Why changing companies may be needed to increase your career and salary possibilities
The career ladder in the 21st century has a very different structure from its 20th century forerunner. Gone are the days when you left education, went to work for a company and stayed there until it was time for the gold watch. Back then, the way to career advancement was getting promoted not changing jobs.
The one-company ladder career path is unlikely to satisfy anyone’s salary expectations or wider ambitions today. The workforce has become more flexible, adaptable and peripatetic. Advances in technology have transformed old industries, inspired new ones and created a demand for skills that simply didn’t exist 10 or 20 years ago.
Despite the multiple revolutions in industry and commerce, salaries – with a few exceptions – have stalled. Increases have been modest or, more commonly, non-existent, which means that even in a long period of low inflation, by standing still, employees have experienced pay cuts in real terms. The economic shock of the 2007 crash had an impact that lasted for many years and then at the end of 2019 reports of an unknown but potentially fatal virus in China presaged the worldwide economic disaster of Covid-19.
Since the beginning of 2020, we have experienced the most substantial period of economic uncertainty in peacetime. Despite the furlough scheme and other financial support, most companies suffered hardship which affected their ability if not their willingness to offer pay rises. It was not so much lockdown as batten down and try to ride out the storm with a business intact.
Many employers chose to offer alternatives to rises in direct remuneration, such as assistance with childcare, rolled over annual leave and the chance to work from home. But while these might be an acceptable second best in the short term, for the talented, dynamic and ambitious a time comes when career advancement can no longer be kept on hold.
However, settled and content you may feel in your current position, it may be that changing jobs is the only way to increase your earnings and move up the ladder of responsibility. It’s easy to become part of the status quo where you are, because the value you can bring to a new environment may only be obvious to a new employer who is assessing you not as a known quantity, but as someone who can make a major contribution and is worth the appropriate financial recognition. Pay rises when you change employers will generally far exceed any in-house rises.
Changing employer can be a way of moving up by at least one pay grade. Even if the new job is at the same level as the old, your new employer will probably offer you more money in order to entice you away. They are unlikely to question your motives for wanting to leave and simply welcome your availability. In fact, the attitude of employers to candidates with long and varied CVs is much more positive than it was in the days when frequent job changes were seen as signs of restlessness or a lack of commitment. Today, long service can look like a lack of ambition.
Leaving aside the issue of salary for a moment, it’s worth considering the other benefits of changing jobs. Your working life needs to remain challenging or you risk falling into a world of repetitive drudgery where you carry out your duties efficiently but limit your opportunities to learn and grow. The more comfortable you are in the job the more urgent the need to ask yourself whether it’s time to move on.
The current economic climate is unquestionably inclement. But it is not your responsibility to delay your ambitions until the storm clouds lift. If you feel that you are under-appreciated or at the very least under-rewarded in your current job, then it’s time to think about taking the next step onto a different ladder. At RMG Digital, you’ll find all the advice, guidance and contacts you need to move forward. Talk to us about your salary expectations and the kind of role you see for yourself and we’ll help you to make it a reality.
If you are considering a career move, why not get in touch with the experts at RMG Digital. We work with a wide variety of exceptional employers offering highly competitive salaries, together with a range of benefits including flexible working and support with childcare.
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