Is Leaving Your Job the Key to Making More Money?

Is Leaving Your Job the Key to Making More Money?

Get Paid to Share Your Expertise

Help shape the future of business through market research studies.

See Research Studies

You’ve been in your current position for a while.

You have strong performance reviews and feel you’ve added significant value to your organization. Maybe you’ve talked to someone in the same role and discovered they have a higher salary than you, despite having the same experience level and time at the organization. Or maybe you’re just ready to take the next step in your career. Regardless of your particular circumstances, you’re certain it’s time for a raise.

You arrange a meeting with your boss, prepare your case, and request a higher salary. Your boss says it isn’t in the budget this quarter, or they only offer you a small increase. Maybe this isn’t even the first time you’ve been denied. At this point, you’re tempted to seek out another role and a higher salary elsewhere. Depending on your circumstances, a new position could offer the best financial outlook.

Earning a Higher Salary With a New Employer

Job hopping (changing jobs every few years) is on the rise, and most people leave their jobs to find better pay. In a recent Gallup report, 60% of Millennial workers believed that changing jobs had a positive impact on their career. According to employment trends, they might be right.

One of the quickest ways to receive a substantial salary boost is to change jobs. Wages have only grown about 4% in 2019, but, on average, workers can see around a 10-20% pay increase if they change jobs. Bottom line: People who switch jobs end up seeing higher wage growth over the course of a year than those who stay put.

What’s the Job Market Like for Job Seekers?


Now might also be one of the best times to re-enter the job market. The national unemployment rate in April 2019 was only 3.6%. Only about 2% of workers with a college degree are unemployed. A low unemployment rate coupled with slow wage growth makes this particular moment an especially attractive time to change jobs. Today we’re seeing the most advantageous market for workers in nearly a decade.

The average person will hold about 12 jobs throughout their lifetime, according to a report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. But this number could be on the rise. Younger workers often switch jobs more frequently than older ones; on average, Millennials occupy 4 positions during their first decade out of college. In contrast, Gen Xers only averaged 2 jobs in their first 10 years post-graduation. Workers are changing jobs more frequently to keep up with a dynamic economic landscape—and this behavior is becoming so common, it’s no longer taboo.

Don’t burn bridges when you quit! Learn how to leave your job on the best possible terms.

Why Don’t Employers Pay More to Retain Talent?

Employers are having a hard time filling high-skill positions and will pay higher wages to attract the best talent. So why don’t more companies offer better raises and retain the talent they’ve worked so hard to recruit? Part of this has to do with limited opportunities for upward mobility. As you go further up the corporate ladder, there will be fewer positions available—and the people who work there are more likely to fill those roles for longer periods. If all the company’s needs are currently being met, they might not offer any promotions—which means employees will likely stay within the same salary range.

Job seekers, on the other hand, can find more opportunities on the market that allow them to advance. If you can demonstrate you’re qualified to take on more responsibility, another company will consider your candidacy for a higher position.

Companies are also changing the way they pay their employees. Many businesses don’t offer raises and focus instead on bonuses and variable pay that reward employees for specific projects or accomplishments. Why? It’s cheaper. One-time rewards aren’t cumulative, but a salary increase every year will add up quickly. Performance stipulations can also help motivate employees so they don’t grow complacent in their role.

Starting Your Job Search on the Right Foot

If you’re looking to get a higher salary but haven’t been actively searching for a new job, now’s a great time to start. However, re-entering the job market can be intimidating. On average, every open position receives over 250 employment applications. But you don’t need to waste countless hours sorting through job listings—most of which don’t match the caliber of an executive-level employee. Ivy Exec is invested in your success with a mentoring network and a free resume evaluation for All-Access Members. They also provide a curated job board that’s tailored to executive-level professionals. There’s never been a better time to take your career to new heights—and Ivy Exec can help you do it.

Read more articles about starting a new job search.


Katherine Jamison
About the Author
Katherine Jamison

Katherine Jamison is a Queens-based freelance writer and editor. She tweets @Not_the_whiskey, exists on Instagram, and tries to maintain a blog at

Similar Articles

Show more