January’s theme for Lean In Canada was ‘Strategies for Getting Ahead’. There are two common strategies that are usually driven by the need for growth or for attaining a higher salary. Getting a promotion or getting new job are these reasons. But how long should you wait for that big shiny promotion? Or if you’re thinking about searching for a new job, when is the right time to leave your company? And is leaving your company even the right move?
It’s easy to get comfortable in your current role at your current company. You already know your colleagues, you know your job inside and out, and you’re performing well. So which is the right strategy for you? Unfortunately, there’s no cookie cutter answer, you have to evaluate your situation, your company, and the opportunities outside your company and make the best decision for YOU.
Workopolis advises that the average employee should wait two years before receiving a promotion (1). The average promotional salary increase was 8% in 2016, as reported by Mercer (2), and as aforementioned, salary increases are usually a heavy driver for change in a career. Global news reports that jumping to a new company can result in a 10% increase in salary (3). But the number of years that employees stay with a company varies from industry to industry. According to Business Insider, employees stay with major tech company like AirBnB, Facebook, and Google for under two years which is surprising since these major start-ups tend to advocate company culture and perks (4). So – you could potentially leave your company after one year for a 10% salary increase with another job instead of waiting two years for a 8% increase.
It may seem like job hopping and seeking higher salaries with a new employer is what everyone is doing these days. Here are a few signs that it’s time to leave your company:
- There’s no room for advancement.
- You dread going to work.
- Your job is the biggest source of anxiety and stress.
If you’ve been there for a couple years and you experience those signs – it may be time to look around for new opportunities. But maybe you don’t experience those things in your company. And yes, maybe if you stay at your current company you may get a lower salary raise than your friends who are taking up new job offers. But there are perks to staying with a company. Mentorship is on reason. You’re more likely to develop deeper relationships with people in senior roles and learn from them. Benefits is another big one. Many companies offer more vacation leave after staying with a company for a number of years. Last, but certainly not least, accomplishments! When you stay at a company for a longer period of time you get to see how your work has contributed to the growth of the company. When you see your accomplishments, you feel rewarded.
There’s more to careers than just salaries. You want to make sure you that you are in an environment where you can learn new things, grow, and feel appreciated. If that’s what your current company offers, you can’t always guarantee that you’ll get those things in a new company even if they offer a higher salary. But sometimes, things like promotions and career growth aren’t available even if your company has great work culture. It’s up to you to prioritize what’s important to you.