Article: Navigating career crossroads: higher pay or more seniority?

Compensation & Benefits

Navigating career crossroads: higher pay or more seniority?

Would you choose a job with higher pay or better career path opportunities?
Navigating career crossroads: higher pay or more seniority?

Professionals frequently have to choose between a higher-paying position and one that offers more career advancement in Singapore's competitive job market. 

Their job goals and financial aspirations may be greatly impacted by this decision. But how can staff members decide on this important matter?

In 2021, over 90% of seniors re-employed in the same positions retained their regular wages and benefits. 

If employees believe they've been presented with an unfair re-employment offer, they can seek assistance from their union or contact the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management.

Balancing financial goals with professional advancement is a consideration.

Strategic advisor Dhirendra Shantilal from the employment agency TG Group advises people to carefully analyse numerous variables. 

These include financial objectives, chances for career advancement, work-life balance, job happiness, employment security, and the potential for professional growth offered by each position. 

He highlights the significance of basing this choice on the organisation and working environment where an individual is most likely to thrive.

Read: How can employees effectively negotiate for a higher salary in Southeast Asia's competitive job market in 2023?

Assessing the leadership and work environment

However, it's not just about the company itself. The leadership you work with is equally significant. 

To evaluate this aspect, Shantilal recommends delving into employee reviews on platforms like Glassdoor and assessing whether the leaders fulfill their commitments.

Balancing pay and seniority: can you catch up later?

A common question arises: Is it possible to catch up in pay or seniority later on if you initially prioritize one over the other? 

Shantilal explains that the outcome hinges on industry norms and the potential trade-offs related to personal goals. 

For instance, if you opt for a lower-seniority role for higher initial pay, your long-term salary might plateau if you don't take on substantial responsibilities. 

This serves as a cautionary tale against undervaluing yourself in the future.

The trade-off: early pay vs. long-term benefits

Conversely, prioritising higher pay early in your career can expedite the achievement of financial objectives. 

However, this might come at the cost of missing out on valuable experience, long-term benefits such as leadership opportunities, and job security, as pointed out by Mr. Foo See Yang.

The value of seniority: deeper understanding vs. slower pay growth

Seniority, on the other hand, promises a deeper understanding of the business and industry but might lead to slower initial income growth. 

The relationship between pay and seniority varies across different sectors. In fast-moving consumer goods, management responsibilities may increase without substantial pay increments due to industry practices, cost constraints, and fierce competition. 

In contrast, in demanding sectors like information technology and advanced manufacturing, highly skilled individual contributor roles can be highly valued and well-compensated, at times even surpassing managerial pay, according to Shantilal.

Negotiating job offers strategically

When it comes to leveraging one job offer against another, Shantilal recommends that candidates focus on showcasing their value to prospective employers. 

He argues against the short-sighted approach of pitting one offer against another based purely on quantitative factors.

Foo adds that candidates should strategically and thoughtfully negotiate for a more favorable package. 

This entails highlighting their unique value, emphasizing relevant skills and accomplishments, and, only after demonstrating suitability for the role, introducing the other offer as an additional consideration. 

This approach frames the request for a higher salary or greater authority as a win-win opportunity where both the candidate and the employer benefit.

When faced with the choice between higher pay and more seniority, it's imperative to consider personal goals, industry norms, and the long-term implications of the decision. 

Making an informed choice that aligns with your aspirations can set you on the path to career success while maximising long-term benefits in job choices.

Read full story

Topics: Compensation & Benefits

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?

Your opinion matters: Tell us how we're doing this quarter!

Selected Score :