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Job hopping may hurt career growth: Survey

According to a survey, higher pay and better employment prospects may be utmost for a person switching companies, but job-hopping can severely hamper career growth as well as wealth creation in long-term.

business Updated: Jul 30, 2008 16:21 IST

Higher pay and better employment prospects may be utmost for a person switching companies, but job-hopping can severely hamper career growth as well as wealth creation in long-term, says a new survey.

The experts believe that sticking to the same company for more time, rather than aimlessly hopping jobs, can provide better learning and career momentum to young professionals.

Findings of a latest study by research and analytic firm Evalueserve reveal that the multiple career steps within the same company accelerate a professional's growth more than many horizontal moves across companies.

Hopping jobs every 624 months can severely damage the long-term career momentum and even wealth creation, it said.

Salary is higher at the time of switching to a new firm, but thereafter the person hardly gets any value addition, management institute IMI's director C S Venkat Ratnam said.

"A young professional should be choosy with his first job and see all angles before joining a firm so that he can stay put for at least two years at the same place, which would give him a sound base," he added.

"Job hopping is largely done in two circumstances, primarily for career progression and secondly for compensation. In the first instance, the candidate comes across as a responsible, forthright and result-oriented," a senior official at global HR services firm Manpower said.

"However, in the latter case, it comes across as professionally immature, myopic and highly selfish. This is considered as the biggest negative factor," he added.

According to Evalueserve study, fast job changes are mostly made for wrong reasons such as prioritising money over learning, succumbing to peer pressure or naively believing everything they are promised at the new position.

In the survey, 73 per cent of the respondents stated that spending more time with the same organisation provides better exposure to various functions within the company and therefore provides better overall learning and career momentum.

"A majority of these professionals get the 'two-year itch' and change jobs every 624 months, sometimes moving from high- growth companies to slow-growth captive back-office operations of large and medium-sized multi-national organisations," the study stated.

About 85 per cent of the business heads surveyed by Evalueserve consider loyalty in previous positions as one of the most important evaluation criteria for hiring and career advancement and 87 per cent of respondents feel that young professionals should not work in more than three companies during the first 10 years of their careers.

Experts believe the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) industries have been the major drivers to the trend of job hopping within a short span of time.

Elaborating the reasons that propel individuals to look for greener pastures in short intervals, IMI's Ratnam said that job hopping by young professionals might be due to tall promises made by the human resource departments of the firms, which do not fructify after the individuals joining or the profile does not commensurate with the individuals skills.

"To avoid the detrimental effects of job hopping, an organisation should encourage the senior executives or mentors to spend quality time with the young professional which would give them a perspective about their career growth," Ratnam said.