Too soon to jump ship?

I graduated one year ago today and have been working at my current CRE firm for a ~9 months. I like my job and the commute is great but I feel underpaid. Is it too early for me to start sending out applications to check my market rate? And yeah yeah yeah I know you should wait a minimum of a year to 1.5 yrs before leaving your first job but I am working 70 hour weeks for shit comp while I have friends making 20-30% more comp moving around powerpoints learning at a much slower pace than myself. Has this new job market changed the 1-year standard, or am I too late as CRE volume slows down with poppa Powell increasing rates?

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Comments (11)

May 10, 2022 - 8:53am
CPMA's15, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I mean first job from Masters or Undergrad? Undergrad I see a huge discrepancy in pay with right out of undergrad, junior staff. Most of the junior people we hire are 6-9months removed from their first job. 

I say it never hurts to get market checks, but many firms will just bring you in around the starting salary they have for the position. That could be more than you are currently making though, so never hurts. 

You are early enough in also to switch departments within your career trajectory to one of the higher paying jobs within CRE

Most Helpful
May 10, 2022 - 2:44pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So, if you are 9 months today, you are likely to be at/near or over 1 year by the time you actually "jump" if you start this process today. Honestly, not going to really hurt your resume at all provided you don't make a habit of doing this every year or two (and yes, do it a few times in row, especially at the start of a career and you will get your resume passed by some firms and hiring managers, don't let anyone fool you, this happens....). 

Should you is the question...... The biggest downside to jumping for just 20-30% (which is big % wise, but like what are we talking $15-30K in total dollars? I hope you get to a point where that amount isn't close to sway your thinking, but totally understand where you likely are today!)..... will be the likelihood that the move is a "restart" rather than an "upgrade" (which is more likely at the two year mark at a similar or better firm). A restart means back at the bottom of seniority and time to promotion potentially. Clearly, if you get offered a job with an "upgrade" (like much better pay + better title/firm/role) then I'd prob say def take it. Otherwise, this could be a smart short-term decision but sub-optimal long-term (note, since you mention a slow down, a lot of firms do reduce headcount with a first in first out order, so that risk would go up marginally potentially). 

I'd really do more strategic networking, hit the lunches/conferences harder, reach out to those linkedin contacts/make new ones, and then yes... apply strategically to things that you think would be legit upgrades (at least one of those three items). No need to rush to really make this a major gig, and honestly, I'd not put any effort into this that takes your focus off current job (and that's easier said than done). You want promotions/raises due to performance and success.... the best gig may be the next one at the current firm, so don't mess that up!

Final point.... market salaries have jumped a lot in last year... so maybe you should be talking to your manager about a market adjustment, it's not a crazy thing to do if you do it smartly (like do not go in and say "give me a raise or else I walk"). They are not stupid, and if they want to keep people (assume more than you in this situation), they may help out. I won't say this is "riskless", but it is far less risky than people think it is if they do it maturely and smartly. 

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
May 10, 2022 - 4:03pm

Could you elaborate more on the "right" way to ask for this bump? Thanks.

May 10, 2022 - 10:11pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well first the wrong way...

Anything where you whine, beg, or threaten.... act like it is entitled, or the firm is being unfair, any thing like that!

The right way....

Ask manager for feedback (it is best to do this as part of a performance review, since the OP is close to one year, hopefully one is coming, or very reasonable to ask for one).

Assuming getting good/positive reviews, ask if a market adjustment is coming or possible, and presuming manager open to discussion, be ready with comps and data points. (OP references friends deals). 

The key is to make sure the manager knows you know what's going on the market, and make sure they know (unless an idiot or really small firm, they know.... right now... its all over the news, even in real estate press). Then, hope they do the right thing, or will do so during the normal raise/review process (which is at least annually at most firms of all size). I don't think "forcing" the issue is really needed or helps, subtle is loud in this regard (if you even broach the subject, they should get the message). 

Also very good idea to reinforce how/why you like the firm and the role, and how you want to grow with them. If they say they "can't" or won't or are just vague, shift to the "how to get promoted or get a raise question" (like what must I do to get what I want). At the end, either the firm does what it should.... or you one may need to move sooner than later, but at least you gave them a shot. 

side note.... I was able to get analyst a double-digit percentage increase to their base at their one-year review recently, they didn't even ask, I took the initiative to get it approved when HR did their call with me on all these type items. This is happening all over the place right now, not that hard (assuming your firm is still in good health, the best way to say no to this stuff is to claim to be in worsening shape or fear of such, if you get that answer, may want to expedite looking.....)

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  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
May 10, 2022 - 4:59pm

I'm in a pretty similar position, but I feel that my comp is adequate for my role. I work long hours as well and I just hit my year mark. For me though, I just am not as fired up about what I do, so it would just be a move to another side of the biz. I work in debt capital markets at a major shop and I'm in norcal, first full-time role out of college. I've learned a ton and i think this is a great place to be but if i dont love what I'm doing, then I dont and I cant do anything about that. My mind-set situation/dilemma is that I feel that im treated pretty well and I get good pay which is basically making me stay. I will most likely start looking more seriously at other options, but have also been worried about how it looks to other employers leaving just a little over a year. Feel like, life's to short and it will work out in the end though and I hope it works out for you too.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
May 10, 2022 - 8:51pm

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