Show up every day. Do your job well. Never complain. Volunteer for extra work. Sound familiar?
While these techniques are great at building a successful career, I found a much better trick to continuously increase my salary during my career, and an ADP study has numbers to back it up.
Switching Jobs Pays Dividends
According to the Workforce Vitality Report from ADP, workers who switch jobs are more likely to receive a salary boost than those who keep their existing jobs.
“Job switcher wage growth was 6.6% in September , up from 5.1% in the first half of the year,” the report said. This is compared to only a 4.8% increase in wages for those who kept their jobs.
My experience matches these findings. Over the course of my career, I could easily expect a 15 to 20% boost in pay each and every time I switched jobs. Taking a new job is the perfect opportunity to negotiate higher wages. Employers expect it now more than ever.
In addition, changing jobs has a variety of extra benefits, including:
- Expanding your professional network
- Exposure to new tools and processes
- Experience interviewing and selling yourself
- New challenges, technologies, and environments
Extra money is one of the most appealing benefits of switching jobs, and that has never been more true today as businesses practically beg people to work. In 2021, there were about 1 million more job openings than people looking for work.
As a result, businesses are using creative tactics to attract talent.
For instance, Amazon offered up to $3,000 in signing bonuses to shore up its seasonal staff during the 2021 holiday season. In addition, hot sectors like healthcare and information technology are pulling out all the stops, offering signing bonuses upwards of $100,000, wrote Forbes.
“Ascension Health Alliance posted a job seeking a “Physician of Neurology Multiple Sclerosis” in August 2021 that said it will pay a sign-on bonus of up to $100,000.” Many other industries are offering attractive bonuses, flexible working hours, and other perks to lure workers.
How Much Switching is Too Much?
Switching companies is a great way to boost income, but it’s possible to switch jobs too much. As with many things in life, timing is everything.
If you change jobs too many times, future employers may toss your resume aside, assuming you’ll bail after a year or two. In my career, I changed jobs every four to five years on average, but expectations will be different based on your industry.
Additionally, switching to new employers for the wrong reasons can have various negative side effects, and smart professionals carefully balance the benefits of switching jobs with the potential drawbacks.
Remember that the grass may not always be greener working for another company.
Are You Ready for a Switch?
If you are thinking about switching jobs, here are several critical questions to ask yourself that will help make this process go much smoother:
Are you underpaid? Do your research. Look at the compensation of comparable positions both inside as well as outside of your organization. A good way to do this is to find job openings for similar positions. Job openings generally include expected salary ranges.
Do you lack passion at your current employer? It happens to all of us. After several years of doing the same ol’ thing, we get bored. We are ready for new challenges. If you no longer feel any passion in your current role, it might be time to start looking for work elsewhere.
Is your commute becoming a burden? According to the U.S. Census, the average commute time in 2019 in the United States was about 27 minutes, one-way. Shortening your commute by switching jobs means you’ll spend less time in your car (and less money to fill your car’s gas tank) and more time with your family.
Are you working a “dead-end” job? If there is no opportunity for advancement, you might be hurting your career by staying put (even if your salary is respectable). Dead-end jobs prevent promotions that can open doors for other opportunities, like working on new projects and leading teams or organizations.
Is your company struggling? Struggling companies may not be able to afford yearly raises, bonuses, and other perks common to more successful organizations. Worse, layoffs or corporate downsizing might be right around the corner. So if your company is struggling financially, it might be time to proactively put your resume out there.
Are you ready for something new? In my career, I always liked to try new things every few years. I felt like I was stagnating unless I got to work on new projects and tackle different challenges, and this often resulted from switching companies. Each switch came with new coworkers and a very different office environment. Routinely switching companies easily helped me grow faster than I would have otherwise.
If you think the time is right to look for greener pastures, take the opportunity to update your resume and look for other jobs. It’s an employee’s market out there as companies desperately look for staff to fill open positions. From signing bonuses to boosting your salary, there are plenty of benefits to switching jobs today!
More Career Articles from My Life, I Guess:
- Before Making a Career Change, Ask Yourself These 8 Essential Questions
- Starting a New Job? These 8 Tips Will Help You Succeed
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.