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  • Writer's picturePGAA Tax

Dear Job Hopper or Grass is Greener Dreamer,

Job hopping is, well, just that: frequently changing jobs within a relatively short period of time, typically two years or less. The field of tax is a rapidly evolving world; in fact, it is one of the most dynamic in terms of finance. Add in an ever-increasing number of tax leaders retiring early, boomers exiting the workforce in droves, and data and technology taking the lead; we've got ourselves a huge potential for knowledge and skill gaps. When they hop, depth will drop. This can have a huge impact on a tax department's collective wisdom, function, and cohesion. But personally, there might be some good reasons to hop around to help rather than hinder your career goals. Plus, most tax professionals don't appreciate a siloed tax department. As a tax leader, be tuned into your team's daydreams of what greener pastures look like to them and see if you can make what you've got look just as green.

If you were in the chapter of your career where COVID stunted your potential to broaden your expertise, and you've found yourself in a narrow niche in the field of tax, I recommend a hop sooner rather than later. It will only get harder to broaden your tax expertise as your company considers you the expert in your niche.

Job hopping early in your tax profession is tricky. Two tax cycles don't give you much clout. Tax is less and less an afterthought but a driver in finance strategies. This means we need mentorship, training, upskilling, and reskilling. If you suspect you are not the top 20% of your tax team, I'd say hop around and see if you can become the top 20% in a different corporation. If you are in the top 20%, leverage your value for more work you want. Be honest with your manager about what you want for your future. You have the upper hand.

Benefits of job hopping:

1. Skill development: By changing jobs frequently, individuals can gain exposure to different work environments, industries, and projects. This can help broaden their skill set and expertise, making them more versatile and adaptable.

2. Higher earning potential: Switching jobs often can provide opportunities for salary increases. When changing employers, individuals can negotiate higher compensation packages based on their updated skills and experience.

3. Expanded professional network: With each new job, individuals can connect with different professionals and expand their network. A diverse network can be beneficial for future career prospects, collaborations, and accessing job opportunities.

4. Increased job satisfaction: If someone is unhappy in their current role or organization, job hopping can offer the chance to find a better fit. Moving to a new job that aligns more closely with their interests, values, and work-life balance priorities can increase job satisfaction.

Pitfalls of job hopping:

1. Limited depth of experience: Frequent job changes may prevent individuals from developing a deep understanding of a particular industry or role. Some employers may prefer candidates with longer tenures and specialized knowledge, which could limit job prospects in certain fields.

2. Reduced job security: Job hopping can create an impression of instability and lack of commitment, potentially making future employers hesitant to hire. Moreover, in uncertain economic times or during a competitive job market, individuals with a history of job hopping may face challenges securing employment.

3. Less time for professional growth: Staying in a job for a longer duration can provide opportunities for advancement within the same organization. Constantly changing jobs may limit the time available to develop in-depth expertise, build relationships, and climb the career ladder.

4. Disrupted work-life balance: Frequent job changes can be disruptive and demanding, often requiring individuals to adapt to new work cultures, learn new processes, and build new relationships. This may result in increased stress and strain on work-life balance.

Ultimately, the decision to engage in job-hopping depends on life's many curveballs, personal and professional goals, and career stage. Talk to a recruiter before making any leaps!


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