Serial Job Hopper?

My questions is essentially, how often can you switch jobs before getting a reputation as a job hopper? 

My background is:

2.5 years in MO Finance @ BB (MS / GS / JP)

---> 1 year in FO (Portfolio / Divestments team ) @ small Infra PE fund

---> 1.5 years in FO (Investments team) @ Japanese Infra PE house

Now I am looking to move again in a few months because I do not like the culture in my current shop and there is no scope for long term progression here (since I'm not Japanese lol).

I am worried that I am moving around too much, and this will look bad on my CV. But I'm hoping that because I've had good reasons for each move it might be okay???

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Comments (23)

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 23, 2021 - 3:20pm

you should stay at this firm for atleast two years. 3 companies in four years is a red flag. 4 companies in 6 years is a huge red flag. 

Think of it from a MD's perspective. Why the fuck would you want to hire someone who was at 3 companies in 5 years?? You already know they will leave soon. 

Apr 24, 2021 - 2:43am

I feel like this is more of the expected path though, like doing 2 years in IB, PE, then an MBA is common. 

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Apr 23, 2021 - 5:31pm

I switched jobs, countries, languages and everything else very frequently. If you really care about your career, I wouldn't change too often. It will be a problem with more traditional line managers and companies.

You may be able to explain some career moves (eg fit/culture, need a new challenge, been offered a promotion elsewhere, etc).

  • Works at Other
Apr 23, 2021 - 9:54pm

Personally, I wouldn't care about it. To be it sounds you've taken progressively harder/more interesting positions, but that can be coming from the perspective of others who have done something similar to you. Otherwise, I think that's why people would question it. Ultimately, it's your career and if you feel the choice is right, then do it. I wouldn't hold it past you at all. The company isn't necessarily looking out for your best interests anyway so do what's right for you.

Apr 23, 2021 - 10:44pm

I think it all depends on how you frame your decision-making process in interviews. I'd recommend coming up with an alternate explanation instead of pointing to the culture (e.g., you want more responsibility, switching cities/regions, family, etc.) when it comes to your next switch, but other than that, I think it's doable. Good luck!

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Apr 24, 2021 - 1:20am

I was 2.5y job type A, 6 months job type B, and am now 1y and change of job type C and am looking for D. I have no trouble because B was a mutual agreed upon time frame kind of like an internship (it was a chance to do something different because of the lag in on cycle PE), and C is not a good fit, so I don't look like a flake. So, I disagree with rest of the thread

Apr 24, 2021 - 8:11am

Who gives a shit what people might think? Just focus on improving your situation with each move. That's all that matters.

Companies are desperate for talent and as long as you have a good story for the moves you've made and why this job is the one you really want, you'll be fine.

Apr 24, 2021 - 8:21am

You are going to be viewed as a job hopper by most, not all, people. As you progress in your career it becomes more of an issue when you're interviewing for more career track opportunities. That said, it really only impacts your ability to find the next job so if you're able to keep convincing people to hire you than go for it.

Apr 24, 2021 - 8:55am

Unfortunately, for most hiring managers this would be a red flag. It sounds like you have good reasons for the moves but if there is another candidate with similar experience to you and shown "staying power" then you can see how you might not be top pick. In addition, recruiters may also see this as a red flag as some recruiters have to find a replacement at no cost if the candidate leaves within a set period of time.

It is worth thinking about what you have learned from each of the moves you have made and whether it was possible to identify any of the issues that led you to leave before joining those firms. 

Apr 24, 2021 - 11:15am

As you can already tell from the responses, the answer is somewhat ambiguous here. Let me add yet another mixed response based on my experience.

Some managers will absolutely view you as a job-hopper, may write you off before the introductory interview. Others won't care. I think that as long as you have valid reasons for moving it's fair game. If you can stick it out to hit the magical 2y mark it's much less of a flag.

We have a pretty rigorous interview process and have hired folks with similar resumes. They left due to culture problems. We asked at the first interview for detailed reasoning why the candidates had 3 jobs in 4 years and if satisfied with their answer it was just a box to check. One of our best guys left his prior firm after much less than a year.

We put a huge amount of emphasis on fit - our view is we can train anybody to be good at the modeling/strategic thinking/etc but we can't un-train a fully trained asshole. Your mileage may vary.

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 24, 2021 - 11:17am

he will get dinged at atleast 1/3 of shops instantly because leadership does not want job hoppers. I'm not exxagerating either, OP it's not worht it

Apr 25, 2021 - 1:26am

I don't see it terribly wrong. Moving from MO to FO is a justifiable move, just like moving from small to larger sized fund. The only concern would be if you interviewed for a less reputable place, as it is pretty obvious you are always on the look for something better (which is not bad at all, but see it from the perspective of a firm that knows they aren't top notch). If you interviewed for a big name place and you sold your story correctly I'm sure they would even understand your angle perfectly

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Apr 25, 2021 - 9:22am

For those telling you that it has a negative stain. I understand their reasoning. But all situations are different. And most recruiters these days do take the time to listen to your journey assuming you make it to a phone screening/1st round. HHs not as much. If you were jumping from IB to IB to IB or PE to PE to PE, then yeah that'd be something that would have a negative mark. But if you're showing that you're using the opportunities and experience you have to leverage into better opportunities, then you need to sell that to them.

I know several ppl who've come from non-target backgrounds who've had to start off in non-IB roles and fight the uphill battle. Me myself have done 1 (sales non-IB) + 1 (management consulting) + <1 current (IB). I'm thinking of making a jump but not actively looking. If a MF/HF reaches out to me though I'll def get the ball rolling.

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