Against my well-meaning advice, a good friend decided to resign from a well-paying job where her boss fought to keep her.
I remember arguing against her decision by pointing out that she will give up a senior position as head of a department, a great working relationship with top management that values her contributions, plus seniority in a multinational company that offers overseas training opportunities.
She countered with a single argument: she did the math and the figure offered by her new employer was something she simply could not turn down.
While the grass is not always greener on the other side, and sadly some people find out only after they have crossed over, a fat enough pay bump can help console almost anyone.
In the case of my friend, I cannot help but agree with her in the end – after all, we work for money, so that money better be what we deserve and more if we can get away with it.
So what are the money signs that will tell you it’s time to switch jobs? Whatever your company, position or pay, these are 7 things that should be in your checklist.
#1 Check your last pay increase
Have you ever felt like jumping for joy when you received a pay increase? Most people will say no, when it’s from their current employer. With the pandemic, many companies stopped actually awarding annual pay increases. If your company is one of them, then you may have to go back to 2019 or earlier and see if any of your past salary increases brought you joy. Not remembering any is your first sign.
#2 Remember your last promotion?
Again, the pandemic has robbed many of the opportunity to get promoted. For the past two years or so, many employees downscaled their expectations to just having a job. But the pandemic has also brought a new reality to many companies: doing more with less. Employers admitted that when people resign or are let go, they do not always hire replacements. That means more work for those left behind, which should translate to more pay or getting promoted or both. If you haven’t received either, and no talk of getting them too, that’s one more sign it’s time to start looking around.
#3 Living paycheck to paycheck
If your paycheck disappears the day you receive it, that’s one more sign that you need to look for a better paying job, or additional sources of income. Of course we are assuming that most of your paycheck goes towards necessities and not luxuries. Make a list of where your paycheck goes, and if that list includes rent, utilities, food, transportation and very little else, you can confirm that you are spending responsibly but there’s just not enough to go around.
#4 You don’t have savings.
The only way you can secure your financial future is to start saving, but if your pay is not even enough for your needs, it could be time to switch. Financial experts will advise you to set aside 15 percent or more of your salary to be prepared for emergencies and ensure a comfortable retirement when the time comes. You can actually start with as little as 5 percent or with whatever amount you can set aside, but it’s important that you can save.
#5 Getting one loan and another
Nothing wrong with getting a loan, if you need something now and your income is coming later. But when you are applying for a loan to fund basic needs, like to pay rent, and then need another loan to pay that one, those are just too many signs that your salary is simply not enough. Consider talking to your boss to see if a pay adjustment is possible soon, or if you are being considered for a promotion. But even then, check out job opportunities that fit your skill set.
#6 It’s confirmed that others pay better
Before you resign or make any noises that you plan to, make sure to do your homework. Build your network outside your company and ask around for salary ranges for the same job and position in other companies. If you find that many are paying more, then it could be time to update your resume and start sending it out. The sad reality is that most employees get a substantial pay increase only when they switch jobs, and this could be true for you too.
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Whether you have all 6 warning signs or less, weigh your options by looking critically at what you have, and what you can get if you do leave. Yes, the grass is not always greener on the other side, but if you do your homework, it could be richly different for you.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.