Millenials today get criticized quite a bit for being “job hoppers.” Employer loyalty has eroded, they say, and no one stays anywhere for more than three years or so. It could also be argued that employers no longer have the loyalty to employees that they used to have, either. Take the elimination of retirement pensions as a prime example of that.

An alternate perspective is that changing jobs every couple of years can actually be advantageous. Here’s what we know about people who change jobs more often:

  1. They earn more money. When employees stay with one employer, they can expect a 2%-3% increase each year in most cases. When employees accept new offers from outside their company, they average a salary increase between 10% and 20% (Forbes, 2014).
  2. They have more current skills. After about three years at a job, research shows that employees start to lose productivity and engagement. Changing jobs more frequently forces workers to stay on top of industry trends, stay current with their education and certifications, and so on. Bottom line: It keeps you competitive.
  3. They are better at job searching. When you do something more often, you get better at it. This is true for job searching as well. How many people keep their resume updated at all times? Very few. Then when a layoff hits, they’re unprepared and lose valuable time. Staying open to new opportunities and being proactive in your career with frequent resume updates can prevent this.
  4. They have larger networks. The more companies you work at, the more people you will meet. Leveraging your current and past connections are the most effective way to secure a new opportunity. Employee referrals remain the #1 preferred hiring method by employers.

Anytime you change jobs, you want to make sure that it’s an intentional and strategic move, no matter how long you’ve been with your employer. What matters most is not how long you stay at a job, but how satisfied you are in your career.
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