95% of Americans plan to look for a new job in 2024, survey finds — Here’s how to switch strategically

Personal finance

A majority of Americans, 95%, said they plan to look for a new job this year, according to a January 2024 survey by job site Monster.

Money is a big reason, with 45% of workers saying they need a higher income.

Data from the Federal Reserve shows that job switchers increase their salaries more quickly, on average, than those who stay put. But focusing on money alone may not be the best strategy.

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Kyyah Abdul, a 29-year-old biotech and pharmaceutical global regulatory affairs consultant, knew early in her career that she eventually wanted to work for herself.

“I’ve always had this idea of where I wanted to end up in a certain amount of time,” Abdul, who is based in Los Angeles, told CNBC. “I told myself, ‘Okay, around the age of 30, try and get enough experience and exposure to the things that are required to have a consulting firm.'”

Abdul has focused on upskilling rather than only money. She’s changed jobs in her industry six times since 2016. The first time she switched jobs, she took a $20,000 pay cut in order to gain experience.

“I knew that that was okay because it would come back tenfold based on the experience I was going to be getting at the new place of work,” she said. “I ended up … almost doubling my salary after a year and a half.”

Abdul told CNBC she continued to grow her salary through promotions and other job hops.

This focus on experience can help insulate employees from layoffs, experts say, because they are building new skills that justify that higher pay.

“You don’t want to rise up the ranks too quickly and then be this expensive head that’s sort of easy to chop in any kind of downturn,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.

“I’ve seen a lot of people wanting to job hop because they want a higher salary but not understanding that that higher salary comes with responsibilities and comes with your ability to perform,” Abdul said. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, so if you can’t hold up your end of the bargain, that’s how you end up getting laid off.”

Watch the video above to learn more about when to consider leaving your job and how to approach your job search strategically.

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