If you want to charge up to 50 percent less for the same job, stay in your current company

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The image of labor stability has a facet of companies, which offer a (more or less) fixed position, but also by workers who prefer not to leave their “comfort zone”, and not risk going to worse, giving for good in some cases that of “better bad (or less good) known than good to know”.

On the part of the workers, this search for labor stability is obviously a just and logical aspiration behind which powerful instincts lie, such as minimizing risk or not facing a new environment unknown and full of potential risks. But the truth is that labor stability, although unfortunately a rather scarce resource in some countries, is a more than profitable policy for companies. It is a pity that some do not practice it with more emphasis and conviction.

Labor stability has nothing to do with having an inflexible market

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Before going deeper into the subject, it must be clarified that having a stable labor market has nothing to do with having an inflexible labor market, but nothing at all. Think it over, stability and flexibility are not antagonistic terms at all, the problem is that traditional association of unjustified ideas in the minds of some socioeconomic agents. Another thing is the precariousness of labor, which often does go hand in hand (and even is coincidentally coincident with) the deterioration of stability. It is obvious that, when working conditions are precarious, the situation results in a situation of little stability in which the worker can (or feels he can) be fired at any time, with all that implies for all parties.

The other side of the coin is that if the worker perceives that the risk of dismissal is true and probable, as we are all ultimately, will logically look for their own interest designing a business plan that maximizes their income and minimize their risks. That is to say, it will choose to change jobs more likely, which is an obvious sign of low job stability, both for the company and for the worker, and especially for the triggering factor. In some cases, particularly in times of economic boom, these labor market drifts end in periods of high turnover of workers, which inflate wages without an even increase in productivity, which leads to a subsequent and loud bump in the next crisis.

These ephemeral wage increases without productivity do not really benefit the socio-economic system as a whole, and from this point of view all parties are interested in having a more stable labor market , without forgetting that it must be both flexible and, above all, professional development opportunities for workers, and good employees for companies. Obviously, when we read it, we should not fail to insist that it is the goal, not the most widespread practice.

But job stability does not imply that there should not be a minimum beneficial rotation for employees

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But once our dear readers may be looking at the labor market with rose-stability goggles, let’s put a pinch of transgression, and let’s look at how labor stability, strictly understood as low employee turnover, is not a dogma which must predominate in all cases and at any price. Indeed, labor turnover is only harmful when it leaves certain safety margins, which mark a diffuse (by unexplored) border between the beneficial and the harmful. Work rotation is not bad per se. On the contrary, it is good because it allows companies to offer good and new opportunities to professionals and employees to obtain new and better conditions in another company for their personal business plan.

On the other hand, in certain labor markets, perhaps due to the existence of labor precariousness rates traditionally always above the average, there is also a harmful popular culture of achieving the long-awaited labor stability by accumulating (mostly small sums) and substantial compensation in case of dismissal (put this last point in quotation marks after the last labor reform). But as we are going to see today, this work insurance in the form of severance days and, above all, triennial that are adding to the payroll, deep down, are nothing more than the “chocolate of the parrot”.

A study puts figures on the professional progression of those who stay and those who change jobs

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Possibly many of you think that changing jobs is a risk that giving up a known environment causes suspicion, that one is more comfortable if you stay in your “comfort zone” … possibly take part in your reason, but not all. Breaking the “comfort zone” only keeps our adaptive instincts alive, allows us to keep our minds flexible, and to continue practicing the ability to fit changes in our environment: a quality that is always of great help in the tremendously changing world that we have to live, and that can mutate overnight.

But apart from the reason for personal and professional development that we are faced with facing new situations and environments, there is also the economic part: changing jobs is very profitable and, although it does not resemble some, in the bottom helps to maximize income enormously. As you can read in Forbes magazine article, which was published a few years ago, you can put figures on these differences between those who remain and those who change, and their timeless conclusions are fully current.

