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How do companies define “job hopper”?

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Question: My current position is Corp. Receptionist. I recently interviewed, but did not get, an Exec. Asst. position with the president of the company. I do not have Quicken experience, which was a requirement. Would an HR manager consider me a "job hopper and high risk" employee if I started looking for another position outside my company? — Debbie Reimer


Do you mean your company's HR manager or an external one?

I wouldn't tell the internal one. For an external one, it depends on how often you have changed jobs in the past.

That all depends whether or not your company has a "transfer" policy, i.e., an employee has to stay within her/his department for xxx numbe of months before applying for a transfer.

If you do not have such a policy, by all means apply for other jobs, for which you qualify, within or outside of the company. However, it would help you if you set down with your immediate supervisor and/or HR and outline your career path within the company.

A good tenure for a job is usually two or more years, going from job to job (i.e new companies) every 6 months or so would be considered job hopping.

Within companies most will recommend that you stay with the dept you are in for a minimum of one year before applying for a posted job. If you are applying within the company and doing so to better yourself,(i.e. learning something new, using newly acquired skills, etc)that is usually acceptable. But if you are changing positions b/c you can't get along with others, then eventually that will catch up with you and no one will want to allow you to transfer to their dept.

How many other previous jobs have you held in the past? How long did you stay with each one? Were position changes due to advancement opportunities, military or because you realized the position was not for you once you were hired? If any of the following is true you may want to sit down and re-evaulate your goals and objectives to determine what field you truly would like to work in. If you are lacking in training areas would your current supersivor allow for paid training so you can obtain additional skills if not have you considered taking some courses on your own in order to be more viable to a new position or even your current position.

When I look at resumes I usually do not put a "job hopper" in the please call pile for the HR department. I usually consider someone a job hopper when there is not a job listed that has more than 2 years worked. If there are other jobs with more than 2 years and only 1 with less, then I would consider that person. You never know what happened so I go with the pattern. Within your company I would agree that you should work at least 1 year in that department, because I would not transfer you until I was sure you were a good fit and that takes time to find out. I wouldn't tell your HR department you are looking for another job, they might work to replace you, especially if your state has employement at will. Good luck!

Just wondering: corporate receptionist is usually near the bottom of the office support ladder and executive assistant to the president is usually the top rung on the office support ladder. What made you think you could make such a big leap? Did you have previous executive-level experience?
I think that you should sit down with HR and get career counseling advice. You should ask what you can do to advance in the company and get the training you need, even if you have to pay for it yourself. I agree with the other posts about definition of a job hopper, and I definitely think that you SHOULD NOT tell HR that you are looking for another position, because you may be let go immediately if you do so.

The answer really depends on how long you have been with this corporation. If you have only been employed for 6 months, it is unreasonable to want to leave the company for other employment. Because you are already an employee, ask the HR hiring manager what assets you could start acquiring to lead you to that executive job. Does the company offer tuition reimbursement? Do they have a library or offer continuing education courses?

I agree with a previous writer that jumping from Receptionist to Executive Assistant is quite a span, especially as an assistant to the president. The suggestion to get career counseling is a good one. Most presidents will want to see a track record of supporting other executives before they let you work for them. Probably you will have more success moving into an entry level administrative assistant position and working your way up. Good luck!

Here, I would usually refer to someone as a job hopper if they had more than one job of less than one year.

Regarding my tenure with the company, I have been at my current position for 18 months and it was the President who approached me about the open position. I have worked at two other companies, one for 7 years and the other for 4 years. Both medium-sized family-owned companies. I am concerned about external HR mgrs. and whether or not I would be considered a "job hopper" after only 18 months.

No I would not consider you a job hopper. You have, even with your current position over a year invested. However, I would still re-evaulate your skill level. I have found exec types want someone they can rely upon for every facet of the job. If you are lacking in a skill then take the reins and find out about courses that will help you learn them.

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