In the last 2 years I had three jobs. The short story is that I changed jobs twice for better pay or better opportunities. However, life is expensive and I keep getting contacted for new opportunities.

But now interviewers started asking me "why do you keep changing jobs". The honest answer is that life is expensive and I found better paying jobs with better opportunities.

It seems to be that these people want to pay me little AND to keep me as long as possible. I don't understand how to handle/negotiate this. I would be happy to change company for a higher salary now, but I am worried about the situation.

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    You will probably find for a while that job offers will dry up. Simply put, as a manager you would be classified as a flight risk. Yes, it's good to get paid better, but you are now facing the consequences of that path. It might be a better long term strategy to stay in the same job for a couple of years to reduce that stigma.
    – Jane S
    Jun 12, 2015 at 0:40
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    You don't if you want top dollar you have to be willing to show you can stay in one place
    – Donald
    Jun 12, 2015 at 1:15
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    "It seems to be that these people want to pay me little" It didn't seem like a little when you ditched your old employer to take it.
    – Jane S
    Jun 12, 2015 at 2:13
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    Interviewers ask this because they don't like job-hoppers. It costs them a lot of time and money to go through the entire recruiting/interviewing process, so they cut out job-hoppers as soon as they find out (or expect a very good reason why). Switching jobs all the time just for more pay doesn't look good. Jun 12, 2015 at 9:19
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    I think a degree of this behaviour at the start of your career is more acceptable when people starting out. This is especially true if it can be seen that the hops are up the ladder. An established professional constantly taking sideways steps (even if they pay more) would raise a red flag for most people however.
    – Dustybin80
    Jun 12, 2015 at 10:07

7 Answers 7


I keep being offered better jobs, but… how to sell yearly job changes?

You don't sell yearly job changes. Your holding three jobs in two years is no advantage to a potential employer - just for you. So there is nothing about it to sell.

When asked, you can be honest about the better salary and better opportunity. You might be better off if you emphasize the "better opportunity" part.

but I am worried about the situation

It's reasonable to be worried. At some point, job-hopping becomes a detriment and can cause many potential employers to reject you.

Think of it from the employer's prospective.

It's a lot of work to hire someone. You need to create a job description and requisition, get it approved, work with recruiters, read many resumes, conduct phone screens and in-person interviews, select a candidate, negotiate an offer, etc, etc.

Then once you get an acceptance, that new employee still needs to get trained before becoming a productive member of the team. This takes time from the manager, team members, and other staff.

Hiring is time consuming, and expensive.

Thus, as a hiring manager, you want to make sure you bring on someone who will be around long enough to justify all that work and expense. You don't want someone who will just turn around and quit soon.

In addition, when considering a job-hopper, a hiring manager needs to consider "Am I hiring someone with 5 years of experience? Or someone with 1 year of experience repeated 5 times?"

Please advise.

My advice is to try harder when seeking your next job to find one that will be a good fit for you for more than just a year or so.

Think about what would be "good enough" rather than everything that could be "just a tiny bit better".

Find ways to learn and grow within a company.

If all this doesn't appeal to you, consider becoming an independent contractor. That way, you would be expected to jump from gig to gig. And if you are good, and continue to expand your expertise, you can demand an ever-increasing rate of pay.

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    Or, if you really like job hopping for better opportunities, and you're very good at what you do, consider becoming a contractor. This is a completely alternate path though, and won't be nearly as stable as landing a long-term job, so don't take this suggestion lightly.
    – Zibbobz
    Jun 12, 2015 at 14:28
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    "Am I hiring someone with 5 years of experience? Or someone with 1 year of experience repeated 5 times?". Excellent point. The experiences you get after being with a company change drastically if you stick around long enough to see the benefits/consequences of your decisions a few years down the road. Jun 12, 2015 at 15:24

I don't think you can 'sell' your frequent job changes. What you can do to stop this pattern is aim higher.

Clearly, based on your frequent offers that just keep increasing the pay, you belong at a top position. But based on your history, you have started far too low and are moving up one little step at a time.

These companies don't want to be the next little step for someone who doesn't belong there.

So you should think about stopping the timid stepping, and aim for a leap up the ladder. Figure out where your perfect job is. One that nothing could take you away from. Development lead at Microsoft or Google? Something big in a cool city? Then aim for it. Stay in your current position unless you get an offer at least that good.

Those companies know that those kinds of positions are dream jobs, and thus can really hold on to talent. If you're in paradise, why leave? Also, when you get the highest job you are qualified for, you are less of a flight risk because there is nowhere higher to go for a while. Any move would be merely sideways.

If you belong higher up, either go directly there or be content to stay where you are. Don't waste people's time climbing step by step.

  • One of the best answers I have seen.
    – Nobody
    Feb 14, 2018 at 3:37

You first need to evaluate why you are job-hopping. You are saying:

  • "The short story is that I changed jobs twice for better pay or better opportunities." Yet you stay less than a year.
  • "The honest answer is that life is expensive and I found better paying jobs with better opportunities." Yet you stay less than a year.

