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Job Hopping For Dollars

12 May 2008 7 Comments

In my last post about how to move up quickly in your career during your 20s, a reader made a comment about switching jobs to attempt to raise your salary. Well, depending on your industry, he’s right. You can definitely jump from company to company to create huge salary increases in just a short time. Continue reading for actual examples and some advice on how to double, even triple, your salary.

Some Interesting Examples

In my first job out of college, I worked for a large IT consulting firm called Accenture. I had a decent salary but definitely underpaid when you compared my productivity to others in the company that were not right out of school and had much higher salaries. After I quit the company, I got a call from an independent consultant who did a lot of work with my previous employer. He wanted me to work for him, and he wanted to pay me triple what I made at Accenture. The funny thing was that he was putting together a team to work on the exact same project I had just worked before I quit. If i had accepted his offer, I would have gone back to my exact same role with the same people, but making three times the money and not under the Accenture name.

Another guy I got to know at Accenture completely believed in the job hopping for dollars strategy. He had switched jobs three times in a year before landing at Accenture; each switch got him a salary raise of 10-20 thousand dollars. I acted shocked when he explained that to me, and he said “That’s Nothing.” Then he told me about his friend who had switched jobs 3 times in 4 months and had doubled his salary in 4 months!

Now these examples, in most cases, won’t apply to your career path. They are limited to more consulting-type industries where employers pay for certain skills. If you are in IT and you have skills that companies will pay for, you may want to consider playing the game.

Some Strategies For All

  • Do not be afraid to negotiate when accepting a job offer. Once you accept the offer, you lose all of your negotiating power.
  • When a company asks you what your previous salary was, do not be afraid to bump it up a few notches. Everybody does it and the employer will pretty much expect it. Don’t be ridiculous and add a $100,000 to your salary; then, you will just look like an idiot.
  • Stay focused on building skills that make you marketable to many companies. The key to job security in the world of a global economy with terms like outsourcing used at every turn is to learn skills that people will pay for. Talk to you boss about positioning yourself in a role where you can pick up additional skills. If you aren’t learning anything on your job, you are missing out, and its nobody’s fault but your own.

Whether you are job hopping around for a higher salary or not, you should always position yourself for that next job. Build your skill set and keep an eye out for better opportunities. Your career is your own, and nobody will out for you as good as you will.

Have a story where you job hopped for more money?  Tell your story by adding a comment below.  Have any advice for making yourself marketable to more companies?  Join the discussion.


  • heromoney said:

    It’s definitely a fine line between hopping too much, and not enough if you’re really looking to boost your paycheque. But I think you’re right, it depends what field you’re in and how many jobs are available. As someone who works in IT I know that there are 100 other jobs out there about the same as what I’m doing now, so it’s quite easy to be tempted to hop for more money every year or two.

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