Last week we started a series of blogs to help you determine if it was time to make a career move. The list we are working from is from the Indeed career page titled “16 Reasons Employees Leave Their Jobs.”

Number two on the list is looking for a higher salary. Under current circumstances, with gas prices up over 50%, meat up 13%, other groceries up an average of 6%, and consumer goods up at least 5% overall since this time last year, often employees look to their employers to adjust for the cost of living, and when they don’t get an immediate increase, they take it personally and want to leave.

When you feel like you are underpaid, it is easy to conclude that your employer is the immediate solution to your financial woes or to think the solution is a new job with a new employer. This especially holds true if it is the same role and you expect to perform the job in the same manner with your new employer as you do with your current employer. Be mindful of what you toss away, be careful of what you push away, and think hard before you walk away.

There is value in the partnership between you and your employer. As with a personal relationship, gaining perspective of what both sides invested before you walk away demonstrates your ability to learn what is important to you (in addition to base pay).

In August 2021, our blog called “Your Career Foundation—Money and Monetary Matters” shared situations where candidates could see the big-picture opportunity before them and the mutual perspective of giving up something now to get something much larger in the long run. They could justify their asking price and discuss their career path and monetary accompaniment with performance. In addition, they understood the value of being able to mediate with an employer that was taking the time to conduct a mutual interview process and discuss what a relationship with them meant.

The ability to contemplate career choices is often the deciding factor between the job and company you desire to work with and the opportunities you must settle for. The blog article I wrote in March 2020, when Covid chaos broke out, discusses how personal responsibility plays into creating career stability, choices, and opportunities.

Recently we had a candidate who was making a move from his current employer to round out his skill set and create a more stable future for him and his family. His skillset is division specific. He received two financially higher job offers because of the current market conditions and his soft skills and baseline technical skills, which were excellent. His employer counteroffered, which he suspected would happen. Although he was enamored by the attention, he understood that his long-term value would only stand the test of time if he chose to leave to grow (if he was not offered a trade-off with equity or a role that allowed him to develop other cross-over skills where he was). Although he might get more proficient in his existing role, he knew that his specific job had a cap on challenge and pay. We did advise him that, whatever choice he made, he should not alter his lifestyle to match the full amount of the raise and instead put aside a nest egg to allow for choices and better control with the timing of his career moving forward.

Below are some pointers regarding money matters for both employers and employees.

  1. Employer: Stipulate how you will financially grow and reward an employee throughout their tenure and outline this before they accept the job to eliminate false expectations once the candidate becomes an employee.
    Employee: Your raises do not come sheerly from tenure or out of a need for a cost-of-living raise. Your compensation package must correlate to your performance (skill, attitude, and aptitude) and the totality of the total labor burden of the company to stay staffed and profitable.
  2. Employer: When an employee resigns for more money and you counteroffer to keep them, it changes the relationship moving forward unless you go back to the above and outline the potential future, including how to address future financial challenges.
    Employee: If you have tenure and a relationship with your employer, they will most likely want to help you resolve unexpected life challenges that come your way, especially if you are known for being a good steward of your finances.
  3. Employer: Being a big or small company does not have anything to do with who you want to hire and who you can afford to hire. It has to do with the overall budget for labor costs to keep you in business. How you allocate labor costs to attract, hire, and maintain staff is key to continuing to build on profitability even when other expenses are up. Create and enhance your labor-budget recipe.
    Employee: Be cognizant of times in your tenure with a company where they may need you to hang tight to give the executives time to discuss your financial request, evaluate what is sustainable for the company, and ensure others who equally perform in the organization are also treated in kind. Asking for a date to discuss the request and their agreement to it adds credibility to both sides desiring resolve to move forward.

The best business relationships between employer and employee are when past, present, and future investments come together, and the people behind the money want the best for one another—working together or not.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

We are always available to help you gain perspective if you are having trouble seeing it.

To Wise Money Talks and Decisions,

Suzanne Breistol


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