Should You Seek a New Position or a Raise?

When you’re trying to secure your financial future by increasing your salary, you typically have two options. First, you can seek out a raise at your current company to boost your earnings. Second, you can find a new job opportunity that comes with higher pay.

Both approaches have unique benefits and drawbacks. If you’re trying to decide if you should go after a new position or a raise, here’s what you need to consider.

When Focusing on a Raise Is a Wise Move

Generally speaking, you’re potentially better off asking for a raise instead of getting a new job if your employer brings something to the table that’s not easily found elsewhere. For example, if the company has clear pathways for advancement, ample training opportunities, an exceptional culture, and a robust benefits package, you’re likely working for an employer of choice. In that situation, your job satisfaction is often pretty high. As a result, heading elsewhere is potentially riskier, as the odds that you’ll get everything with a different employer are lower.

If an employer offers you practically everything you could want and it’s also financially stable (or preferably growing), asking for a raise is worth doing. That’s particularly true if your salary is generally competitive and a raise will keep you in line with what you’d find with a new job.

When Securing a New Job Is a Better Choice

While focusing on getting a raise makes sense in the scenario outlined above, there are situations where getting a new job is a better choice. Mainly, this involves your employer not bringing everything you need to the table.

One issue involves your current pay rate. If your salary is well below industry norms, even a raise may not bring you up to the average in your area. As a result, your pay may remain behind the curve unless you look at other options.

If there aren’t many opportunities for advancement, a lack of training opportunities, and no chances to grow through stretch projects, your career could stagnate if you remain. Along with preventing your personal development, this can make moving on to another company later much harder.

A raise also won’t fix issues with the culture or incompatibility with your boss. Similarly, getting more pay often won’t resolve burnout issues for more than a short period. Pay increases usually won’t make up for subpar benefits packages, such as lackluster medical insurance or insufficient retirement plan options, either.

Even if your current company brings most of what you want to the table, if it isn’t financially stable, staying comes with risk. That’s particularly true if there’s a significant amount of economic uncertainty, as companies that aren’t on stable ground are more likely to face hardships that can lead to events like layoffs. Additionally, financially unstable employers are more likely to balk at the idea of providing raises.

Another point to consider is how your company typically treats raises. Some employers have set procedures that dictate when pay bumps happen. If that applies to your current job, you need to consider whether your situation aligns with the requirements. If not, then even a reasonable request is likely to get denied.

Ultimately, by considering the points above, you can determine if asking for a raise or getting a new job is the better option. If you’d like to learn more or would like to explore job opportunities, The Squires Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.


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