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The Positive & Negative Effects of Changing Jobs

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It's not always easy deciding whether or not to take a new job. You've probably spent a lot of time building a rapport with your colleagues and understanding the ins and outs of your current job. But a new job might give you a chance to climb the career ladder or maybe find a better working environment. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages is essential to making the right decision.

Obtaining Better Experience and Skills

Changing jobs can be a positive if you get the opportunity to gain new skills and experience. For those in the IT field, for example, a new environment can give you a chance to learn about new technologies that your former company wasn't using. Gaining additional skills can make you a more valuable employee and possibly open the door for even better job opportunities down the road.

Increased Pay and Promotion Opportunities

Switching jobs can also give you an opportunity to advance your career and earn better pay. If you have a hard time earning a promotion at your current job, changing companies might be your best chance of moving up the ladder. Similarly, sometimes your best opportunity to increase your pay is when you're negotiating a starting salary with a potential new employer. It can be much tougher to negotiate a higher salary after you've worked at one place for a few years. If you feel undervalued at your current job, it can affect your morale and your ability to perform at your highest level. Moving to a new job might be the best way to move the the next stage in your career.

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Unwanted Reputation and Less Job Security

One downside about changing jobs is that if you do it too often, employers might hesitate before hiring you. Training takes an investment of time and money, and an employer might not want to hire you if he thinks you'll just leave in a year or two. Employers might also worry about your judgment and personality. Fair or not, people who switch jobs a lot often get the reputation for being volatile or flighty. In addition, if you do get hired you might be one of the first to be let go if there's a downsizing because you haven't built up much seniority.

Loss of Saved Benefits

Beyond the fact that there's no guarantee you'll be happier in your new job than you are in your current one, another big downside to job hopping is that you might lose benefits you'd get from staying at your current job for a longer period of time. For example, if you haven't worked at your current company long enough to keep the money your employer put into your 401(k), you might lose out on thousands of dollars in retirement benefits. A September 2014 article on CNN Money notes that about 25% of workers who left their jobs in 2013 lost out on retirement savings. By leaving this money on the table and moving to a new job, it might take you longer to save up an adequate retirement fund, forcing you to work longer. In addition, you might also lose out on more basic benefits like accrued vacation time and bonuses.

About the Author

With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.

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