You may be moving across the country for your spouse's new position, or you may not be able to find a suitable long-term job where you live. Remember to show your enthusiasm for the role you want and clearly outline to your potential ag employer why you're the perfect fit.
You Don't Have to Choose Job Longevity
Perhaps your job is no longer the best fit for you, or maybe you simply crave a change. At AgHires, we specialize in curating the most current jobs in the agriculture, horticulture, and food production industries.
Job longevity is no longer the norm, and job hopping is no longer considered taboo. In some lines of work, holding multiple jobs over a short period of time is expected. In the agriculture industry, working in a variety of positions could help you gain practical skills, make connections, and find where you fit best. Browse our ag job postings to find the right fit for your passion.