(x)slates

Job hopping across industries

I used to believe that job hopping was not a good career strategy for a few reasons:

However, I’ve begun to understand the reasoning for why people would favor changing employer often (especially in tech) rather than sticking it out for the long-term. I also was curious about how things looked in other industries and picked up some numbers from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how job tenure changes across demographics and industries. Here are the highlights from their report:

“In January 2018, median employee tenure (the point at which half of all workers had more tenure and half had less tenure) for men was 4.3 years, unchanged from January 2016. The median tenure for women, at 4.0 years in January 2018, also was unchanged from January 2016. Among men, 30 percent of wage and salary workers had 10 years or more of tenure with their current employer in January 2018, slightly higher than the figure of 28 percent for women”

“Generally, median employee tenure was higher among older workers than younger ones. For example, the median tenure of workers ages 55 to 64 (10.1 years) was more than three times that of workers ages 25 to 34 (2.8 years). Also, a larger proportion of older workers than younger workers had 10 years or more of tenure. For example, 57 percent of workers ages 60 to 64 were employed for at least 10 years with their current employer in January 2018, compared with 12 percent of those ages 30 to 34”

“In January 2018, wage and salary workers in the public sector had a median tenure of 6.8 years, considerably higher than the median of 3.8 years for private-sector employees. One factor behind this difference is age. About 3 in 4 government workers were age 35 and over, compared with about 3 in 5 private wage and salary workers. Federal employees had a higher median tenure (8.3 years) than state (5.9 years) or local government (6.9 years) employees”

“Within the private sector, workers had been with their current employer for 5 or more years in two industries—mining (5.1 years) and manufacturing (5.0 years). Workers in leisure and hospitality had the lowest median tenure (2.2 years). These differences in tenure reflect many factors, one of which is varying age distributions across industries. For example, workers in manufacturing, on average, tend to be older than those in leisure and hospitality”

“Among the major occupations, workers in management, professional, and related occupations had the highest median tenure (5.0 years) in January 2018. Within this group, employees with jobs in management occupations (6.4 years), in architecture and engineering occupations (5.7 years), in legal occupations (5.1 years), and in education, training, and library occupations (5.1 years) had the longest tenure. Workers in service occupations, who are generally younger than persons employed in management, professional, and related occupations, had the lowest median tenure (2.9 years). Among employees working in service occupations, food service workers had the lowest median tenure, at 1.9 years”

Some of the reasons that I’ve heard people in tech switch jobs often are: