by Madaline Dunn

The ongoing cost of living crisis appears to be an endless one. Living standards face their largest fall since the mid-1950s. Millions are being faced with dire financial situations and around 1.3 million are confronted by “absolute poverty.” As the situation worsens, many are desperately searching for a solution, and some are looking toward switching jobs as the answer. 

That said, some experts are warning that the grass is always greener on the other side, and that while workers may be lured in by higher-paying salaries, switching now might hurt them in the long run. 

At the Salary Calculator, we’ll explore:

  • How the cost of living crisis is affecting jobs
  • How switching jobs may benefit you
  • What to watch out for when thinking of exploring a new position

Cost of living crisis encourages job switches

Research conducted by Totaljobs has found that more and more people are looking for new job opportunities to help support them through their financial woes caused by the cost of living crisis. The UK job found that workers’ salaries are increasingly squeezed, and 47% are now living from payslip to payslip. 

Despite the ongoing financial challenge faced by many, nearly half (48%) have not received a pay rise, and those who did (42%) saw a rise that failed to meet the current rate of inflation. This has pushed 17% of workers to take on another job to supplement their income; meanwhile, 30% are taking on additional shifts. If you are one of the people thinking about taking on a second job, at The Salary Calculator, we can help you calculate your total take-home, just head over here.

For many, though, the crisis is pushing them to look further afield. Now, nearly 40% (37%) are looking to change lanes and find a new job. Those who were classified as essential workers were twice as likely to have to leave their jobs and move into a new sector due to higher wages. 

Commenting on the figures, Jon Wilson, CEO of Totaljobs, said that key workers were those who suffered most, despite the fact society “couldn’t have functioned without them” during the course of the pandemic. “This research illustrates that everyone is feeling the pinch of the rising cost of living – yet it is disproportionately felt by our key workers – to the extent that some are looking to move jobs for one that provides them with more financial security.”

Research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has also uncovered that nearly one in five employees intends to leave their current jobs and find a new role within the next year. A further 16 per cent plan to leave the workforce on a temporary or permanent basis. Similarly to Totaljobs, the research, which considered responses from over 2,000 people in the UK, found that the main motivation for switching job roles was pay (72%).

The benefits of making the change 

Research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last year, revealed that those who switched jobs saw a pay increase of 6.6%. That said, the figures show that the size of the rise was dependent on sector and experience. 

Pay growth for those in the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors hit 21%, meanwhile, for those working in information and communications, the increase was one percent lower (20%). While employees working in these sectors saw significant salary growth, the research showed that the increase was even higher for those who moved to a new industry; overall median earnings growth in this scenario stood at 2.1 percentage points higher. 

For those with more years of experience within their sector, the benefits of a switch were also greater, with average earning growth in this bracket at just over 16%.

If you’re considering switching jobs, head over to this page to compare your current salary with the salary offered by a potential new job.

What do the experts say?

While there are certainly financial benefits to be had from a job switch, it’s important to note that it’s not all sunshine and roses. Some experts have said that switching jobs for financial reasons may mean less stability, and a loss of statutory rights. From a broader perspective, some have also noted that switching jobs regularly might make it more difficult to keep track of one’s pensions and ensure one is keeping up with one’s levels of pension contributions. 

Sarah Coles, a senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, outlines: “The grass is slightly greener on the other side of the fence, but the ground may be less stable.” Adding: “Switching jobs will boost your pay by an average of 6.6%, and switching industries, occupations or regions at the same time can have an even more dramatic effect. But before you jump the fence, you need to know what you’re giving up.”

Discussing the impact of switching jobs on pensions, Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, comments: “You may have a job where pension contributions are above the auto-enrolment minimum, say 12%. If you then left that job the next role might only come with an 8% contribution, and if you don’t take action to increase your contribution back up to this level, then you will likely see a significant shortfall by the time you hit retirement. As we move jobs more often care needs to be taken that contribution levels are maintained wherever possible.”

Morrisey continues: “In addition, regular job moves increase the likelihood that you will lose track of pensions from previous employers. You may misplace paperwork or stop receiving documents because you moved house and didn’t update your details, or your provider might change name making it harder to track down.”

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None of the content on this website, including blog posts, comments, or responses to user comments, is offered as financial advice. Figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

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