Constant job-hopping may cost you career opportunities

Published on the Ottawa Business Journal website.
Nov. 7, 2006

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Tired of your job already and getting itchy feet? You may want to think carefully before changing your job too quickly, a new survey reports.

The survey by financial recruitment service company Robert Half Finance & Accounting says chronic job-hoppers may be overlooked for future opportunities. Eighty-eight per cent of chief financial officers polled rated the length of time a job candidate has spent with previous employers as “very important” or “somewhat important” in determining who they hire.

“It’s not unusual for someone to change jobs or careers multiple times during his or her lifetime, but holding too many positions in rapid succession and without signs of professional advancement can be a red flag for employers,” says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies. “Hiring managers place a high value on employee loyalty, in part because it is so difficult to replace top performers.”

Mr. Messmer notes that many people switch their jobs because they want a greater challenge, something which doesn’t always require a person to change employers. He says professionals seeking more challenging opportunities should look within their own companies first.

“Supervisors are typically receptive to matching valued staff members with assignments that allow them to expand their skills and grow,” he adds.

The survey looked at the responses of more than 270 CFOs from Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

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