By Tim Cannon
I’ve heard far too many stories about employees leaving a company they loved for one offering a higher salary and disliking their new position or work culture. I’ll admit, it’s hard to ignore the dollar signs when a better offer comes your way.
And many professionals feel they deserve a higher pay than what they currently make. In fact, the average gap between what employees are making and what they feel they should be making is an overwhelming $15,553, according to a recently released 2016 Health IT Salary Report.
Even though employees are craving a bigger paycheck, the majority of survey respondents agree meaningful work is the most important thing when it comes to job satisfaction. The primary reason for job satisfaction actually had nothing to do with money. Instead, employees listed the ability to make a difference, the fast-pace of the job, and the opportunity to learn new skills above wage.
So where do you stand -- with money or passion? Deciding on leaving your current role is a difficult decision, even moreso when a higher salary is laid on the table. Before you pack up your desk, ask yourself these four questions:
1. How does my salary compare?
While a new company may have the resources to pay you more for your talent, you may already be getting paid fairly for your role. Make a list of your skills, experience, and all the duties you currently perform. Then, compare them to the new job description. If the new offer lists more duties or has harder tasks, you may be signing up for more money and more responsibilities.
Some companies just don’t have the money to increase your salary at the rate you would like. To make an informed decision, it’s important to know what the industry standard for your position is. Use different career tools to understand how your salary compares with your peers. Then decide if your current salary is fair, or if it would be wise to move onto a better opportunity.
2. Do I really deserve more?
Why are you convinced you deserve more money? If it’s because you’re the hardest working employee at the company -- join the club. Workfront’s 2015 report, The State of Enterprise Work, found 81 percent of employees rate themselves highest in productivity compared to their co-workers, managers, leaders, and direct reports.
Before storming into your manager’s office demanding higher pay and threatening to leave, give concrete examples of how you go above and beyond in your day-to-day duties. You may discover you’re putting forth just as much effort as everyone else.
If you really do want to continue working for your current company, set up goals with your boss that will lead you to a pay increase or bonuses.
3. What is the impact of my work?
There’s more to a career than money. At the end of the day, do you feel like your work is important and making a difference? And if you leave, will the new company provide you with the same satisfaction?
Compare both companies’ mission statements to see if one provides you with more motivation than the other. Figure out which job description connects you with a higher sense of purpose to determine if the career with a higher salary will keep you happy for the long haul.
4. Can you talk to your manager/employer openly about pay?
It’s OK to still be unsure about your decision. Consider having an open discussion with your manager about pay to answer any final questions. If this leaves you feeling uncomfortable or nervous, it could be a bad sign. Leaders should create relationships where employees feel comfortable coming to them with any issues or concerns.
Think about your bond with your current manager and the interaction you had with the potential employer. Is the relationship you have now one you’re willing to give up? Or did you have an instant connection with those at the new company? Finding a team who supports and positively impacts your life is difficult to find, so make sure you know where you fit in best before moving on.
If you have the opportunity, make sure you weigh the pros and cons before leaving your job for more money. Having a career where you feel happy, motivated, and have a great team by your side is sometimes priceless.
Tim Cannon is vice president of product management and marketing at HealthITJobs.com, a free job search resource that provides health IT professionals access to 2,000 industry health IT jobs at home or on the go.