HiSET Essay Practice Question

In the two passages below, the authors put forth different perspectives on an important topic. As you read the passages, be sure to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each perspective. Then, you will be asked to write an essay taking a stance on the same topic.

Job Hopping is the New Reality

As the corporate certainties of the post-World War II economy have faded away—employer-provided training, long-term job security, and a guaranteed retirement pensions—the question workers have to ask is: what has my employer done to earn my long-term loyalty?

Job-hopping is a fact of the modern workplace. The impact of technology, outsourcing, and offshoring on the expectations of both employees and employers has been profound. Performance on the next quarterly report has become the driver of corporate decision makers. Workers have to realize that loyalty to the workforce is far down the priority list in corporate boardrooms.

This is a new reality that human resource managers have come to accept. It’s simply the reality on the ground of the modern American workplace. Resumes showing a wide variety of jobs—but more importantly the wide variety of job skills that an applicant brings to the table—are not dismissed the way they were a generation ago.

It should be noted that there is a limit to the acceptance of job-hopping. Switching jobs three or four times a year will still raise eyebrows. But migrating every couple of years to new opportunities—which builds not only technical skills, but also workplace culture skills—is becoming ever more the norm.

Waiting around for a position to open up at a current employer might be a fool’s errand. The position may be up for outsourcing anyway. And by sampling a variety of company cultures and job tasks, it is more likely a person will find their true niche and a path to long-term job satisfaction.


Loyal Workers are Successful Workers

According to recent news reports, workers are no longer showing loyalty to their employers. I believe that changing jobs frequently is a big mistake. The reasons for not job-hopping and, instead, committing to a company long-term are both practical and philosophical.

Building a resume that shows steady progress up the ladder at one company makes for a far more marketable resume long-term. It shows a willingness to learn, integrate into a corporate culture, and be part of a successful team.

The fact is it takes time to make a mark in a workplace. Like with a fine wine, the maturation process may be slower, but deeper. The longer the workplace experience, the more likely an employee will be part of building lasting and valuable assets within a company. And that is the kind of thing that will catch the eye of job recruiters down the line. To some extent, this is about building trust within a shared enterprise, and trust takes time.

Human resource managers still value job longevity in previous positions. It shows an ability to be a stable force in a company. Recruiting is an expensive proposition for companies, and employees who stay on in their positions and don’t make the company incur the cost of replacement are valuable for that reason alone.

There’s also more to life than a job. Staying put in a job also probably means staying put in a house or apartment and, ultimately, a community. Job-hopping means regularly moving—or at a minimum changing commuting routines—and often results in losing touch with friends and coworkers. This is even more of a factor if children are involved, since they too might be uprooted from their community and school.


Write an essay that explains your position on workplace loyalty.

As you write your essay, make sure you support your position using evidence from the two passages along with reasons and examples from your own experiences. Your essay should also acknowledge opposing ideas and arguments. After you finish your essay, make sure you take a few minutes to check your writing for proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar.

Use this prompt to write a HiSET practice essay. After you complete your essay, you should try to get feedback from a friend, mentor, or teacher. You can also review our sample response: HiSET Essay Sample Response.