It has long been and unwritten rule that if you wish to advance your career, you will need to move employer, as it’s much easier to progress by doing that than to gain promotion through the ranks of your existing employer.
A recent study set out to test this hypothesis and discover whether it really was necessary to move on to get ahead. The results suggest that we tend to get the best outcomes for our career when we take on various different roles within our current employer rather than jumping ship.
“It is those internal moves that lead to advances in pay, rank, and responsibility, and provide long-term gains in pay and satisfaction,” the researchers say.
When you hop over to another employer, there is a short-term bounce in pay, but a lower level of long-term career advancement. What’s more, when we analyze our careers over the long-term, there appears to be little difference in salary between those that hop and those that stay.
It’s an interesting conclusion because it sits so opposed to the current trend for job mobility. There is even a move towards less long-term career planning offered by employers too.
The authors found that this is likely because when we jump ship, we often jump into very similar roles, with our new employer often reluctant to entrust us with a role we haven’t done before.
This was a direct contrast with internal promotions that often come both with a hike in pay but also an increase in responsibility.
“Choose jobs which offer better opportunities for subsequent advancement within the organization, rather than those from which the main scope for advancement requires a move to another firm,” the authors advise.
The authors believe that their research is one of the first of its kind to explore the benefits of internal and external moves. As such, it provides some valuable insight into both the motivations behind our decisions, and the outcomes we often receive.