Nine months into her first job in a digital marketing agency, Kavya Mendiratta wanted to quit. She had heard about an opening at another digital agency, a company she had always aspired to work in. She decided to give it a shot and she got the job.
“I wanted to move because I felt I would have more scope for me to gain exposure as an advertising professional. But I was worried about accepting the offer. I wasn’t sure how it would look on my CV if I quit my first job before completing a year,” Kavya said.
Kavya is not alone in her dilemma.
How soon is too soon to quit? Would job-hopping bring down your chances of being recruited? Will it be perceived as lack of direction?
These are concerns you have when you are thinking of quitting your job after a short stint.
So what are the answers to these questions? We spoke to recruiters to find out.
Kirti Metharu has been working as a Human Resources (HR) professional for more than seven years. Over the years, she has observed a changing trend in recruitments.
“In the digital media company where I work, we receive at least 25 to 30 job applications every day. We see that a third of the applicants have changed several jobs in the initial stage of their career. As HR professionals, we try to understand their point of view and see what motivated the change,” Kirti said.
This would not have been the case earlier. Kirti recalls how a few years ago, the corporate agency where she used to work would not shortlist CVs with short stints at companies.
“In fact, when I quit my job in an earlier company after six months of working my parents and my boss told me it was a bad idea,” she said.
Perceptions are changing now.
Before recruiting a candidate, HR try to understand the reasons behind their frequent job shifting.
“If the candidate tells us that they realised it was not the kind of work they wanted to do or that they wanted a different role with more responsibilities, we would take that in good light. It shows that they have aspirations,” Kirti said.
How accepting a company is of frequent job changes also depends on the industry you are working in.
Sandeep S P has been an HR professional for 19 years and is now working in an international aerospace company.
“There is a wave of thought in HR and in industries that you need to bring fresh ideas into companies. Changing jobs too often would have been perceived in negative light ten years ago. But it still depends to a large extent on the industry you are working in,” he said.
Sandeep added that in the aerospace sector, it takes an individual at least 18 to 36 months to settle in, understand the work, and gain enough experience to be able to contribute. “In this case, the tenure makes a difference to the kind of knowledge you gain and when you change your job, it takes that much time to gain it again in the new company,” he said.
The same goes for the Banking and Financial sector, where it is a technical field and you need time to gain expertise. On the other hand, media companies are more accepting of such job changes.
Don’t blame it on the ‘Millennials’
Although it is often touted as a ‘millennial phenomenon’ to frequently change companies, Sandeep hesitates to make such a sweeping statement. “There are many reasons and factors that contribute to someone quitting- an individual’s financial stability, appetite for risks, environment in the company, among others. I wouldn’t generalise and say that is a ‘millennial’ thing,” he added.
Millennial phenomenon or not, before you quit, think about why. Talk to colleagues and seniors to understand the career path in your industry better. After everything, if you still want to leave, rest assured that it won’t be a major setback for your resume!