For me, the choice to quit my job to get a raise was a no-brainer. I’d stayed with my employer for 3 years back in Vancouver, but it was a small company with no room to grow. In order to get a better title and increase my salary, I had to spread my wings elsewhere.
Well, elsewhere turned out to be Toronto, and although it’s only been a year since I left that first employer, it was one of the best financial decisions I’ve ever made.
Unlike previous generations, the idea that you can stay with one company for 30 or so years and work your way up the pay scale is a thing of the past. Nowadays a lot more people jump ship after about 2 years according to Forbes, and those who don’t do the same end up making 50% less than those who do. This of course goes against everything I grew up learning from my parents, who have both been with their employers for the majority of their careers. I was taught that you should be loyal to your employer, otherwise you would end up looking like a job hopper.
Seeing as I did a bit of job hopping in the first few months of landing in Toronto, I was terrified that my resume would end up looking like one big red flag to potential employers. I even considered sticking it out at one of the jobs I got for fear of damaging my job history. But in the end I just couldn’t do it. None of the jobs I had were what I really wanted to do, and with my education and work experience, I knew I could do better (and deserved better).
So, I went back to school to brush up my skill set and kept job hunting until I finally landed my dream job. I know it’s easier said than done, and it’s hard leaving a job that you’re comfortable in, but from my experience it’s definitely worth it. Don’t believe me? Here’s some of the numbers to show you how I almost doubled my pay in 4 years by not sticking with the same employer.
Job #1 (Vancouver employer, 2010 – 2013)
Stayed at this job for 3 years and within that period received a 15% increase in salary.
Job #2 (Toronto employer, 2013 – 2014)
I was only at this job for 6 months, but my start pay was a 15.94% bump from Job #1. Considering I had to wait 3 years to get a similar pay bump, and there was no way I could have gotten an additional 15% pay raise on top of that if I had kept that original position, quitting and jumping into a new job was definitely worth it.
Job #3 (Toronto employer, 2014 – present)
I’ve only been at this job for a few weeks, but it is everything that I have been searching for. I love my role, my co-workers are awesome, and to top it all off the base salary was a 32.50% pay raise from Job #2. That means that in 4 years I was able to increase my salary by 43.39%. And if you want me to discount the money I spent going back to school (which was $2,100 in total), I still increased my salary by 41.06%.
There are of course several factors that could have effected this outcome. For one, I moved to Toronto because there are more options for jobs (and better paying jobs) in comparison to Vancouver. Going back to school is definitely another factor and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have landed my current job without it.
And finally, I switched industries. Previously I’d worked in the arts and media industries, and they aren’t exactly known for their high paying jobs. I now work in the law industry which not only is more stable but generally offers higher wages. You’ll also note that I didn’t mention the two other jobs I held after Job #1. The reason being that I didn’t stay at either of them for long and they didn’t really bring any different data to the table.
With all that being said, since I am in a role I love at a great company, I’m definitely planning on sticking with this one for a while. Unlike lots of the other jobs I’ve had, there actually is room to grow here.
And although I can’t guarantee that I’ll stay where I am for the next 30 years, I am happy knowing that all of my past job hopping was absolutely worth it because it got me to where I am now, and got me the salary that I know I’m worth.
Have you switched jobs/companies to get a raise? What has your experience been like?