As salaries continue to rise, how can you be sure you are getting what you are worth in today’s market? Is your current position offering everything that you want? Or should you take that interview and explore other options?
There are plenty of reasons to update your CV and schedule a few interviews. Primarily, casting your net can act as a negotiating tool in pursuing a salary increase at your present position. There are other real advantages to dipping your toe back into the job market on a regular basis:
- You can sharpen your interview skills.
- You can stay abreast of changing expectations.
- You might find an organization or practice where you would really like to work.
- You might open up new avenues for career progression that hadn’t previously been on your radar.
- You can determine if you are happy where you are.
Of course, with as many opportunities as there are and institutions available to explore new employment, there is still a limit to what an individual healthcare professional can define as an ideal situation. However, there is no reason why any of these benefits should not be worth considering.
The Interview Dilemma
It is likely you have been contacted by recruiters on more than one occasion. But next time a recruiter contacts you about a position, strongly consider at least taking a look.
Although the recruiter – or their client – won’t want you wasting their time, that is not the point here; it is always worth exploring the other avenues open to you. And it is worth noting that you can’t judge a job opportunity unless you fully explore it.
A job description says very little about the organizational culture, the people you’d be working alongside and the other little day-to-day realities that make a position worthwhile and enjoyable. The only way to really understand those factors is to witness or, ideally, experience them for yourself.
Of course, this is what a job interview is designed to do – to offer you a glimpse into whether this role, the organization and its culture fits with what you want – as much as for the interviewer to determine whether they think you would be a good fit.
Depending on your specialty, unless you live in a big metropolitan area, there may not be that large a pool of possible employers – or, indeed, healthcare recruitment companies – local to you. This means that you’ll need to adhere to some ground rules if you are going to see what else is available to you.
- Communicate honestly with your recruiter and your potential employer, so everyone knows where they stand.
- Find a reputable recruiter to work with you; one with specialist medical expertise and experience, so they understand you, your desires and your expertise and have established links into employer organizations.
- Ensure you communicate in a timely manner with everyone involved; don’t leave people waiting for a response, especially for a job you’re not interested in.
- If you’re going to interview, you should know in the back of your mind that you’d be prepared to make that move – even if you don’t think you’re looking “seriously”; if an opportunity takes you by surprise and really excites you, are you in a position to make the big move?
Following these guidelines is vitally important, because – even if you aren’t interested in the job on the table – you can’t be sure when you may cross professional paths again with your interviewer. Acting unprofessionally now could cost you a job – or another opportunity – that you are really interested in later.
How to Deal With the Counter-Offer
So, you’ve got an offer on the table. It’s exciting. The team is great. The pay is a substantial increase. But, your current institution doesn’t want to lose you. They make a counter-offer. It’s what you wanted when you embarked on your initial job search, but now you’re not so sure… the new role has so many exciting elements.
Trying to make sense of this type of decision can be overwhelming, because there are no right or wrong answers, you can only do what you think is the best decision for you at that point. But don’t let that dilemma hold you back. Changing roles is a good way to keep your salary on track. Annual inflation compensation increases usually hover around the 3% - 5%
mark. But when you get recruited into a new position, these are generally lateral moves. You can negotiate significant raises with organizations that want to recruit you if they think you are the right person for the role. Equally, your organization is likely to offer you an increase in salary if they don’t want to lose you to another organization.
As we’ve already noted, using a job offer as a negotiating tactic with your current employer can be a risky strategy. If you aren’t sure you want to leave and then don’t receive a counter-offer from your current employer, what do you do?
Do you stay and reinforce the idea you aren’t worth the raise? Or go to a job you’re not certain you want? For this reason, it’s vital you only employ this strategy with a job you’d be prepared to accept. Whatever you decide, you can’t know whether you’d be prepared to jump ship unless you actually go to that interview. And, if you do, you might find yourself getting something a lot more valuable than the opportunity to negotiate a pay raise: a new understanding of the possibilities available to you in the physician job market.
Why You Should Go To That Interview (Even if You Don't Want To),
The Muse for Forbes.com www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2013/04/22/why-you-should-go-to-that-interview-even-if-you-dont-want-to/#481f492d75a8
TED Talk: Our Unhealthy Obsession with Choice, Renata Saleci www.ted.com/talks/renata_salecl_our_unhealthy_obsession_with_choice
Should You Use A Counter Offer To Land A Raise?
LearnVest for Forbes.com www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2014/05/02/should-you-use-a-counter-offer-to-land-a-raise/3/#7c6ae6fb79aa
Long Term US Inflation: Average Annual Inflation by Decade
, InflationData.com www.inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/Long_Term_Inflation.asp
As salaries continue to rise, how can you be sure you are getting what you are worth in today’s market?