It’s a sad but true fact these days that long-term loyalty to a single employer is often not all that well rewarded, at least when it comes to pay.
According to this Investopedia article, the average raise in the US for 2019 is within the range of 3-5%. When you consider that average inflation over the past 20 years has been about 2%, and that not everyone gets a raise every year, this can start to seem like a pretty paltry increase. When you further consider that the cost of some things, like housing, education, and healthcare have been steadily increasing at a rate even higher than the average rate of inflation, it’s easy to feel like 3% or even 4% is almost like no raise at all, and anything less is effectively a pay cut.
So, what is a worker to do? There are typically two ways to get a bigger than average raise: Get a promotion with your current employer or move up by changing employers. Getting a promotion is highly dependent on the available openings at your current employer. Moving up by changing employers is often the avenue to advancement that workers have more control over, so that’s what we’re going to focus on in this article.
How much do you stand to gain by changing jobs? Potentially a lot. It varies by field and position, but several sources suggest a 10-20% increase in compensation is not unusual for a worker taking a new position at a new employer. When you consider it’s possible (and recommended) for workers to change employers several times during their career, job hunting every few years is a very good investment in yourself.
The increases in pay you gain from changing jobs can really add up over the course of your career, to the point that Cameron Keng writing for Forbes suggests, “Staying employed at the same company for over two years on average is going to make you earn less over your lifetime by about 50% or more.”
To get a sense of what this might look like using some real numbers as an example, take a look at this hypothetical case study from Financialtoolbelt.com. You can see that in their example over only ten years the person who changed jobs three times made more than $69,000 more than the person who stayed at one employer and received regular raises. You can extrapolate how this might play out further over a period longer than ten years with more changes of employer.
The evidence suggests changing jobs regularly yields big benefits, but for most people there are a few roadblocks to changing jobs. Two of the biggest hurdles are concerns over being labeled a “job hopper,” and a lack of time to search for a new job.
Changing jobs frequently used to potentially carry a stigma and mark a candidate as a “job hopper,” but that perception is not as common anymore as the economy has changed and more and more people change employers more and more frequently.
Changing jobs as often as every two to three years is now seen as acceptable (although that may vary based on your field). In fact, some employers now see a candidate who has changed jobs with reasonable frequency as more desirable. Employers know that successfully changing employers requires work on the candidate’s part, and it shows the candidate is both driven to grow and desirable to other employers.
The second big stumbling block for people is the lack of time and energy to search for a new job. It can be a time-consuming and complex process. That’s where we can help. ResumeSending.com streamlines your job search and saves you time. We hope we can help you give yourself a raise by finding a new employer who will pay you what your work is worth.