I'm a 23 years old developer living in Brazil.

I got my first job back in 2012, where I stayed for two years. After that, I got another one. Due to some disagreements with the boss, I left after only two months. And then, I worked at this third company up to May/2015 (one year, one month) and then left it too, because of salary, too much overtime, lack of career perspective.

I've been working at my current company for almost two months, and now I'm thinking about switching jobs again. Even though I like the place, people and salary, the commute isn't nice. I take about 1h20m by bus, one way (almost 3 hours a day, depending on traffic). In this new place, it'll be 10 minutes on foot.

What I want to know is:

  • What do recruiters think about people who hop from one job to another on such a short time?

  • When asked about it during interviews, how to put it in a way that recruiters don't see such moves as some sort of flaw on the candidate?

  • 2
    Related: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/13390/… – Jane S Aug 25 '15 at 2:39
  • 2
    Lesson learned: check the commuting/housing options as best you can before committing to the job. You can almost always reduce the commute by spending more on housing, but of course you need to factor that into the salary considerations. This is a good question for the "any other questions" portion of the interview: "What's the typical commute like?" – keshlam Aug 25 '15 at 2:52
  • I kind of want to say that the commute should be one of the important criterias for taking a position (one way or the other. you could consider moving closer to you office as well, or finding arragement with remote work), but I suppose you just learned that. – njzk2 Aug 25 '15 at 3:00
  • I knew up front that the commute wasn't going to be great. The problem is, as many of you know, Brazil is going through an economic crisis, and because of that, it's really hard to get a good job. I couldn't wait longer than I had already waited for the perfect job. – undefined Aug 25 '15 at 10:16

A couple years back, I worked at a company's communications department. From time to time, I would help alphabetize the giant stack of resumes we had accumulated. A few of these were from applicants who had switched jobs several times in less than a year. These resumes had a note on them that said, in a nutshell, not to call those applicants because they switched jobs too often.

My guess is that, given the large overhead in hiring and training someone, companies would rather not have it all go to waste before the new hire is even productive, not to mention having to go through the process of finding yet another replacement for this position.

That said, being at one job for a couple months, then another for over a year, then another job for a couple months isn't anything close to that level of unreliability. If you get an interview and the interviewer asks why you left those jobs after only a couple months (and they will ask), be honest. Don't badmouth the boss who made you leave that first job, but say something about your difficulty fitting in with the company's culture and work environment so that the interviewer will get the picture. For your current job, it's even easier: everyone will understand that spending three hours a day on a commute leaves time for little else.

  • 2
    but people will question your judgement for having taken a position with that much commute in the first place – njzk2 Aug 25 '15 at 3:02
  • 1
    I think part of it is the belief that they can handle what others complain about, and another part is the belief that commute is a "trivial" thing that shouldn't be a factor in accepting a job. I don't think it's bad judgement - just a learning experience. – TigerhawkT3 Aug 25 '15 at 3:30
  • may be the commute is not what is judged, may be just the knowledge of one's capability to live with it. one way or the other, the OP will appear as if they don't know what they want. (but I agree that it is something that one learns in time, which criterias are important to oneself when accepting a position) – njzk2 Aug 25 '15 at 3:34
  • I know people who put up with commutes of that sort to save money on housing. It would drive me crazy, but to each their own. – keshlam Aug 27 '15 at 17:20

What do recruiters think about people who hop from one job to another on such a short time?

In general, they worry.

They worry that you will accept their job and leave after a short period of time. They worry that you might never be satisfied. They worry that you might be a high-maintenance type.

They worry that they will invest time, money, effort, and training in you, and will never recoup their investment, because you won't be around long enough.

When asked about it during interviews, how to put it in a way that recruiters don't see such moves as some sort of flaw on the candidate?

Explain to them why it wasn't your flaws that caused you to jump through four jobs in four years. Your question doesn't explain that very well. Explain to them why you will stick around in your next job. Most importantly, research the companies and hiring managers you apply to more thoroughly.

While it might not be completely possible to forecast disagreements with the boss, you can certainly discern salary, overtime, lack of career perspective, and commute during the interview process. That way you can convince the hiring manager that the issues that caused your job hopping in the past, won't apply this time.


In general, yes. It is bad to frequently switch jobs.

I, a frequent job switcher, however, have learned some tricks to help turn this, in some situations, from a disadvantage to an advantage.

First, if you can, stick to contract work. If you keep switching between full time permanent positions, that will reflect extremely badly on you. If your work was on the surface just a contract, however, questions are not asked about why it was only a month long, even if it was supposed to be 3-6 months long.

Second, your experience gives you diversity. You do good work, that's how you have found so many jobs. If you can successfully keep attention off of the short terms and many positions, you can capitalize on the fact that you are not deeply rooted in one companies dogma, or the responsibilities of the single job you've had for 10 years. You are a jack of all trades and highly adaptive with a wide scope of knowledge and practical experience.

10 years into a LOT of job hopping caused by recessions and bad matches, never getting more than 3 years in the same position, I can find work with much more ease, and usually at a higher pay rate, than peers who have been dutifully at the same job since high school.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.