Chasing pay rises.

A few weeks ago, I caught up with an old work friend over a few drinks. For context purposes, he works in the property sector in a fee-generating position and is one of the strongest billers in his team. During our conversation he asked me a question that’s stuck with me for well over a week;

“Is more money always a good thing?”


For a moment I was taken aback, and I took a moment to gather my thoughts before answering but in short, my answer was no. I absolutely do not.

Let’s get one thing out of the way; as a recruiter, my main purpose is to help people find a new job that improves their current situation. This isn’t always financial, of course an increase helps, but you might be looking for a more challenging project, a more supportive team or a shorter commute and better work/life balance. And you might even be prepared to take a financial hit in order to get there. (Yes, this does happen!)

It is not my job as a recruiter to send you to a job I know you won’t love, or to a job that you are overqualified/underqualified for, just to gain you a significant pay rise and myself a handsome fee. We both know better that the novelty will wear off and quickly and it could have detrimental impacts to your CV and your self-confidence. There’s nothing worse finding yourself in the deep end and being expected to swim lengths. I can hear you now… “I’m not Michael Phelps!!! Throw me a life saver, pass me a broom or SOMETHING!!!”

Either that or you will be told that you can earn big commission numbers because there’s someone in the team you’ve joined that is hitting those numbers; but really the person hitting those numbers is one top biller in a 10-man team and they’ve been there so long that they are practically part of the furniture.

The nature of the beast in recruitment is that we cannot (unfortunately) place every single candidate that we speak to. However, those that we can’t find a job for, we can still offer advice to. On average, a person will consider 5 aspects when starting a new job search; the job itself, the management, the culture/atmosphere, the money and what future career prospects are on offer. I’ve begun to learn though that taking a job opportunity that only offers a small or large increase on your pay check can often works against you and it tends to either ruin your CV or your sanity. Remember this when your counter-offered too.

Just sometimes, it’s worth not being impulsive; take your time to consider your options and the best outcome for you (long-term). Speak with your recruiter and seek advice but be sure to identify whether they wish to sleep at night with a clear conscience or whether they have already mentally spent the commission they might earn if they are able to place you in a higher paying role.  

As the saying goes…rolling stones gather no moss. 

Written by Oliver Nathan, Recruitment Consultant at GKR London Property Recruitment.
Tel: 0207 048 3304