07/10/2018 Stephanie Anderson

Is now the time to quit for a salary win?

Are you pondering the possibilities of a new position? Dreaming of a big pay raise and advancement opportunities? There are pros and cons to starting over in a new job, but if timing really is everything, now is as good a time as any based on the current U.S. economic situation.

Workers are gaining a big confidence boost backed by the good economy, where the job market slants heavily in favor of the job seeker. In many locations and industries, available jobs outnumber available candidates. That means top talent is in high demand and enjoying high salary bumps as well as other perks.

The Wall Street Journal article, “In this economy, quitters are winners” speaks to this trend: “Workers tend to get their biggest wage increases when they move from one job to another. Job-switchers saw roughly 30 percent larger annual pay increases in May than those who stayed put over the past 12 months, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.”

It’s often true that employees get larger wage increases when they move to new positions when compared to annual pay raises at their current employer. A 30 percent larger increase is enough to capture even the most loyal employee’s attention. This is noteworthy for employers who are hurting for talent: Salary and incentive offers must be top notch to compete!

For job seekers, it’s easy to be blinded by the dollar signs, but don’t let that be the only reason you jump ship. There are many things to consider to ensure you’re making a smart professional move. Take into account work-life balance, your commute, advancement opportunities and cultural fit. These are all considerations for long-term success and satisfaction. The extra money is fantastic, but it won’t help you much if you end up miserable.

For professionals who don’t necessarily want to make a move but feel they deserve more, this is the perfect time to make your case. If you’re not being compensated well enough considering the current job market climate, consider asking for a raise. Do your research, plan your points and present your rationale for a pay increase. Your employer may give you what you want in order to keep a high-quality worker. If a raise isn’t possible, try to negotiate other benefits, such as flextime, PTO or educational reimbursement.

Smart employers will be paying close attention to this trend, too. Job hopping is costly and can be a detriment to the company’s reputation and bottom line. It’s a good time to invest in your existing employees so that you don’t lose institutional knowledge, momentum and ultimately, valuable talent.

Think about it: The cost of hiring a new employee is roughly 16 percent of their annual salary. Why not consider a 10 percent raise for employees you would absolutely hate to lose? You’ll ultimately be saving money while simultaneously supercharging morale. When quitters aren’t losers anymore, it’s time to think outside the box and go above and beyond. If you don’t, your competitors will.

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