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You can make a salary leap by changing jobs, but it’s important to consider the overall picture.

Advice and Tips

Changing jobs makes financial sense

Modified: Jan. 7 2024

If you want a substantially higher salary than you have at present, you should consider moving on.

According to Tekna’s salary statistics, if you stayed in the same job over the last year, your salary has probably increased by approximately 7,2 per cent.

If, however, you changed jobs and joined a new company in the same sector you will have benefited by achieving an average increase in salary of no less than 12 per cent – a substantial difference. Changing your position within the same company can also be profitable: those who have done so replied to the salary survey that they had received a pay rise of on average 12 per cent.

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Our salary statistics are your most reliable source for evaluating your own salary, and we can help you during salary negotiations. In addition, we provide you with legal assistance, professional courses and networks over the entire country as well as one of its best bank and insurance deals.

Recruiting the wrong person can be costly

Katrine Olsson works as a senior negotiator and heads Tekna’s employment and legal affairs division. She confirms that employers are willing to pay to get the right person in the right position.

Katrine Olsson
Employers are willing to pay to get the right skills in place in the company, says Katrine Olsson, special advisor at Tekna.

“Very often, people change jobs because of the nature of the work involved and the technical challenges but pay is also part of the package. Employers know this and are often willing to pay to get the candidate they want. Recruiting the wrong person is very costly and employers are prepared to go the extra mile to get the right person. Skills and experience are important, but so is personal suitability. If you employ the wrong person, the knock-on effects can be large and long-lasting for the workplace environment, because it is often difficult to reverse the mistake.

Is the higher salary that goes with changing jobs “simply” a matter of market forces, or does this reflect Tekna’s pay policy?

“These are market forces at work, but our policy supports the view that market forces should provide a guideline. There is a special dynamic to changing jobs; suddenly you become highly visible, not just your expertise and what you have achieved career-wise, but also that a potential suitor wants you on the team. The person changing jobs will also have an expectation of a higher salary, since there are uncertainties associated with changing jobs.

What is the upper limit on what you can ask for?

“You do need to exercise some restraint and most employers will opt for a level that is seen as fair by the other employees of the company. Employers will want to avoid major differences internally between employees working at the same level of the organisation. There are also major differences between various sectors. The public sector is subject to tighter constraints than the private sector, although in some areas of the private sector there will also be very little leeway. 

A salary reduction is unlikely

Helge Prestrud Astad has used Tekna’s salary statistics when looking for a new job, in order to have a yardstick against which to measure his new salary. However, he says that pay was not the main motivating factor for changing jobs.

“One would like to be able to say that professional challenges mean the most, but if the salary is better, then it makes the choice that much easier. It would have taken a lot for me to go down in pay at my time of life. I have a mortgage and other financial commitments, just like everyone else.”

Do you have any thoughts on how often you will change jobs during the course of your career?

“I’m 42 years old now, so I can still change jobs a couple more times. After that, I have heard that changing jobs becomes harder, although that won’t necessarily be the case if you have the right attitude. But at the moments I’m very happy and I have a well-defined and clear career path which will make it attractive for me to stay where I am for a long time.”

Look at the package as a whole, not just the salary

Tekna’s senior negotiator, Katrine Olsson, says that salary should not always be the decisive factor in whether or not you change jobs.

“A good environment at work, friendly colleagues, work that you enjoy, a good pension scheme and a workload that suits you are all factors that you should consider – changing jobs will not always turn out to be a good idea. When it comes down to it, the question will be what is important to you, what are you prepared to live with. This will be an overall assessment that it is up to the individual to perform. But if you have been attempting to negotiate a pay rise for a long time without success, you could consider looking for something new.

What are you earning compared to others?

Are you wondering how your salary compares to others working at your same level? 

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