Your Job Isn’t Your Girlfriend, Date Other Jobs

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That’s a line I’ve been saying to a lot of my friends who haven’t been absolutely content with their current line of work. It’s hard to be happy when you’re seeing your co-workers leaving the company for double digit increases in compensation (at three friends of mine have left for over 20% increases in base pay) even though money can’t buy happiness. What you’re being paid right now is not necessarily what your market value is in terms of dollars and cents. While you have built relationships, and those are often times more important than money, 20% is hard to say no to and may even engender some resentment as you realize your current employer may be getting you on the cheap.

So, date other jobs. You’re always a free agent, so shop yourself around. If you go on a few interviews, get an offer and it’s only for 5% more then you’re likely being paid close to your market worth. By surrendering a few afternoons, you are now happier knowing that no one is taking advantage of you financially. If you go on a few interviews and get an offer for far more, then you have some ammunition to reassess what your next steps are going to be.

It’s also not always about the money, you could find out that something another company is working is exactly what you’d like to do. So they offer you 5% to jump ship but you’d be working on something you’re passionate about, even if you didn’t know you were passionate about it before talking to that company.

Either way, you’re better off knowing where you stand and where you can go than if you don’t know either.

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “Your Job Isn’t Your Girlfriend, Date Other Jobs”

  1. mapgirl says:

    I agree 100%. It’s about knowing your market worth and creating opportunities.

    I think you got comment spammed BTW.

  2. jim says:

    Yeah, I just cleaned it up, I think someone found a way around SK… wonderful…

  3. Lrrr says:

    You are so right on. Now that I have stopped dating (interviewing) for more than a couple of years, I find myself increasing curious of what my market value is. So, then, anyone know of a hot date? Preferably, a girlfriend with really good benefits!

  4. KW says:

    But if you are contantly dating around for other jobs, will you develop a bad reputation in the industry? I mean wouldn’t you get labeled and not be taken seriously anymore?

  5. jim says:

    There is always the fear that you’ll be labelled a job hopper and that you’ll price yourself out of the market but I think that if you’re doing this every five years or so (of course this is after I did it after three) I think you should be okay. I saw the resume of a contractor at my old company who did this very thing and he’s making a very good living now… you’re more a hired gun and less of a company man so you’ll have to keep your skills top-notch. Some people are (justifiably so) scared of having to be a strong performer all the time, especially in your later years when the other demands of life are more important.

  6. Amanda says:

    I think this is an excellent exercise – especially when you’re in your younger working years and still trying to figure out what career path is right for you. Being happy with your work – and being compensated appropriate – is hugely important.

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