Long gone are the days when someone would get a job straight out of school and then hold on to that job until retirement.

It’s assumed that today’s workers are going to have many jobs throughout their career, but the stigma of a serial “job hopper” does still exist. Many hiring managers will at least question your decisions if you have had multiple jobs over a short time span.

When Job Hopping Is a Bad Thing

Before we get into explaining numerous jobs over a short period of time, we need a bit of a disclaimer: Job hoppers don’t get an automatic pass.

Hiring managers will want to know if you left those jobs because of short-term discomfort, or long-term objectives. If you left because you couldn’t get along with co-workers after a couple months of trying or you were chasing a bigger paycheck, hiring managers may see that as a red flag. If, on the other hand, you left because you felt it was an opportunity to advance your career or move into a position you’ve always wanted, then a hiring manager will likely see you as someone who can handle short-term discomfort to chase after their long-term goals.

These are important things to keep in mind when you find yourself wanting to leave your current job.

Defending Your Work History

It would be unreasonable to enjoy everything about an employer or a job, but you should be able to at least tolerate it. If you’re truly dreading going into work each morning, you wouldn’t be expected to endure a traumatic situation just to keep your work history tidy.

Hiring managers will forgive a short span at one job if let them know that things turned badly for you there. Maybe you had a personality conflict with a new manager, or perhaps your department was handed crippling cutbacks. However, if you give this reason for multiple jobs, it might raise some eyebrows.

A hiring manager will also look favorably at a job-hopping past if you can explain how you reached some career objective at each stop. For instance, maybe you were trying to get a feel for what a certain job is like, or perhaps you were trying to expand your skill set. Letting the hiring manager know you achieved your goal at each “hop” shows you actually gained long-term benefits from the experience.

Another way to frame a frenetic work history is to explain how your diverse background can add value to a company. For instance, if you worked for a company’s competitor, be sure to let your interviewer know you could bring over the skills and knowledge you gained. You should also let the hiring manager known that because you have a lot experience starting new jobs, you’re used to learning new procedures and connecting with unfamiliar co-workers, which makes getting up-to-speed faster and onboarding costs lower.

Work with a Leader in Supply Chain Recruitment

At ZDA, we assist individuals with all kinds of work histories. If you’re on the lookout for the next professional opportunity, please contact us today to work with a leader in supply chain recruitment.