January 11, 2024

3 Compensation Myths to Debunk

by Sierra Palmer

We recently conducted a poll on LinkedIn asking insurance professionals why they would change jobs in 2024. The results were overwhelmingly related to pay. 56% of participants agreed that they would make a job change to improve their salary and benefits.

If you’re in a similar situation and want to explore the insurance job market to get more money and better benefits, then we can support your search. One of the most important steps to launch a successful job search based on compensation is to beware of these three myths so you can set realistic expectations when having discussions with future employers.

Myth #1: I can get a huge (up to 50%) raise by making a job change.

Being underpaid is a very real thing. We’ll be among the first people to point out if you’re not being paid fairly and how you can right-size your compensation with a new employer. However, earning 50% less than market value is rare.

  • Beware of this myth in the market. People do get wild raises… sometimes. More commonly, we see insurance professionals receive a 10% or $10k increase, whichever is the bigger number depending on their base salary.
  • For every person who receives a raise, others who initiated a job search based on money changed positions and got no raise at all, and a few took a pay cut because of the opportunity. Yes, that happens more than you might think.

Our Suggestion: Research salary trends for your desired job title and location. Salary.com can help you get a better idea of what to expect based on factors such as education level and years of experience. Plus, Capstone collects and analyzes compensation data that we can share to see what trends are most applicable to your situation.

Myth #2: Taking my current employer's counteroffer for an increased salary is the easiest and best choice.

Rarely do we see a counteroffer make a lasting impression. According to a LinkedIn survey conducted in late 2021, “80% of respondents regretted accepting a counteroffer within the first 90 days.”

  • While a counteroffer can seem to get you everything you want- more money, a new title, maybe some remote work capabilities- those perks lose their shine after a while because they don’t satisfy the root causes of concern that led you to start looking elsewhere.
  • You may burn bridges by declining an outside offer.
  • You put your current employer on alert. If you considered resigning once you will do it again. Any opportunities for additional raises and promotions may disappear as a result, and then you’re back where you started- in a job search where the market may have changed in the time that has passed.

Our Suggestion: In most cases, counteroffers are not the choice you should go with. If a prospective employer’s offer isn’t good enough, continue searching for the perfect solution rather than revert to what is familiar. Never underestimate the reasons you wanted to make a change in the first place.

Myth #3: Getting paid more will make me happier at work.

We are not saying that money doesn’t solve problems. It pays your mortgage. It puts food on your table. It’s an important foundation of stability. However, salary is not the only way you are compensated.

If you have a great salary but the company’s health insurance has a high deductible, that’s something to think about. If you have a great salary but can’t use the money you’re saving on a vacation because you have such little PTO, that’s something to weigh. If you have a great salary but every morning you dread the drive to the office and back home, not to mention dealing with coworkers you dislike, those are important factors too.

Our Suggestion: The moral of the story is that there is more to compensation than salary. Always consider the full compensation package.

  • PTO: Do you have more vacation & sick time than normal? Is the company flexible with their policies on when and how you can use time off?
  • Benefits: How much do you pay for health insurance? Does the company have a great 401k match? Are you offered paid professional development/continuing education opportunities?
  • Scheduling: Can you work from home? Are hours flexible so you can make doctor’s appointments, take your kids to school, be a caregiver, or leave a little early for the weekend?
  • Perks & Allowances: What kind of dress code do you have to follow? Do you get to travel for client meetings and conferences? Does the company pay for your cell phone, commuter expenses, etc.?

Insurance organizations desperately want to hire top talent. We’ve seen time and again how they use compensation and perks in the hiring process.  Contact us for a confidential conversation to launch your search today!


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