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Ask Ramit: “What if I’m a job hopper?” video

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“What should I do if I’m a job hopper?”

This is one of the top questions I received in over 30,000 data points I collected for the Find Your Dream Job course.

In fact, I got it so many times that I decided to put together a video answering it, plus:

  • How top performers approach job hopping
  • What hiring managers think about job hoppers
  • How long you should stay at a job

Notes from the video:

  • No, employers don’t like job hoppers. But that’s only part of the story.
  • Top performers are VERY comfortable moving from one job to another every 2-3 years.
  • Positioning matters: For example, if you’ve stayed at a company for 5 years, that can actually look bad…and if you’ve only stayed at a company for a year, that can also look bad.
  • Yet you can use sophisticated positioning — which is completely ethical and accurate — to actually show why staying at a company for 1 year, or 5 years, was a terrific decision. Your answer can actually strengthen your position as a candidate
  • So if you have gaps in your job history…or you’ve hit a dead-end and want to switch your career…or if you aren’t sure what your passion is and you’ve jumped around…watch this.

For more videos from the Dream Job course — including a 21-minute live interview teardown with one DJ student who overcame a weak job history to land TWO Dream Jobs (and started a bidding war between them), sign up below.

Sign up below to watch my live interview teardown that helped one student land her Dream Job AND negotiate a huge raise.

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11 Comments on "Ask Ramit: “What if I’m a job hopper?” video"

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Jay Samolowicz
4 years 3 months ago
Ramit – excellent video, excellent answer. For readers looking for an example of how this might work, my story is this: worked for about 10 years in technology for financial firms in/near Manhattan. I’ve had 6 jobs from 2003-2012. 3 of these jobs were exceptions to the 2-3 year rule. It was actually “the 3 year rule” when I started working in 2003. The first job was working at a small bank. I stayed there for 1 year, but accomplished a TREMENDOUS amount in that short time. After leaving and interviewing for a new job, my reason was “to pursue… Read more »
Gal @ Diamonds or Dogs
4 years 3 months ago
As someone who does hiring in the Silicon Valley, I see job hoppers all the time. If the majority of your resume is less than 2 year jobs (or worse, I’ve seen people who’ve never been at a job more than 1 year) then you’re out. I won’t even consider you. Sorry, why should I hire someone who very likely won’t stay with me very long? If you have a big gap on your resume, please explain it. If you got to me through some recruiter or a personal contact. Have them explain a big gap. Taking four years off… Read more »
Dan Calle
4 years 3 months ago
It can absolutely work to your advantage: My career includes leaving and returning to one particular company twice. It includes a matrix of full-time and part-time jobs in software engineering, ballroom dancing, and sales management. It makes me stand out, and all but guarantees more of a hiring manager’s time than most. (That said, only my first job out of college came from a submitted resume – everything else came through my network, just like Ramit advises.) It comes down to this: You had reasons to hop. If you let yourself feel guilty, you’re going to focus on the bad… Read more »
John
John
4 years 3 months ago
I was at my first job for almost 4 years until I was laid off. After a month of unemployment, I joined a Big 4 accounting firm where I only stayed for about 7 months. I left because of several factors: pay, project, and mind-numbing/mundane work that didn’t stimulate my mind. I’m currently on my third job that I started in February of this year. I love it here. The work is great and I’m always learning something new everyday. However, since last year, I have been planning on moving to the bay area. I currently reside in the Washington… Read more »
Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey

John, I know how it feels to be in your situation. I understand you are itching to go move to the place where you want to be. However, I suggest that you stay in your job at least 6 more months. Please bear in mind that you came from a 7-month old job and a 6-month old job after it will not look good on your resume, unless you will be able to find a job before moving to the Bay Area. just my 2 cents.

Heather Craik
Heather Craik
4 years 3 months ago
Great video, surprising about the 2-3 years timeframe but otherwise more or less what you’d expect. I’m just wondering if that also applies to ‘temporary’ jobs – The kind where you’re signed on for a specific period of time (with occasional interviews held to see if you get offered a more permanent position) after which you’re let go. They’re not dream job material by any stretch of the imagination; stuff you do to pay the bills while you’re doing your research on other positions. Is it still looked on really dimly if you’re there for the length of the contract… Read more »
David Gerard
4 years 3 months ago

If the contract was *renewed*, that’s excellent. I note renewals in the contracting phase of my CV. (Now working an excellent day job.)

(Also applies to banks and mortgages, btw – my account manager told me that renewed contracts were the thing they looked for in a contractor who’s trying to get a mortgage.)

Heather Craik
Heather Craik
4 years 3 months ago

David; Nice to know about renewals, and thanks for responding.

I didn’t get mine though. I was a top performer (by a lot, I have the team figures to back that up) but I had a nightmare at the interview; they were basing who got the positions on the interviews and application only. Just wondering quite how bad that looks, I’m assuming fairly!

Gene Meyung
Gene Meyung
4 years 3 months ago

Ramit, Great video but what’s with the 60’s era buffer music. Didn’t know if I was going to see an info-vid or a rerun of The Dating Game.You’re way too hip to be using “dated” music like that. G.

Johnathon DuBois
Johnathon DuBois
4 years 3 months ago

There’s a fine line between Job hopping and improving yourself by regularly changing jobs. Where do you draw the line?

Annette Suh
4 years 3 months ago

I stopped the video at 1:23, rolled my eyes and literally walked away. Anyone who calls a contract worker a “low competence” person is obviously living in some kind of bubble. Every job I get is contract/consulting, and none last longer than a year. All your rules are worthless to me.

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