Changing Jobs May Be the Only Way to Get a Raise

Sometimes you have to change jobs to get a raise. And more and more people are doing just that these days.

I noticed this the first time at the law firm where I practiced law at the beginning of my legal career. The firm would bring in laterals (lawyers who had been out of law school) at a higher level of compensation than comparable lawyers were making at the firm. In other words, it seemed to take more $$$ to lure someone to join the firm than to retain them.

Since then I’ve noticed the same phenomenon at work in companies for which I’ve worked or represented.

The good news is that, due to the continued economic recovery, more options are available to people who leave their jobs today. And frequently (not always) those laterals will end up making more.

All of that said, Vera, there are people who insist your long-term prospects are enhanced by staying with the same firm or company over a long period of time and not changing jobs. The CEO of Geico (whom I knew) felt strongly about this very point. Of course, he had joined the company at age 18 and risen through the ranks to become CEO, so I understood why he held this opinion.

I doubt there’s a general rule that works for everyone all the time. I suppose my perspective is, if you’re working someplace that takes you for granted and isn’t treating you fairly, and if they’re unwilling to address the problem, then it may make sense to seek greener pastures.

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