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I work in the electronic engineering design industry in the UK, have been there for the last 8 or so years full time (with a student job during university).

I have been informally offered a role at a new company. This would be a 10% pay rise and a couple of other changes to benefits.

I have only been at my current role for 18 months or so, which will mean a very short time at this company (I wasn't long at the previous company, but that was due to reasons which I find easy to explain at an interview).

While my current role is good at the moment, but I cannot see myself being in it this time next year, as there doesn't appear to be a way forward for me. I've spoken to my manager about it, and while he's supportive there's only so much he can do.

My options are:

  • take new offer, and stay there for a good number of years to dispel any job-hopper image
  • turn down new offer, and hope something good appears in a year
  • ask new offer to wait for me

My instinct is to go for the offer now, as opposed to turning down the offer. My question is though, can I ask them to wait? How long could I ask them to wait? Long enough so that I'm not such as job hopper?

  • How long have you been working professionally as a software developer? – user1666620 Jun 26 '18 at 11:13
  • So your only worry is looking like a job hopper? – Twyxz Jun 26 '18 at 11:17
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To be honest, 18 months is sufficiently long for you to move on without looking like a job hopper. In IT the average length of time in a role is about 2 years, so you're close enough to that.

A 10% increase to move on to a different company seems low-ish, so either you're at the top of your field and at the wage ceiling of the profession, or else you're inexperienced and you need to work on your negotiating ability.

Asking for a delay of a few months is unreasonable - most companies only hire to fill spots they have vacant right now. Unless you are at the top of a field with an extreme shortage of qualified people, nobody will wait 6 months for you.

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You can ask for anything. We cannot know for how long they would wait for you. Hence, I suggest you discuss your situation with them, and ask them how long they can wait for you.

There is no universally agreed rule on how long you need to work at a job to be not considered job hopper. In my opinion, 18 months is a long enough time to move on.

Nonetheless, if looking like a job hopper is the only concern dissuading you from accepting the offer, ignore it and take the offer. Don't let go of the current opportunity for the fear of a (possibly non-existent) future problem.

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