These Gen Z employees have discovered the secret to getting a bigger raise—switch jobs A growing crop of savvy younger workers are refusing to settle for modest cost-of-living wage increases. They say it’s all about knowing your marketplace value.


Connie, a 26-year-old consultant living in New York City, felt the need to secure a raise after starting her first job post-college in 2020. She began at a salary of $60,000 and received a raise to $67,000. However, she realized that substantial raises often come with changing jobs. She felt pressured to switch jobs by her peers, as they believed significant raises were unlikely to be given to those who stayed in the same position. After two years, Connie decided to actively search for new job opportunities and received two offers: one for $85,000 and another for $90,000.

Connie's experience is not unique. According to a study by ResumeBuilder involving 1,000 Gen Zers and millennials, job hopping has proven to be an effective way to achieve higher salaries. The study found that 62% of respondents left their jobs in search of higher pay, and 80% of those who left received a salary increase. Nearly 20% of these individuals received an increase of $50,000 or more. Julia Toothacre, a résumé and career strategist, emphasized the potential for significant salary gains through intentional skill building, networking, and continuous job searching while employed.

Kayla LaNise, now 24, managed to nearly double her salary by moving from Washington, D.C., to New York, which resulted in an increase from $103,000 to $196,000. While she was thrilled to secure her first job in tech sales, she regretted not negotiating her salary. She later discovered that some of her colleagues had successfully negotiated higher base salaries. Kayla learned that the base salary is crucial as it forms the basis for commissions and performance reviews, ultimately impacting future negotiations.

However, Kayla's attempts to negotiate at her second job were met with limited success. Despite this, she emphasized the importance of holding out for a job offer that aligns with one's worth. Qetsiyah (last name withheld), aged 22, shared her experience of immigrating to Canada from the Democratic Republic of Congo at 16. Facing financial constraints that prevented her from attending university, she started as a freelancer and eventually secured a position at a marketing agency. Qetsiyah focused on developing her portfolio and obtaining online certifications to advance her career. Last year, she received a job offer that increased her salary from $48,000 to $70,000 after experiencing a lowball offer from a previous potential employer who did not recognize her qualifications.

Currently, Connie is actively seeking a new job and plans to negotiate as much as possible. She believes that it's far easier to request a raise from a new employer, as opposed to approaching an existing manager. She also highlighted the success of a friend her age who consistently seeks new opportunities and has managed to secure a $250,000 salary.  

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