Best Time to Switch from First Job?

Q.  It took me several months after my ’08 graduation to land a job that I don’t like.  I’ve given it eight months and want to quit.  But friends tell me I have to stay a year or two in order to avoid getting labeled a job hopper.  Suggestions?  -AL

A.  There’s nothing worse than being in a job that you hate, except perhaps the possibility of extended unemployment.  Be sure to have another job lined up before you flee your current position. 

During the early stages of your career, you can risk more movement than when you are more established.  In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports individuals born between 1957 and 1964 held an average of 10.8 jobs by the time they turned 42.  They’re not going to call you a job hopper.  However, be sure to move for the right reasons and try to stay in the next job for at least a year, ideally two.  In the case of a first job out of college, you should feel comfortable moving when the right opportunity presents itself.  Just remember to remain positive, don’t burn any bridges, and be thankful for the experience.  Good luck. 

2 thoughts on “Best Time to Switch from First Job?

  1. Not to sound morbid, but no one’s looking out for you but you.

    If you’ve already got one foot out the door by looking for new work, then you’re not doing yourself or your current employer any favors. Chances are you’ve learned what you’re going to learn, so why stay?

    I think this goes beyond reflections on a resume. What we’re talking about is your quality of life, and work most directly affects that. So if the wind direction has shifted for whatever reason, I say jump ship at the most opportune time. Resume be damned. Always be happy.

  2. I recently discussed this with a friend of mine who is now a hiring manager at her job. She’s been interviewing dozens of candidates to fill a position. One of the strongest candidates has had a gap in employment which my friend said raised a red flag not only for her but for her colleagues who are also involved in the hiring process.

    Her advice is this: It’s much easier to find a job when you have a job, so don’t leave yours until you have something else lined up. Future employers will ask why you’re out of work, and guess what? There is no “great” answer to that question.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *