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High Performing Employees Who Stay In Companies Longer Than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less Over Their Careers....

Did you check that title?  That's the reason you see the following:

--Your best talent, especially early in their careers, will be looking to switch companies to get the equivalent of multiple promotions rather than wait on you to do whatever it is that you can do related to career progression.

--Any turnover prediction worth it's salt would say that the biggest flight risk comes with high performers in the 1-3 year mark.  The newness has worn off, and you gave them a 4% raise.

Goodbye.  Nice to know ya.

I didn't come up with the title of this post - it came from Cameron King over at Forbes, and here's some of his reporting:

Bethany Devine, a Senior Hiring Manager in Silicon Valley, CA CA -1.02% who has worked with Intuit INTU -0.72% and other Fortune 500 companies explains, “I would often see resumes that only had a few years at each company. I found that the people who had switched companies usually commanded a higher salary.

The problem with staying at a company forever is you start with a base salary and usually annual raises are based on a percentage of your current salary. There is often a limit to how high your manager can bump you up since it’s based on a percentage of your current salary. However, if you move to another company, you start fresh and can usually command a higher base salary to hire you.

Companies competing for talent are often not afraid to pay more when hiring if it means they can hire the best talent. Same thing applies for titles. Some companies have a limit to how many promotions they allow each year.

Once you are entrenched in a company, it may become more difficult to be promoted as you may be waiting in line behind others who should have been promoted a year ago but were not due to the limit. However, if you apply to another company, your skills may match the higher title, and that company will hire you with the new title. I have seen many coworkers who were waiting on a certain title and finally received it the day they left and were hired at a new company.”

Here's some math cited by King:

"Jessica Derkis started her career earning $8 per hour ($16,640 annual salary) as the YMCA’s marketing manager.  Over 10 years, she’s changed employers five times to ultimately earn $72,000 per year at her most recent marketing position.  This is approximately a 330% increase over a 10 year career.  Derkis’ most recent transition resulted in a 50% increase to her salary.  Derkis’ is a great example of how “owning your career” can make a huge difference in your income and career path."

It's the oldest game in the world related to high performers.  Pick up experience on your company's dime, then cash in by changing companies at the 2 year mark.

Don't hate the player, hate the game.  It's the game we create inside our companies, and it's the biggest issue going related to keeping the talent you really want.



It's not limited to HP's...I was at a company 12 years, stuck at 3-5% a year. I left at 62k. 2 companies and 4 yrs later I'm at 92k. Same title.


Nothing wrong with this. If your employer is unable to see your potential and just sits there expecting you to stay on forever with little to no progression in salary or responsibilities, you're better off elsewhere.

But I'd say the key to success is to forget about asking for a salary increase unless your duties are expected to be significantly different. I've never asked for a raise, and when I was paid more it was because, without a doubt, my duties changed drastically. People should not expect a "free" raise, in my opinion.


I reached the top of my salary range for the market in my role, but my boss couldn't see me in any other roles. Really. After 4 years, I jumped ship for a big promotion. Less than 3 years later, I'm up over 40% on base salary, and I'm in a bonus pool. And she's still giving the same story to my former co-workers.

Pay attention, bosses.

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