I’m continuously invited to lunch by friends and acquaintances in search of sage career tips from ‘the headhunter.’ Many people are interested in advancing their career, getting to the next level, earning more money. My advice is almost the same – time to change companies. It’s not what most want to hear and I’m rarely invited to lunch again.
I believe that one of the keys to accelerating your career in this market is to change companies. When I was promoted to Director at Apple many years ago, I was absolutely shocked when one of my colleagues said “perfect time to change jobs. Leverage the new title and salary bump.” However, heeding the advice, I did jump ship to a smaller company and landed a VP title and nice increase in salary.
Changing jobs in a warm job market, like this one, can result in a salary bump. Industry experts have said 7% is an average increase but it can be much more, particularly if you are paid under-market or if you have skills in dire need. Changing jobs is a great way to ensure you are keeping up with market salaries—you’ll probably never know otherwise.
But the biggest win of a company change is the new experiences you will gain. New corporate culture, new ideas, new language. All that change will be uncomfortable and that’s when most people grow the most, when they are stretched!
I rarely place someone who has been at a company for over 10 years. Don’t fool yourself—even if you have had a number of different roles at a big company like Oracle or HP, you are very likely not as competitive a candidate as the one who carefully and selectively changed companies every 3 to 5 years. Is it time for you to take a look around?