In previous decades, frequent job moves were considered a sign of disloyalty, instability, or even worse, implied that an individual was difficult to work with. However, changing one’s job every few years is quickly becoming the norm, especially amongst younger generations. According to Deloitte’s seventh Millennial Survey, in 2019 43% of millennials envisioned leaving their jobs within two years with only 28% seeking to stay beyond five years. The statistics are even more striking within Gen Z, with 61% anticipating that they will leave a position within two years.
The stigma attached to frequent job moves is slowly but surely disappearing, simultaneously the standards of what employers and recruiters expect to see on a resume are gradually shifting. Today, both prospective employers and recruiters tend to look favourably on those candidates who have changed positions every 3-5 years – internally or externally – believing it demonstrates adaptability and ambition.
In the financial services industry, there continues to be a high demand for skilled candidates amid a limited talent pool. As a result, when looking to make a move there are plenty of opportunities for career progression and competitive pay. That said, this does not mean you should move for every opportunity available to you – when deciding to move, you should consider your options carefully.
A well-managed career is an invaluable asset, particularly for women who often come under more scrutiny when applying for a job. Equally, women may find themselves having to move positions more frequently than their male counterparts in order to accelerate their career ambitions or achieve better pay. In the third section of this Women’s Mentorship Series in partnership with HerCapital, Rutherford explores what to consider when deciding to move on and how to make your next move a constructive one, whether internally or externally, laterally or vertically. It will also address how to get back into a career after a prolonged break and how to make a career change.
In a virtual roundtable on the 17th March 2021 with Joy Rhoades, an ex-Managing Director at renowned financial services firm JPMorgan, she stated that you should ‘make your career work for you’. In order to accelerate your career ambitions and learn new skills, frequent job moves may be necessary. However, as Rhoades advises it is important that you ‘plot things out’ – planning your next career move carefully by considering your larger ambitions and the expertise you would like to gain.
Rhoades states that ‘if you’re not moving every two years, even to a slightly different role’ it is unlikely that you are truly challenging yourself or learning anything new. Adding that ‘you owe it to yourself to look for something new internally or otherwise’ on a regular basis, in order to keep yourself engaged, motivated and to continue to nurture your skill base. That said, the frequency that an individual moves roles will be entirely dependent on the person, industry and often the size of an organisation; with smaller firms often offering less opportunity for staff to progress compared to a larger company.
It is worth noting that moving roles regularly in the permanent market can be risky despite changing attitudes. There is a chance you could enter a new role only to find it is not the right cultural fit, the working environment does not suit you or progression opportunities are lacking. For these reasons, it is important to consider your next move carefully, weighing up your larger career ambitions in the process. Below are some things to consider when deciding to move on.
Although tempting, it is important to not solely move to a new role for financial gain. If you have been approached with a lucrative offer, consider the longer term opportunities available to you at a new firm and your overall career goals; research the company and decide whether it is right for you before agreeing to a substantial pay rise.
Assess Your Options
Again, consider how a career move will benefit you in the long-term in terms of progression opportunities or greater bonus potential. It may be that you are content working at your current firm, and an internal move - either laterally or vertically - will satisfy your need for change while removing the risk of joining a new company.
When considering moving to another firm it is crucial to assess if it right for you, researching the company's background, financial performance, culture and values. In today's climate, it may be pertinent to assess how a prospective employer is evolving with industry change and technological progression, to ensure your future prospects at the firm and opportunities for growth.
Knowing When to Leave
It is vital to realise when you have reached stasis in a current role, either mentally or in terms of progression. Remaining in a position too long could suggest you have become institutionalised, meaning you may find it difficult to adapt to a new working environment if necessary. Do not let yourself stagnate by continually reflecting on how you are learning, growing or achieving in a current role.
Frequent job moves are considered healthy, as long as you can communicate to a prospective employer or recruiter what you have accomplished in each role and how your contributions at each company made a difference. Having your reasons to move solidified and being able to articulate clearly how you have grown or made an impact in previous positions will be key to eliminating any negative associations attached to job-hopping.
Frequently moving roles does have its benefits, it can demonstrate to an employer or recruiter that you are not afraid of change, you are comfortable with building new interpersonal relationships and you can work successfully under different infrastructure and management styles. Moving roles is a great way to develop a diverse skillset and an efficient way to increase your salary – for financial services professionals, when moving externally you are guaranteed on average a 10-20% pay rise.
That said, progressing internally can be just as beneficial as moving to a new firm, offering the chance to work your way up the career ladder without the associated risks of an external move. Further, when moving to a new firm you will sacrifice any fringe benefits at your current employer and have to start all over again, building a network and rapport.
Want more information and tips on moving up the corporate ladder - and getting the right compensation along the way? Then make sure to look at our other resources on the topic:
How to Initiate a Salary Discussion and Successfully Negotiate
What to Do If Your Salary Negotiation Discussion Is Unsuccessful
The Rutherford x HerCapital Mentorship Initiative
In March 2021, Rutherford officially launched in partnership with HerCapital an initiative to create safe spaces where women in senior roles within financial services could coach and mentor ambitious women in mid-level functions who are looking to move up the corporate ladder and invest in their career. Find out more about the initiative here.
HerCapital was founded in 2019 with the mission to empower women to become financially independent and to take control of their income. The two founders, Zabreen Khan and Rabiya Ather, aim to create a strong community of women who are looking to become confident investors and to be equipped with tools who will help them be part of the conversation when it comes to investing and managing personal finances.
This initiative with Rutherford is enabling the non-profit organisation to expand its current horizons, by providing safe spaces for their community to discuss career goals and progression with well-established women in senior positions. This will help empower women to also take control of their career and future.
If you wish to know more about the initiative or get in touch with Rutherford to be part of the next session, please contact Genevieve Higgins-Desbiens, Head of Marketing & Talent Acquisition at Rutherford.