Should I stay put, or should I make the move? 96% of people would consider leaving their job if a better opportunity came up. And why not? Not only is the stigma of moving jobs on the way out, but it has now become common place for workers to switch jobs every 3 to 5 years, or less.
The reasons for changing jobs are different for everyone, but the benefits of switching things up every few years are often the same – no matter what career path you are on.

You develop new skills

Changing jobs keeps you on your toes and helps develop valuable professional skills. When you start a new job, you are pushed out of your comfort zone and are forced to learn new systems, new routines, new names and new people skills.

No matter how good your current job is these are the kind of skills that can only be learnt from entering a new work situation. Working with different companies also gives you experience of different business structures, which is helpful if you ever plan on starting one of your own.

You’ll earn more money

According to Forbes, workers who stay with a company for longer than two years are said to earn 50% less than their job hopping equivalents.

As annual raises are usually based as a percentage of your base salary, it’s difficult to make a big jump up the pay scale if you remain with the same company. Developing your skillset and getting experience in diverse workplaces means that employers are also more likely to offer you a higher pay package.

Work is more interesting

When we fill out our CAO forms at 17 very few of us know exactly what we want to do with our lives. These feelings of uncertainty may persist into adulthood – and that’s OK.

Changing jobs allows you to try different roles, even different industries, and figure out which one is best for you. That might mean eliminating a few along the way but you’re always moving a step closer to your ideal job.

You learn how to adapt

Technological advancements and innovative thinking are changing the way we work. Now more than ever before, it’s vital that employees are flexible and willing to throw themselves into the unknown.

Changing jobs forces you to adapt and be ready to tackle new policies, projects and personalities that come with each role. This makes you highly valuable to companies that require a mobile, malleable workforce.

You’re in control of your career

It takes a great deal of bravery and self-knowledge to take on a new job rather than just stay put somewhere that seems safe. Job hopping builds your confidence and independence as you actively seek the opportunities you desire. You’re owning your own career, not waiting for companies to hand you what you deserve.

You develop new relationships

Leaving behind familiar work friends can be hard, but by switching jobs every few years you’ll have the opportunity to build new relationships. New colleagues will teach you new things, introduce you to new people and may even become your new work best friends. How will you ever know if you don’t take the leap and make the switch?

If a fantastic career opportunity arises, weigh up your options and consider why moving on from your current position might be the best thing for you in 2018. Ultimately, what you decide to do will depend on your own individual situation but you never know –  a change now could lead to your dream job.

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This post was originally published in January 2016. It was updated & republished in January 2018.