Traditionally, jobs were for the long haul. People stayed with one company for several years and built a career there, with wage increases to match their professional growth. Comparatively, millennials and Gen Z are changing attitudes towards job hopping for a higher salary, with both generations often choosing to change roles every few years.
CIPD’s Good Work Index 2023 found that 29% of workers who quit their job did so for better pay and conditions, whilst a further 34% said they would leave their current employer for more money.
Understanding the impact of job changes on salary
But what are the benefits of switching jobs for a pay increase? And is a move worth it?
The latest ONS data from 2021 shows that employees who changed roles and industries had a 12.4% increase in earnings, on average. Those who moved to a different company but stayed in the same sector or specialism also saw an increase with an 8% rise in income.
Indeed, there can be advantages to moving jobs, but not always. ONS also found average hourly earnings were consistently higher for people who stayed in the same role. ONS suspects this is because of the skills and knowledge employees acquire over time, as well as the security long-term employment can bring.
There is a clear difference between the ages of movers and stayers. Younger workers typically have lower incomes to begin with; therefore, receive higher salaries as they gain experience and move roles. Whereas job changers over 65 were the only age group to see a reduction in earnings in 2021 compared to the year before.
If you’ve been employed somewhere for several years, you may have worked your way up within the company. Moreover, your salary and benefits package might not be able to be matched or topped elsewhere.
Assessing your current salary and market value
Before changing roles, it is definitely worth evaluating your existing situation to see whether job hopping would unlock more compensation or if it is best to stay in your current position. Consider whether your employer:
- Conducts annual salary reviews
- Has a career ladder tied to promotions and pay rises
- Provides training and opportunities to develop your career
- Offers incentives like bonuses
- Offers valuable benefits on top of your wages