- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

Your Job Isn’t Your Girlfriend, Date Other Jobs

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.