For many of us here in lovely Corporate America it's performance review season. Time scheduled on the calendar with your manager to go over how you did last year, your goals for this coming year, and that oh-so-coveted information on what your new salary will look like for the coming year.
For many, this conversation can be one of anxiety- and unfortunately often times disappointment. I can recall some of my first performance reviews early on in my career where I was expecting to be rated at the highest possible evaluation only to receive a "meets expectations" along with a 4% raise or so.
For my situation however I was incredibly junior in my role- my first job out of school, my first performance review, what did I expect? As I grew to be more senior in my role and receive more accolades, I did finally receive the highest level of performance review and the highest % increase- which was a whopping 6%.
It was at that time that I recognized that even performing at the highest level possible in the view of the company, I was not going to get the compensation I was seeking. That was when I decided to consider opportunities outside of my company. I had begun to take messages from the recruiters that were reaching out to me on LinkedIn, and ended up taking an offer from a competitor for a significantly higher compensation range. I feel a little funny sharing the % raise but it was more than 4x what the % raise at my current company at the time was. It was from this experience I recognized the unfortunate truth that very often, the only way to see the significant growth in compensation can often be from making a job move.
Now, don't get me wrong, there are plenty of other reasons to make a job move and compensation should NOT be the only deciding factor in making a move. In fact, looking back on it, that first job move that I took was an incredible learning lesson in NOT letting money be the biggest motivator. I was miserable in that job, and it helped guide me into thinking about what I truly value in my work, and the relationship I should have with compensation vs. fulfillment in my role.
However, for many people out there working in corporate America, they just do not fully know or appreciate what their market value might be to another firm, especially in this current job market.
According to data just published from Zippia Research, the average salary when changing jobs is 14.8% compared to the current wage growth at 5.8%. With current inflation rates at around 7%, the average American is taking a pay-cut in one of the most competitive job markets in history. That is Bonkers.
As a recruiter, I see a wide variety of salary expectations from candidates that range from well under market value to completely off the chart. I think this a sign that there is not clear-cut education or understanding in the market value of compensation.
So when you are having that sit-down with your manager coming up, and you are feeling underpaid or underappreciated, it might be worth having a conversation citing some of these factors. And it also might be worth thinking about what is out there on the job market.
If you are considering making a job move, feel free to reach out to me and see how I can be a resource to you. I work for Michael Page, one of the largest and respected staffing agencies in the world, with offices and roles that range from everything under the sun. I specifically recruit within finance and accounting in the financial services industry, however if you are outside of that industry I would still be happy to connect you with the recruiter here who would be best suited for you and your search.
I have been posting recruitment tips every Wednesday over on my TikTok and LinkedIn, this week's was about this exact topic! Be sure to check them out and give me a follow on all my socials I have down below.
So best of luck in your reviews, and cheers to finding your next great role!