Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

When Should Salary Trigger A Decision To Leave?

2014-01-03 09:36:41
Shortcut URL:

One of the biggest motivators for starting a new job search is compensation. The common questions recruiters get asked: “I am looking for a new job and I know I am underpaid at my current position, how do I answer the salary question from the recruiter?” and “How do I figure out what I should be making?” Usually this is in response to base salary, or base plus bonus. In today’s world, the average length of employment has seriously deteriorated to 1-5 years. Factors leading to this statistic include GenY’s job hopping tendencies, some of it is a result of the massive layoffs and restructuring of the recession, technology that has created and destroyed market segments account for some of it, but the bottom line is this: new hire salaries rise faster than internal compensation.

If you have been at your job for more than 3-5 years and your salary increases tend to be a standard 3-7% “cost of living” adjustments, I recommend doing some research on sites like , or even a general overview on Glassdoor . Generally if you fall within the 65th+ percentile, you are being compensated fairly. Keep in mind that this is *just* base salary; if your company has killer benefits (like employer paid health premiums, or onsite perks such as free food), you need to factor these into your calculations. If you have equity in the company (for example stock) and the company has been growing, this could also make an impact in your decision.

While money is never the only reason to leave a job, it can be an indicator of a company’s culture, growth, and overall value of employees. I have one friend that has been with her company a very long time and she shared her salary with me and I was floored at how low her pay is. I have been actively helping her look for a new job and given her detailed information about what she *should* be making, which is more than double what she currently brings home.

Looking for a new job is scary and stressful, especially if you have been with a company for a very long time. Money should never be the only reason to look for a new job, but it isn’t unheard of for someone to leave a company for a year or two and come back and start again with a significantly higher salary. That is what a friend of mine is contemplating. His manager basically told him that he wasn’t ever going to be able to get a raise to make what he is worth if he didn’t leave. He’s been gone just a little over two years, and is checking his old company to see if there are any openings, just in case.

Industry Profile - Recruiters
Using Dissent To Enhance Your Social Influence Online

Comment on this blog
Your name:

Your email (will not be displayed):



Enter the text above to help us filter spam:

This article also appears on
Human Resources