Loyalty isn’t always rewarded. Here’s how to get a big raise when you job hop, no matter what industry you’re in.
Quit your way to higher pay.
The reality for many workers in America is that loyalty to one company doesn’t pay. For example, full-time workers who switched jobs in the first quarter of last year saw a 5.2% increase in salary, versus a 4.3% increase for those who stayed at their current company, according to the Workforce Vitality Report from ADP. By some estimates, job hopping can increase your salary by $5,000 – $10,000 a year — which can be a huge jump for lower-paid workers and those just starting out.
But in some industries job hopping is rewarded more than others. Salary firm Payscale recently looking at more than 310,000 salaries from five popular job titles in different industries — registered nurses, software developers, administrative assistants, staff accountants, and operations managers — to see which of these jobs monetarily rewarded workers who stayed put, and those that didn’t.
Software developers and accountants should definitely be job hopping. Those who stay put in their jobs earn 10% less than new hires. Meanwhile, operations managers and administrative assistants who stay put in their jobs earn 21% and 19% more than new hires. For nurses, job hopping doesn’t much impact their pay either way. “The results show loyalty pays off for some jobs, but not for others,” says economist Chris Martin, PayScale’s director of research.
Of course, this is only a small subset of careers — but even so, there’s a lot you can learn from this research. “Whether you’re leaving money on the table by sticking at your company depends on your job and the current labor market,” explains Martin. So, use online salary comparison tools from sites like Salary.com or Payscale.com to determine if you’re being paid fairly for the position you’re in, says Call to Career founder Cheryl Palmer: “The most important thing is to do your salary research to find out what the market will bear.” Adds Martin: “Use this information to decide whether you want to go on the job market this year, or to leverage it in salary negotiations with your current employer,” he adds.
Whether you decide to jump ship or stay put, if you want to get paid more, there are a few key things you should do. “it is a good idea to reiterate your qualifications when you are negotiating salary,” says Palmer — noting achievements, experience, personality traits and anything else that makes you a stand-out candidate for higher pay.
And, says NYC-based career strategist Carlota Zimmerman, “a big part of making a successful financial leap is to go into the new position with talking points regarding what money you’re looking for.” Know exactly how much you want and ask for a salary range rather than stating a single number, a Columbia University study shows. So if you want $55,000, you should state that you want a salary that is between $55,000 and $60,000.
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