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I'm a full time Software Developer. I've been at my current job for around a year, I pretty much like it and I'm well paid. However, I understand that this is not my dream job, and additionally I'm thinking about relocating from where I live right now. My concern is that my previous employment lasted for only 10 months, and leaving another job after a year would certainly be perceived as job hopping.

My question is, would it be wise for me to apply for jobs that I find interesting? Should I interview with companies that contact me, in case I find the job description interesting? How does one find the right balance between staying active on the job market and job hopping?

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    Related (but not duplicate) – rath Apr 3 '16 at 16:50
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As a software developer, I'd say that the "search" and the "market aren't as important as your Personal Brand.

  1. Keep your Resume Up-to-date

  2. Keep your Linked-In profile up-to-date

  3. Don't do anything "dumb" on social media

  4. Participate in sites like StackExchange, and establish yourself as an expert.

  5. Participate in other sister sites of StackExchange too - are you an android person? Then android.stackexchange.com (etc)

  6. Join Professional Societies

  7. Maintain a Website

  8. Have a Portfolio of your Work

  9. Always Grow and Self-Train

  10. Offer Professional Assistance and Advice

  11. Be Awesome.

When all of the above is true, the "search" gets a whole lot easier, and the "market" still matters, but you'll be able to ride the highs and lows a lot better.

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    While this is great advice, I'm not clear on how it answers the OP's question about job hopping. – Kathy Apr 4 '16 at 14:22
  • @Kathy, I accept that part of the feedback, but still think my answer is relevant. I totally agree that job hopping can be negative, unless you look like a "freelancer" and not a "lifer". Freelancers have value, but aren't someone you invest in for management potential – Baronz Apr 4 '16 at 14:36
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If you are at the beginning stages of your career, i.e. less than five years since you graduated college and join the ranks of working class, the year old work history at one place is not really considered job hopping. Also, if you were only employed by two places, people will think you did not find what you expected. After all, it is very easy for a fresh grad to say "yes" to a job offer and get disillusioned after a few weeks. Job hopping starts to become dangerous, if the number of years of experience in your resume is less than the number of positions you held, after 5 or so years.

Coming to how much active that you need to be depends on how quickly you want to relocate. Let me clue you in on one thing: If you are looking to move more than an hour away, or may be two, depending on the employer, they will not consider your really seriously as their first choice. This is especially true if you are not at a senior level in your career. They will look for local, junior developer candidates. So, if you want to relocate, seriously, you may need to quit your job and relocate to the locality before you can be considered equally with the other local candidates.

If you are really unhappy, start your job hunt right away. If you are okay but just want to investigate your options, put out confidential resumes on job hunting sites, subscribe to emails from simplyhired and indeed, remembering not to check that email address from your workplace, unless you want someone to get an idea you are looking to get out. At some places, people know or expect that you will leave and don't make a big fuss, if they see you looking at a new job description from monster.com or alike on your screen from time to time, as long as it is not every minute of the working day, while at some other places, doing this is extremely frowned upon and can result in disciplinary action. Tread the waters carefully while you are looking for your next gig.

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The company is contacting you, it is up to them determine if you're "job hopping" or not. If the job seems interesting and especially if it is in the new location, send them your CV. If you don't respond, you're guaranteed not to get the job.

Make sure you can clearly articulate your reason(s) for relocating. You're going to be asked why you want to leave your current job. so have a well thought-out answer. If a company needs someone with your skills, they won' be too quick to judge your job experience as excessively short.

Having a strong reference from your first job can alleviate any concerns that the reason you left was because you couldn't do the job. No one should fault you for making career moves.

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