Should I stay or should I go now?
Updated: Apr 24
There are many reasons why you might choose to look for another job, but you need to consider why it is you want to leave your current employer. Is the grass greener or is the root cause something which you can control but don’t have the confidence to tackle the issue head-on?
It’s the money
Very few people are comfortable talking about money, especially when it comes to their worth. This however is a conversation that can be had positively and might make the decision to stay or go an easier one. So, what do I say and who do I talk to?
Q. Is Everyone in the business underpaid or undervalued?
A. Is this a fact, an assumption or chatter amongst current or previous employees? Run your own race, if you don’t think you are being paid enough, have the tough conversation. Ask yourself if you deserve a pay rise, have you met your goals and the expectations of the role, and have you been the best version of your work self?
Q. How do I approach the topic of a pay increase?
A. Firstly, does your company have formal salary reviews, how far away is it and can you hold out until then? If reviews aren’t scheduled then your first stop is a chat with your direct manager, don’t be scared, you’ve got this!
It’s all about the timing, ideally, you want this to be private and not at Friday drinks or the Christmas party
It can be “icky” for all, not many people like speaking about money including your manager. Keep the invitation light but professional, you might choose to do this in person or via email (I don’t recommend a meeting request with no context, but that’s just me).
Q. I have a meeting with my manager about reviewing my salary, what do I say?
A. Don’t be nervous (or try not to be), it isn’t your manager’s first rodeo, chances are they have had the conversations themselves or with other employees. You can even take notes or a script if you need to, use your own language and be authentic.
Be positive, start by quickly thanking them for their time to chat with you.
Knowledge is power, take a look at similar roles to yours by looking up advertised roles in the same or similar industries. Don’t look historically, the economic conditions at the moment are unique.
Ensure that you make it clear that you enjoy working for the company. Outline that you are proud of what you do and mention how you feel about staying at the company. (only if those things are true, if not, then why are you in the meeting?)
Use “I” language. “I am committed to the success of the company”, “Given my tenure, experience and skill set I am looking for a salary increase”.
I read an article released by Indeed.com and this paragraph resonated with me; "Throughout your pitch, avoid words that could undercut your position, such as: believe, feel, think, just, only, might. These words can make it seem that you are not feeling confident or sure—and if you convey uncertainty, your manager may become uncertain, too. Go into this conversation knowing that you deserve a raise and communicate your confidence with strong words that leave little room for negotiation".
Always thank your manager for their time, even if it hasn’t had the outcome that you want, be professional.
Q. I asked for a pay increase and was rejected but I want to stay, what do I do now?
A. DO NOT PANIC (or feel embarrassed)
Not getting a pay rise doesn’t always come down to poor performance on your part, it is time to ask for feedback. You might find that your request comes at a time when the business performance or economic issues are an issue. If your performance is to blame, get feedback, sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth, but it can be invaluable for improvement.
The culture sucks
Q. Do you dislike where you work? Dread Monday mornings? Is the culture good?
A. There isn’t a lot you can do here if there are systemic problems within the business.
Q. There are some considerable problems with the culture of my current place of work, but do you think you can make a difference?
A. if you have constructive feedback and think you can make a difference there is no harm in making time to speak with your manager (providing they aren’t the reason for the problem).
Talk about the problem, don’t make it personal.
Find the positives in the negatives, there could be a silver lining in the discussion. If you think you are too small to make a difference, have you been in a room with a mosquito?
Don’t report a problem without some good suggestions for solutions.
Offer to help drive change.
Suggest an anonymous survey conducted by management or an external consultant.
Q. Have you spoken with the leaders in the business about problems with culture but nothing has changed?
A. Give it some time, change doesn’t happen overnight but if you don’t see any endeavour to improve then it’s time to decide if the stress or staying is worth it. Whatever you do, don’t put up with any sort of behaviour that doesn’t make you feel safe, secure, or supported.
Bigger, better deal
Q. I have been approached by someone about a new opportunity, what do I do?
A. Compare future growth, increased salary, excellent benefits or if this is the dream job you have been waiting for are all legitimate reasons for leaving a company. But before doing anything consider if the offer is truly what you want. It can be such a compliment to be approached but if you think the grass is greener, it might be synthetic. Tips and tricks in assessing if this is your next step.
There is no harm in having a chat about the opportunity, just because you go on a date doesn’t mean you have to get married.
Do your research, google the company, check out their socials, google ratings and even check out glassdoor.com. Searching LinkedIn for current and past employees can be insightful.
You can turn the tables and be the one who asks questions, remember they approached you not the other way around.
o Is the approach legitimate, is there an actual vacancy?
o Retention rates will give you an insight into the company’s culture.
o Why are the roles available (or why did the last person leave)?
o Why did they approach you and how many others have been approached for the same role?
Take your time, you don’t have to rush into any decisions, if you feel pressured this might be an insight into their culture.
I might not have covered some of your questions but I would say if you can't answer yes to at least half of the points below then maybe it is time to move, you aren’t a tree you can move!
10 good reasons to stay in your job
1. I love what I do, and I feel fulfilled
2. I am challenged and stimulated
3. I feel valued and I make a difference
4. My remuneration gives me financial freedom and security
5. The people I work with are a community of people I enjoy spending my day with
6. There is an opportunity for personal and professional growth
7. I am the best version of myself when I am at work
8. I enjoy the work itself
9. I have flexibility
10. I am inspired by the business, the leadership team or those around me