To Move Or Not To Move – The Right Time For Your Career Change. While some employers value loyalty above all else, others look for breadth of experience. Here, we look at whether job-hopping or length of service is more important for your next career move.

Is it better for your career to change jobs frequently or stay in one role? There’s no single ‘right’ answer to that question – other than ‘a bit of both’.

Every potential employer has their own criteria, depending upon the company history, structure and plans. Some firms aim to recruit long-term candidates and will view length of service in your present role as a distinct advantage, where other companies will prioritise experience gained across a number of roles for a range of employers, demonstrating versatility and up-to-date knowledge of the industry from a range of perspectives.


The Cost Of Recruitment

The decision to take on a new hire is never taken lightly, as it impacts the profitability of any business, whether expanding a department or replacing a leaver. The average cost of replacing an employee is more than £30,000, according to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), citing an average of 28 weeks – more than six months – for a new recruit to get up to speed. On average, it’s only after this time that a new starter starts to pay their way – and possibly a further 12 months for them to become a truly profitable asset to the business.

If you swap roles every year, then your previous/existing employers may not have realised your financial potential with the firm – and future employers will reasonably expect you to repeat past behaviour. So that makes you a risky investment for a recruiter.


Better The Devil You Know

The flip side is that some staff members settle into a role and it takes dynamite to shift them once they have their feet under the table. Once an employee has established themself in a position, it’s easier to keep on keeping on – because they’re dealing with a known set of values. Better the devil you know and all that…

But while loyalty is a virtue, these individuals are also rarely the ones that will add value to a business. This risk-averse strategy can be seen as a conservative approach to their career – and business in general – because these individuals won’t expose themselves to new ways of doing things. Some employers will love a more cautious approach, but learning how different businesses approach the same challenges to see first-hand which is most effective could offer invaluable insight to your next employer.


Find Your Balance

While there’s no such thing as an ideal candidate for every role, finding the balance between length of service and moving on can make you a more attractive prospect all-round.

According to a 2012 PayScale report, most millennials stay in a position for two years. That’s enough time for an employer to realise profit from hiring you – and enough time for you to decide whether the role and/or company is right for you long-term.

As a rule of thumb, candidates will swap jobs more frequently towards the beginning of their career as they figure out the right fit for their character and skills, while more experienced candidates will be expected to change employers less often.


Move From A Position Of Strength

Whether you change roles every couple of years or wait longer, the main reason for changing employers should come from a position of strength. Look for learning opportunities not offered by your existing employer; chances to extend your skillset, increase your responsibilities and stretch yourself. Maybe there’s an exciting new sector that you want to explore. Just don’t be seen to make a move borne out of desperation or motivated by money.


Job-Hopping Vs Length Of Service

Not all employers are looking for the same thing, but your CV should show a healthy balance between loyalty and a drive to further yourself. Portray yourself as an investment that will see a return over time, with a breadth of experience behind you and a willingness to learn in the future.


Talk To Us Today

We pride ourselves on getting to know our candidates and clients alike here at Kingston Barnes, so if you’d like to find out more about whether now is the right time to make that change to make the most of your career, call today on 0117 325 2233 or email

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