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If you're like many professionals, you daydream about leaving your underwhelming job to find a more-fulfilling (or at least better-paying) one, but you never do. Here are five reasons why you shouldn't put off your job search one more day.
No. 1: You'll stress less
These days, work and stress are synonymous. A 2007 survey by ComPsych Corporation found stress is rampant in the workplace. Sixty percent of workers said they have high levels of stress with symptoms of extreme fatigue and feeling out of control. Another 33 percent said they have constant but manageable stress. That's a lot of headaches.
What's the biggest cause of all this tension? The study cited "people issues" as the No. 1 work stressor, followed by workload and work/life balance. It's proven that stress can harm your mental and physical health, so save yourself by finding a new job.
No. 2: You'll advance your career
Take the next step up that proverbial ladder. Workers may have more negotiating power with employers than they think. Eighty-one percent of hiring managers said it was difficult to find qualified candidates 12 months ago, and 91 percent said recruiting is equally or more challenging today, according to the 2007 Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report by CareerBuilder.com and Robert Half International. More than half of hiring managers who are having trouble recruiting cited a shortage of qualified professionals as the primary culprit.
No. 3: You'll make more money
All signs point to fatter paychecks in 2008. Nearly two-in-five hiring managers plan to increase starting salaries in the next year to attract new talent, according to the EDGE Report. Plus, the Department of Labor reports annual compensation costs (what employers spend on wages, salaries and benefits) for civilian workers increased 3.3 percent for the year ended September 2007. And, average hourly earnings increased from $16.91 in October 2006 to $17.58 in October 2007. Take advantage of this knowledge and use it in negotiating your new starting salary.
No. 4: You'll get better benefits
Although economic pressures are increasing, employers are becoming more committed to offering more and better benefits packages to attract and retain talent. Thirty percent of hiring managers reported their firms have instituted new policies and programs to increase staff retention rates in the last 12 months, up from 23 percent this time last year, according to the same CareerBuilder.com/Robert Half report. The primary measures taken included offering pay raises, bonuses, better benefits and more flexible schedules. In addition, Prudential Financial's study "Employee Benefits: 2006 & Beyond" looked at current and future employee needs and how employers plan to respond to them. Eighty percent of employers say it's important to offer and subsidize a wide range of employee benefits. Be prepared: Although more companies are offering more diversified benefits, workers may see more costs shifted from employer to employee, especially in voluntary benefits.
No. 5: You'll have more time
Isn't it time you improve your commute? Fifty-nine percent of workers surveyed by CareerBuilder.com admit to experiencing road rage while traveling to and from work. With 128 million commuters in the United States that's a lot of road rage. It seems your commute is only going to get worse according to "Commuting in America III" by Alan Pisarski published by the Transportation Research Board. The average national travel times grew to 25.5 minutes in 2000, up from 22.4 in 1990 and 21.7 in 1980. That time is increasing even though more people are leaving for work between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m to beat rush hour. Find something closer to home, or better yet, become one of the 4 million Americans already working from home. E-mail to a friend
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