Job-Hopping is a Strategy

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When you think of job hoppers, you probably think of recent college graduates. However, regardless of where you are in your career, switching jobs at the right time can be a smart move. Those who left their jobs in Q1 2017 saw their salaries increase by 5.2%, compared to 4.3% for those who stayed at their current positions, according to the Workforce Vitality Report from ADP. 

Jessica Holbrook-Hernandez, president and chief executive officer of Great Resumes Fast, believes leaving a job before you’ve reached the 18-month mark is considered job hopping these days. Therefore, if you don’t want to become a fickle employee, you probably should stay for a longer period of time.

Before leaving your current job, you should consider more factors than just the length of time. Here are some tips to help you plan your next job change so you can maximize your income.

 

An increase in salary that is sufficiently high

Kelly Brooks, executive director of human resources at talent-solutions firm Atrium, says that the average increase for people who move from one job to another is $5,000 to $10,000. Higher-level executives might not find that kind of pay bump sufficient.

According to Christy Hopkins, PHR, a recruiter and HR consultant with 4 Point Consulting, “if you’re at $40,000, $5,000 or $10,000 is a lot of money, but if you’re at $100,000, it’s not as significant.”

Make sure the jobs you’ve got your eye on will raise your salary enough to justify a new career path before you begin planning your exit strategy.

 

When the market shows you’re underpaid

Your current job may have been stable for several years, but the market may have been shifting right under your nose. Brooks says she has dealt with this before.

She says that while employees who have been in the same position for 10 years are getting annual raises, someone fresh out of college is making more.

Because of this, it’s crucial to track what’s happening on the market. Taking your talents elsewhere may be the best choice if you’re underpaid. To find out what the going rate is for your job, check out websites like Salary.com, PayScale.com, or SalaryExpert.com. Then, you’ll know how much you’re worth when you go for an interview.

 

When you’re able to put together a “success graph” on your job

It is possible to mention how you helped your current company grow profits, but showing the results will impact your salary more. You’ll have a better chance of securing a pay increase if you quantify your accomplishments.

 

When your 401k and stock options are vested

See when your 401k or stock options are vested by digging up the benefits details you probably filed away on your first day. Most vesting schedules start at year three, Brooks says. Leaving before that could give you a financial sting. “That’s money you’re losing, really,” she says.

 

When you’ve got your job bonus in hand

You’ll miss out on your company’s once-a-year bonus if you leave in January. Brooks says losing that money is like losing cash in your pocket. You should stick with your current position until after the bonus paycheck unless your salary increase will be much larger than your bonus.

 

When you’ve finally nailed that job promotion

An old-school job-hopping tactic: Get a promotion (and a better title). Look for higher-level positions. Change jobs within one month of getting promoted.

It’s possible, but be prepared to explain why you’re leaving. Hopkins says that when he sees a resume of someone who has just been promoted, he questions the loyalty of that individual. It would be interesting to know why you want to jump ship if you are the best performer, the top dog, and you earned that [promotion].” There are plenty of valid explanations-such as you feel you are unable to grow anymore-but make sure you can convince your interviewer that you are right.

 

Disclosures

Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC/www.sipc.org), a separate entity. Lee Michael Murphy is licensed with the California Department of Insurance, License 0H18660. Lee Michael Murphy is an Investment Advisor Representative with Securities America Advisors, a registered investment advisor The Free Retiree, Securities America Advisors, and Securities America Incorporated are separate entities. Career advisor Sergio Patterson, attorney Matt McElroy are not affiliated with Securities America Advisors or Securities America Incorporated. Securities America Advisors, Securities America Incorporated, and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice; therefore, it is important to coordinate with your tax or legal advisor regarding your specific situation.

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