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  • Nicky Webster-Hart

I feel that I am underpaid for my current role - can I expect a big pay rise by moving jobs?

The pandemic gave us a taste of working a different way, from being fully remote or unexpectedly furloughed. It showed what employers were made of and the varying degrees of support for staff throughout the pandemic. It gave some of us time to think about what we want to be doing, or others were so busy and overworked that only now is that time coming.

We've witnessed the start of "The Great Resignation", a "War for Talent", the "Stay Interview" and more recently “Quiet Quitting”. It all sounds dramatic and to be clear, this is not meant to be overly dramatic but does show how the market is still evolving.

So if you're going to have any chance of avoiding the ever present freak out about your career, you have to think about what is actually going to fit with you, pay you, and if all goes to plan, make you happy. So if you feel that you are underpaid in your current role - could you expect a big pay rise by moving jobs?

The cost of living is going up significantly. So it should be no surprise that if someone is looking to move roles, a large motivating factor is in fact salary. As lovely as the additional benefits are, such as unlimited holiday, free fruit or a pool table and lunchtime yoga, they aren’t going to be paying the bills. We understand that you won’t be interested in moving for less money (or even the same salary) and even less so in the current competitive job market.

With inflation ever climbing and additional pressures from an increase in fuel prices, real wages are falling at pace. The reality is that the majority of people are likely to be worse off than they were last year and they will have less disposable income to spend.

If as an employee, you’ve only just been making ends meet, you might now be ready to move jobs. No matter how good the business is that you work for, or the job that you do, you still need to be able to cover your bills. Given the recent inflationary pressures and the impending cost rises, we think that there will be an increase in the number of candidates applying for roles.

Of course there are other reasons for leaving your job other than better salary – work life balance, company ethos, commute etc but a counter offer from your current employer could stop you in your tracks and make you reconsider your career options. Why start working for a new company if you can stay with one you’ve already built up a rapport with? On the other hand, getting a counter offer could mean that your employer was always able to make the changes but not willing to do so. Your decision will ultimately depend on your individual circumstance and, hopefully, these tips will help you decide.

Although the new benefits your current employer is prepared to offer may seem appealing, your decision to leave could create trust issues for both parties. Your company is aware you are willing to be disloyal to them, while you may not believe that things will change since it’s taken your decision to leave for your employer to make another offer. This could impact your future career prospects and depending on the type of line manager you have, they may make life difficult for you. Imagine going back in to resign for a second time too. That is an awkward conversation.

The current economic situation aside, do not forget to look at your long term career goals and consider whether staying with your current employer will support these in the long run. Leaving your comfort zone can be tough and nerve racking, however, there are reasons that have led you to this decision. A counter offer may only be a temporary fix and could stifle your professional growth in the future.

If you don’t decide to stay then you won’t be alone by moving jobs and looking for a pay rise, more than 6.5 million UK employees expect to quit their job in the next 12 months, with 35% moving elsewhere for better pay and benefits, according to new research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).

So, what is the average raise in 2022? Here are some data we have found:

  • The average salary increase when changing jobs is 14.8%, while wage growth is 5.8%.

  • The Resources and Mining industry has the highest wage increase for changing jobs at 11.8%.

  • Leisure and Hospitality is the only industry with a negative average wage growth when changing jobs, at -1.3%.

  • Those between the ages of 25-34 receive the highest average wage increase when changing jobs at 9.8%.

  • Bigger companies offer big raises; companies with 1000+ employees offer an average pay raise of 6.9%.

  • Those living in the Northeast can expect the highest pay raises when switching jobs, at an average of 8%.

  • On average, women receive 0.09% more wage growth than men when changing jobs.

So if on top of being underpaid for your current role, spiralling inflation and increased cost of living is causing you to look elsewhere then you won’t be alone. Over one third (37%) of UK workers are consider changing jobs, as a new report from Totaljobs raises concerns about current wages not rising fast enough in line with inflation.

Any experienced recruiter will have their finger on the pulse when it comes to salaries. A great recruiter will have a network of professionals that they have worked with and will be able to canvas and be able to carry out some salary benchmarking for you. Find out more here.

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