Here’s the Fastest Way to Increase Your Salary

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If performing better at work and mastering your negotiating skills hasn’t helped to increase your paycheck, you might want to consider leaving your job altogether. The Atlantic reports that, according to the ADP Research Institute, full-time workers who switched jobs received a 4.5 percent pay increase on average, a step up from the 3.9 percent average increase received by full-time employees who stayed put. In some parts of the country the boost is even more dramatic: Full-time workers in the midwest and northeast who changed jobs saw their wages grow by over 5 percent.

It turns out, company loyalty doesn’t always pay off in the end. Employees who stay with the same company for two years or longer can expect to earn 50 percent less on average over the course of their careers, Forbes reported in 2014.

But the instant benefits of hopping from job to job don’t seem to have the same impact on all factions of workers: Workers between the ages of 25 to 34 saw their wages increase more than workers aged 35 to 54. For employees 55 and older, the trend slowed down even more. This is likely due to the fact that workers who are just starting out acquire their skills at a much quicker pace, which leads to more frequent opportunities for job growth. People switching between part-time jobs also didn’t experience these same wage increases, which suggests they’d prefer to trade high hourly wages for more hours and benefits.

And while taking a newer, better job every year or two may sound like a smart way to steadily increase your income, keep in mind that this may be a turn-off to some employers. Companies are more open to hiring job-hoppers today than they used to be, but some will still see an excess of resume entries as a sign of disloyalty. And that lack of loyalty is a two-way street: When an employer is forced to make layoffs, newer employees are often the first to go.

Even if you don’t find yourself in a good place to switch jobs right now, the fact that more people are seeking higher wages elsewhere should be seen as good sign: As workers quit in higher rates, companies will be forced to raise the salaries of their existing employees. That’s good news for both you and the economy. 

[h/t The Atlantic]