Stagnant Salary? Should You Consider Leaving Your Job?

Urgh! Another performance appraisal has been and gone and there’s still no sign of that pay rise on the horizon. And yet, you’ve worked hard all year, taken on extra responsibilities and developed new skills. Should you call it a day and hand in your resignation? Well, that’s certainly one possibility but before you head out the door, it can be worth asking yourself a few big questions.

Are you happy in your job?

Salary aside, how would you rate your job on a scale of 1-10? You might want to think about the work you do, your interactions with management and co-workers, and opportunities to develop your skills. Job satisfaction is an important part of any role. If you wake up with the Monday Morning Blues at the start of each week (and you’re still feeling low on Thursday), it may be a sign that things aren’t too rosy where you are now.

Is there potential for career progression in your organisation?

Pay rises often go hand in hand with promotions. What are the chances of advancement in your organisation? Is there a clear career path? Chances are if there’s significant growth and/or mobility within the organisation, you should be able to apply for an internal transfer or promotion . . . and ask for that raise. If you’re consistently overlooked for more senior roles, it could be time to move on.

Do you feel valued in your role?

While a pay rise can be a sign that you are doing a good job, employers may show you are valued in other ways, too. Does your manager openly congratulate you on your contribution to a project – in a team meeting or newsletter? Perhaps she has provided you with a gift card for your favourite store or a hamper of goodies? Non-financial recognition can be a valuable reward for your time and expertise in the workplace.

Have you spoken with your manager about a pay rise?

Asking for a raise isn’t always easy. But if you haven’t seen your salary change in the last couple of years – and haven’t addressed it with your manager – that conversation could be overdue. Not sure where to start? For top tips, take a look at our April 2020 post: Are You Getting Paid What You Deserve?

Is your organisation going through a rocky patch?

These are challenging times for many industry sectors. There could be a valid reason why your salary hasn’t budged. If your organisation is experiencing a hiring freeze, layoffs or poor profits, you’re unlikely to see a raise for quite some time. The challenge in this situation is to establish whether your organisation is just going through a rocky patch . . . or running aground.

Have you looked at opportunities on the job market?

If you’ve got the feeling that the grass is greener on the other side, you’ll no doubt have been scouring the job market for potential roles. You may also have researched what your skills and experience are worth, especially in terms of salary. You may have found a range of exciting opportunities out there. If not, it may be worth sitting tight and waiting for the right role to come along.

No-one wants to feel undervalued and underpaid in their job. But salary stagnation isn’t necessarily a reflection of poor performance on your part. Take the time to weigh up your situation. If there are plenty of positives in your current role, you may want to consider staying in the organisation and working towards a promotion and pay rise. If the negatives loom larger – or you simply don’t want to wait around any longer – a new job, further study or a change of career direction could be just what you need.

If you’re stagnating in your current role, explore your options with the experienced team at Optimal Recruitment on 02 8416 4181 or