A recent Bloomberg article on the labor market, “Job Switchers in U.S. Tech, Construction, Are Getting the Biggest Raises,” (07/24/19) showed that in the month of June people who switched jobs averaged wage growth of 5.3%, with the sector technology clocking in at 9.7% wage growth. Wow!
With low unemployment, the current labor market has tilted in favor of the employee. In short, the job market is hot. Companies are trying harder to attract workers, so now seems like the right time to jump jobs before the global economy slows down and the labor market contracts.
So, let’s say you’ve got a job offer on your desk, and it includes a hefty increase in salary over what your current company pays. How do you evaluate whether to consider new opportunities based on money?
You need to ask yourself – “Is the grass actually greener?” Offering more money than what you’re making now is one of the easiest ways a company can attract attention. An employer will conduct cost/benefit analysis of what can be offered to prospective employees, and based on those budgets they It’s an effective lever, and that is why there is greater wage growth at bigger companies (who have deeper pockets) than at smaller ones – they have the resources to offer more. However, salary is only one component of a compensation package. Do your own cost-benefit analysis. It may or may not be worth it.
Remember those numbers from the article – 5.3% (average) and 9.7% (tech) wage growth? If you have a salary of $65,000 your 5.3% increase would be to $68,500, or an increase of $3,500. A 9.7% increase would total $71,300, or an increase of $6,300! That’s not a terrible place to start. But there may be hidden pitfalls. A salary increase may put you in a higher tax range, or there may be employee benefits you have now, like a 401(K), that are not offered in the new job. Run the numbers.
More money does not make a job better, nor does it automatically make your quality of your life better. As you look at other opportunities, really examine all the facets of the job. Simple factors like commuting distance, transportation, parking, and daycare can easily offset some of the financial gains.
Assess the risk. Jumping from one job to another is a risk every time. If you switch jobs too often, it may have a boomerang effect as potential employers may (fairly or unfairly) question whether you’ll stick around or leave as soon as somebody offers you even more money. And try to remember – company loyalty to employees is as much a thing of the past as Julius Caesar; all too often, excited new hires can end up in the unemployment line months after their start date when a corporate buyout or layoff occurs.
You've run the numbers, assessed the risks of the new company, and the jump still looks good. Now do the same for your current situation. Ask yourself, “Am I happy in this job?” What would you be leaving behind? Pension? Benefits? Growth opportunities? A promotion? Co-workers with whom you’ve become friends? Run it through all the quadrants, so to speak, and come up with your “true value” of staying and your “true cost” of leaving.
Corporate culture. This is the all-important wild card. If you have “found your people,” that is much bigger than dollars and cents. If you are happy where you are, and why you are there, your unique “fit” with a company may be worth way more than a few thousand dollars. Especially if your new employer has a reputation for being a “challenging” environment.
Philip Roufail contributed to this article.
Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, career coaching services, and outplacement services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the website, www.insidercareerstrategies.com.