As you will have read in the previous link, the figures do not deceive: statistics reveal that staying in the same company for more than two years on average throughout your career, will earn you at least 50% more in concept of fees and income, we say “at least” because the study establishes that 50% as the most conservative case. The premises of the study are based on a ten-year career, and indeed, as the duration increases, wage differentials only increase. We do not sin because of sensationalists with the title of today (as we never do), but rather of prudent.

The question, and the reason why this is so, lies in the fact that today the average annual wage increase of the salary of the staff is barely 3% at best, and in almost all enterprises in developed countries. If we compare this with the wage increases that are achieved in a new job, whose average is between 10% and 20% , the differences are literally lacerating, especially for those who do not (or can not) find new opportunities. And it is also clear that there are companies that do not know (or do not want to) recognize an internal talent that often ends up leaving in search of better salaries, when it is infinitely cheaper to retain talent than to go out to the market to hire him: although of course, the cheapest (which ends up being very expensive) is not having any talent in the squad .

Does the labor market punish faithful employees?

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The most important question is to consider why only those people who choose to seek new professional horizons are rewarded by the market, or, in other words, to answer the question of whether employees are punished in the market for their loyalty to the company. As the Forbes article points out, the answer is simple: all this happens simply because recessions allow companies to freeze their payroll and even decrease their employees wages and new hires by justifying the market trend.

And this recessive adjustment in wages may even be understandable in order not to stay out of the market and, in the face of competition with labor costs that are appreciably more adjusted, lose share and even end up breaking. But what is really damaging is how, in recent years, what should be a socialist trend to a recession, has become a new innate conception of the labor market at any stage of the economic cycle. Despite the similar increases in turnover and productivity in too many cases, a true indicator of the salubrious of salary increases, today it is more difficult to find companies where wages rise appreciably.

And to break this particular axiom and achieve a relevant wage progression, there is no alternative but to take risks and launch the market for new opportunities. That companies let pass the talent with passivity is especially paradoxical, because we live in the period of the business history in which the companies demonstrate more appetite and appreciation for the talent, that nevertheless they do not know recognize internally in many cases. And the vast majority of workers have it to a certain extent and for some type of position, all they have to do is find their niche in the market, attacking a target position that many times no one in the company will seek for you.

Some conclusions that the study leads us will be revealing for some

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Actually, when you change jobs, it is very difficult to know 100% a priori what you are going to find, unless you have a trusted insider (and still). It is logical that many workers are afraid of this uncertainty that is crucial for professional life (and even for the staff), but also remember that if you are mistaken or deceived, you can always change again with the same impunity with which you “have sold the bike”. Of course, the danger is also that in countries with unemployment figures above the average of developed countries, the obvious risk is that music will stop at the play of chairs, and that the chair in which he has had to stay a few years does not like anything at all, or even that he may lose it at some point and stay with nowhere to sit.

I can not deny that this article has a seemingly “great but”: the linked study has been done in the US market. Truly the differences in the American labor market are remarkable when compared with Europeans. But by bridging the gap between them, the conclusions are there, and possibly a study at European level would only force slightly up the percentages. We are talking about human natures and market trends that have spread throughout almost all developed countries, following the generalization of the Anglo-Saxon model. The underlying reasons for explaining these statistics are actually applicable in New York, Berlin, or …

I’ll say goodbye today by pointing out that it’s totally understandable that you do not change jobs because you do not find a solution to your personal risk-benefit equation. It is also understandable that they should seek some stability in the face of family burdens or recurrent expenses such as a mortgage. But what is neither comprehensible nor constructive is that we do not launch ourselves to seek new opportunities simply because we have fallen into comfort, aversion to new challenges, or fear of change.

Keep in mind that if you do not choose to change for yourself when you are most interested in the changing world that has come our way, it is highly likely that change will choose you. And this can happen at the most inopportune moment of their careers. It is always better to throw one’s head to the pool when it is better for one, than to fall backwards when they give you a push. Be brave and dare to decide the “when” and the “how”: staying still is only a guarantee that the next move will not do it of your own volition, and that in the meantime your company will retain its talent without paying the price of market for him.


The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.

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