Saturday, July 31, 2010

Job Hopping To The Top

"Managing Yourself: Job-Hopping to the Top and Other Career Fallacies", by Monika Hamori; from the July–August 2010 issue of HBR.

 Job hopping does not lead to any faster career growth than staying put at the same company. So says this article. Not happy news for job sites. Not happy news for headhunters. Not happy news for employees. Not happy news either for the recruitment departments within companies either. Good news however for organizations looking for stability and for managers.
My analysis of the career histories of 1,001 chief executive officers who lead the largest corporations in Europe and the U.S. reveals that CEOs have worked, on average, for just three employers during their careers.
...I also analyzed the job changes of 14,000  non-CEO executives to compare the outcomes of their inside and outside moves. Again, inside moves  produced a considerably higher percentage and faster pace of promotions.
It seems that both executive search firms and search consultants are also likely to evaluate candidates more positively and more likely to shortlist those candidates who have worked for longer at firms. Anecdotally also, this should be borne out by a simple observation of the people who have stayed at a company and of those who have left over the years.

The second fallacy busted is that "A Move Should Be a Move Up". Not true.
... large promotions (that is, considerable jumps in both title and employer size) were relatively uncommon— less than 5%.
It’s easy to be distracted by a better title, a bigger pool of direct reports, or other trappings, so when making a switch, always consider what the next move might be and to what extent the current move will help or hinder your ability to achieve longer-term goals.
Brands matter. Brand value matter.
Those who leave for lesser-known or less highly regarded companies often gain in terms of title or position. In other words, they cash in on the brand value of their former employer. On the flip side, those who transfer to organizations with stronger reputations seem more willing to take a step down in position—to pay a price to acquire some brand value.

More fallacies are examined.


Other articles by the author on

© 2010, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.