In today’s article, we will go over a handful of things to consider when figuring out if you should move on from your current place of employment or renegotiate the terms of employment with your employer.
Should you quit?
or renegotiate employment?
At the time of writing this article, we are entering the year 2022, and the power in the job market is in the hands of employees for the first time in a very long time.
If you think you should consider a career change, find a new place to work with better pay and benefits, or even just get serious about advancing your career, right now is the perfect time to start. However, that does not mean that such measures are necessary for everyone, and this article will help you reach a decision.
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When contemplating a change in employment, the first thing to consider is whether you feel your time and efforts are being valued enough by the company that employs you.
To find out, do some market research for your position on websites like Indeed and Glassdoor and see what other market leaders are offering for equivalent positions and responsibilities. You can also google your job title to find out the average pay range and a list of typical responsibilities.
If you see a disparity of more than -15% comparing your pay to the average, It’s time to ask your employer for a raise if you have more than a few months tenure.
If the gap is more than 15%, the company is either pinching pennies to save money or not caring about its employees. In this situation, it is wise for you to leave the company as quickly as you are financially able to do so. A penny-pinching company is unlikely to survive and not a good investment of your time. In contrast, a company that doesn’t care about the people making them successful does not value its employees enough to compete for their time and has structural failings, leading to an eventual downfall in company success.
Now, suppose the company you work for is not offering competitive benefits packages, and the pay is at or below the market average. In that case, you should probably be opening discussions with the employer to increase pay or benefits or considering a change in employment.
Keep in mind that employment salary and benefits should always be open for negotiation when appropriate. If a company refuses to negotiate with you on compensation and benefits particularly when reviewing your performance and fails to provide sound reasoning. They do not care that it’s you filling the position, just that the position is filled, and you should consider finding a new employer.
The primary things to consider in a full-time benefits package include:
- A range of insurance plans to choose from ranging from free or cheap to comprehensive.
- A minimum of 4-6% max match for 401k
- IRA, Roth IRA and HSA
- Paid leave, paid vacation, and paid sick time.
- And any other offered benefits.
Part of having a job within a company is the expectation by employees to eventually find themselves in higher positions, with more critical or fulfilling tasks, greater benefits, and higher earnings.
While there is no set timeframe for when to expect a promotion, most employees expect 1 to 3 years between promotions. Depending on your company, this may be more or less frequent.
It is recommended you research your job role to understand better how often to expect promotions in your specific field.
Once you figure out when to expect a promotion, you also need to let your employer know your expectations and when they are not meeting them. Make sure they know that the company not meeting your expectations will have consequences just as you not meeting their expectations would.
If you become confident, your expectations are not being met nor will be met. Firmly remind the employer that advancement opportunities and your other expectations will eventually stop being expectations and become requirements. And while you may not wish to sever ties to the company, it may become personally irresponsible for you at that time not to do so.
If an employer EVER makes it 100% clear you will never be promoted within their organization, you should strongly consider ways to separate yourself from that company as quickly as possible.
Respect means everything, and this is no different in a professional setting. In some ways, respect can be even more critical in the workplace than in any other environment, and you should have zero tolerance for any level of disrespect you receive.
Typical forms of workplace disrespect include but are not limited to:
- Rude or demeaning Remarks made to you or other employees.
- Gossiping or about you or others.
- Constant disruptions in the workplace.
- Consistent use of inappropriate language or gestures.
- Explicit or sexual language or actions in the workplace.
- Pushing specific views or beliefs in the workplace.
- Display of physically hostile behavior.
- Your ideas are stolen.
- Credit for your work being taken by others.
- Your time is wasted, or efforts are thrown away.
- Your authority is not acknowledged.
- You are made to work on busywork that makes no impact.
Disrespect can come from any direction in a typical professional situation. It can come from customers, co-workers, your boss, and their boss. And yes, even the company itself can disrespect you.
While being disrespected by customers is often just a part of the job, most companies have a policy that allows you to refuse to assist a disrespectful customer after a certain point. If you struggle with this, consult your manager about such policies.
However, handling disrespect within a company is something many people struggle with, and in most cases, it’s better to walk away from the situation than feed into it. This is why we have things such as HR departments and should use them.
If you ever feel that you have been disrespected by a co-worker, manager, or boss to a point where it is causing personal grievance or disrupting you professionally, it is your responsibility to raise the issue with HR so that it can be handled through an independent party.
HR will not always be able to solve the problem right away. Still, they will document any issues you have and, in extreme situations, force other parts of the company into disciplining disrespectful behaviors where they have otherwise failed to be disciplined.
When HR refuses to resolve a legitimate disrespect issue without good cause given to you, Remove yourself from the situation, inform the company of the actions you are taking to avoid the situation, and begin removing yourself from the company entirely.
If your issue is above the head of HR, there is generally little you can do. In this situation, it is best to consider seeking employment elsewhere.
Toxic Workplace Culture
A toxic workplace touches on a lot of the things mentioned for respect. The difference, however, is that the policies, procedures, and practices of the company cause the toxic environment rather than individuals.
A toxic workplace is highlighted by Unhealthy competition, Unaddressed acts of disrespect, Favrotisim, Cliques, Failure to communicate, Poor leadership, Unenforced codes of conduct, Lack of motivation, Lack of opportunities, and more.
Unfortunately, little can be done by an individual who feels that company culture is toxic to them. The employee can give feedback to HR and management, but unless the people running things see the problem and decide to change, much of this is out of the individual’s control.
If the toxicity is primarily due to one person or group, it is likely a respect issue and not a company culture issue and should be dealt with through HR or by removing yourself from the presence of toxic individuals as much as possible.
If you feel like the environment and culture of a company are harmful to your mental, emotional, or even physical health. Then, it’s probably time to consider moving on rather than waiting for things to change.
Life has this way of doing unexpected things to us that suddenly change our lives and set us down new paths. Your career is no different.
Whether you are getting a new job, changing careers, switching industry’s, continuing education, starting a business, moving somewhere new, needing better hours, or just plainly disliking your life with your current job, finding a better path for you is always a valid reason to stray from your current career path as long as it is responsible to do so.
If you are offered a similar higher-paying job, it is recommended you consider informing your current employer before resigning to see if they are willing to compete to keep you. Consider taking the most appealing offer or going with the better of the companies in your decisions.
If you find yourself wanting some other major change in your life or career path, it is still best practice to let your employer know that your goals and ambitions have changed and what your new ones are because there’s always the chance that your company needs someone to do something similar that wouldn’t be as large of an adjustment for you as leaving and joining another company.
Whether you are changing companies, roles, careers, trades, industry’s, or even moving into a separate economy, if you think the grass looks greener on the other side, it is probably worth it to cross the street and check it out up close.
We can have many reasons for changing jobs and careers and must face a number of considerations when the time comes for any transition in life. However, making a change is not always necessary or advisable, and1 it is recommended to carefully consider why you want to make a change as well as explore the options available to you.
Five of the most significant considerations for your career are Compensation & Benefits, Career advancement, Disrespect, Workplace toxicity, and Different paths. However, there are many other considerations to make when coming to such a decision that will be on a case-by-case basis. These include Job Satisfaction, Location, Commutes, Job-related Stress, Health & wellness, Work-life Balance, Social Impact, and many more minor considerations.
While the best time for a major life change is always right now, you must first decide if the change is worth making.