Job Hopping Makes Sense Only When You’re Not Getting Paid Enough

Recession, inflation and a change in lifestyle are some of the many factors why people change jobs more often. Every single person reading this article did the same thing (or will) at some point in their career. Back when I was straight-out-of-college-just-turned-22 looking for a job, I could kill to leave for greener pastures. What would you prefer: A $15 an hour or $30? What would you have done in my place? Job hopping is slowly losing its negative stigma and the 2008 Great Recession changed all that. Today, job hopping is on the rise and it doesn’t look like it will be stopping anytime soon. Your inability to move jobs could be a major reason why you’re not getting paid enough.

The Best Way To Earn More Money

Three years ago, Forbes magazine noted that employees who stay in the same company for longer than two years get paid 50 percent less. The salary survey was conducted by comparing the average wage rise to the wage rise an employee gets when moving jobs. This was compared over a ten-year period and included the rate of inflation. You might get a 10 percent rise if move jobs, but only a 3 percent hike if you stay at the same company.

Tom Davis, a senior Project Manager in Palo Alto, California, has worked with three Fortune 500 companies. “At my last job, I got a tie pin for two years. Companies hardly care about retention.”

“It’s easier to jump the fence than to negotiate your salary unless you’re absolutely indispensable. They want you as long as you will accept what they pay and are happy to hire and train a replacement at a lower cost.”

It can be smarter for your career to stay longer with one company. Janis Dunbar started her career earning $12 per hour at a construction company. Over the ten years, she was been awarded leadership opportunities, stability and increased benefits for her loyalty. “When you are good at your job, you can request high salaries and senior management positions. If they believe they’ll have a hard time replacing you, they’ll entertain you.”

Should You Be Job Hopping or Not?

One limitation with staying in the same company for long is that your annual increase will be usually based on your current salary. In contrast, when you move jobs, you can request a higher salary.

The same is the issue with job titles, as well. Companies usually have a limited number of promotions they can award each year. On the other hand, if you apply to a company, you can easily assume a new title if your skills will be matched to the title you’re applying for.

Job hopping is still looked down upon. Moreover, it can bring more stress due to increase personal-professional responsibilities and easily affect work-life balance.

All said and done, you don’t always have to change jobs unless you’re not getting paid enough. The better approach is to work where your loyalty or seniority is most likely to be rewarded in the long run. Start asking potential employers, “how do you reward tenure?” during the interview to find out if they truly value your work and loyalty. You never know, if a company truly values it, they will match the offer or come close enough.

Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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