The way to avoid the stigma, is to stay longer. I would look at your resume and say there are several possibilities:

  • They are looking for the right place to work, but don't know what it is.
  • They are jumping for better pay.
  • They are not as good a their resume appears, thus are being forced out.
  • They are unlucky and the job situation deteriorates for reasons outside their control.

As you notice the first three reasons don't make we want to hire you. If you were to work for your current employer for the next several years I would be less concerned about the two hops in quick succession, because they were in the past.

Regarding pay increases. if you are still seeing offers for big increases you started out seriously underpaid. Or you are jumping to new positions for very small increases in pay. There was a time that a 10% increase was just to cover the pain and suffering for the change in employers.

I have advised my kids when you buy a piece of technology, such as a phone or computer, never look at another ad for 6 months to a year. Otherwise you will find a better deal the next week, or when the next model is be released: and you will wish you waited.

You need to ignore all unsolicited job inquiries, and you need to stop looking at other job postings. We say that some people have to buy on the bleeding edge. Maybe that is how you choose your jobs.


Assuming you aren't quitting your current job before interviewing at new prospective employers then I don't see why you'd say anything but the truth.

"I receive a lot of unsolicited inquiries about me moving companies, just as you are doing now, which have increasingly more interesting work opportunities and compensations."

If the employer sees you as too much of a flight risk upon seeing how many different companies you've worked for then they may not hire you but you're in no worse position than if you hadn't gone on that next interview. I've never worked as a hiring manager but I would think the "oh no, that person is a flight risk" stigma would wear off after you've stayed with one employer for a few years.


'It seems to be that these people want to pay me little AND to keep me as long as possible."

We can't have that, can we?

"I don't understand how to handle/negotiate this. I would be happy yo change company for a higher salary now, but I am worried about the situation. Please advise."

Nothing to worry about. You don't give a damn about their priorities and they don't give a damn about yours. Fair exchange.

Either you start changing your me-me-me mindset or you are headed straight for long tern unemployment - The good prospective employers won't want to be your stepping stone to a better offer and consider you as a flight risk. The bottom feeders won't hire you because you cost too much and they believe that you won't stick around. Result: you fall between two chairs and no one wants you. Or needs you.

I'll note that at this point in time, your work history is well on its way to accurately reflecting your me-me-me mindset. Which is why you are suddenly concerned enough to ask for advice on this site.

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    An employer can fire me any time they want, and they control all my productive time. Where is the wrong part in me thinking about taking care of myself?
    – user32664
    Jun 12, 2015 at 9:00
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    Hey, if you don't think there is anything wrong with what you're doing, keep doing what you're doing. Don't let me stop you. The rest of us manage to take care of ourselves without creating the impression that you'll bail on them ANY minute that you manage to score a better offer. Jun 12, 2015 at 9:30
  • "The rest of us". I think that comments itself.
    – user32664
    Jun 12, 2015 at 10:43
  • An employer can fire me any time they want... - Except they usually don't, most employers will give a just cause for firing someone. An employer makes an investment in you by hiring you, any new equipment you may need, time for the hiring process, time to train you as well as ending their search and dismissing other candidates. Employers put a decent amount of time and work in to hiring you so it's fair that they assume a return on that investment.
    – kylieCatt
    Jun 12, 2015 at 15:46
  • Assuming you're going after programmer jobs - as another programmer I don't want you on my team where we're trying to build longer-term competence. You'll take much of the year to find your way around to the point where you can be trusted with design (not just 'fix this bug') and then you'll be gone, leaving us back where we started. I'll recommend we hire the other guy, who doesn't look like a job-hopper.
    – user114771
    Mar 14, 2020 at 22:24

Compensation is about value, your value to the employer will lead directly to your level of compensation. This has two angles.

First, any value your skill-set may bring to the table will be offset by the perceived risk of you leaving in a short time. Companies don't want to invest the expense of hiring and on-boarding someone who is going to leave in a year. That means either they won't offer you a job or they will offer less compensation in the initial offer to offset the other costs.

Secondly, you can improve you compensation by improving your value. Dedicate some time to one employer. Become the best at what you do in your department, get a promotion. You don't have to leave to get better compensation and opportunities, you can also get there by hard work and a willingness to wait a little time.

As a hiring manager, I don't mind seeing some job switching, sometimes things happen to employees and employers that cause a change. But there is a limit to this, and I will quickly discard resumes that show too much job hopping. I can't see many reasons why I would want to hire someone with 3 jobs in 2 years. Either they aren't good enough for the companies to want to keep them or they keep moving for their own interests, neither one of these is a good thing for me when I am hiring.


You are obviously opportunistic but as others have pointed out in the long run too much jumping is a flight risk. Are there or her factors that you are moving for? Could it be that aside from money there was xyz missing and also not making you stick around? I would focus in identifying xyz and find a place which offers these other sticking points to keep you from jumping boat so often. Is it lack of growth opportunities? You can make this known and get this grandfathered into your offer eg performance evaluation in 12 months or promotion consideration in 12 months

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