Should You Take A Pay Cut To Advance Your Career?

If you get offered a job that pays less money, would you take it? Sounds like an easy question and most people would instinctively say no, but it’s not as simple as that. That new job might help you to progress your career in a way that your current job can’t or maybe you’ve got some serious issues with your current employer or the way that the company does things. In some cases, the number of hours that you’re working can take a toll on your life outside of work and that could be a reason to move job. It’s a difficult decision to make and there’s a lot of things that you have to consider before you take that job.


Should You Take A Pay Cut To Advance Your Career image


Can You Afford It?

This is the first and most obvious question to ask yourself because if you won’t be able to survive until payday on the new salary, there’s your answer; you can’t afford to take the pay cut. Look over your finances and see where you can make cutbacks and then work out how much expendable income you’ve got left over. Then do the same calculations based on the lower salary and see if the numbers add up. If you can’t afford to live on the lower salary then you’ve got no choice, you either have to negotiate a higher salary or turn the job down.


Can You Go Anywhere In Your Current Job?

The main reason that people think about taking a pay cut is that they put career progression ahead of finances. If you’re in a job where you don’t feel that you can progress anymore, you should consider taking that pay cut to find better opportunities. But before you make any drastic moves, you should speak with your employers and ask if there is any new projects you can take on or any opportunities for promotion coming up anytime soon. The ideal scenario is finding the progression you want in the job with the highest salary but if there’s absolutely no way that will happen, you should start thinking about moving.


Do You Have A Life Outside Work?

When you have a demanding job it’s easy to slip into a lifestyle that is based entirely around work. One day you wake up and realise that you don’t have much of a life outside of work. If the new job offers a better work-life balance, albeit for less money, that might be a better situation to be in. While you might be earning less money, you’ll have a better quality of life than you would burning the candles at both ends for more money. You really have to think about what your priorities in life are and decide whether work comes first or not.


Do You Like Your Career?

Sometimes you aren’t looking for better opportunities in your current career, you’re looking for a different career entirely. You can either continue in a career that you don’t really like, or you can take a pay cut and start again in a new career or even start your own business. It’s worth keeping in mind that you’ll be able to work your way up after a few years in your new career and get back up to the salary that you’re on now.

People will tell you that taking a pay cut is never a sensible idea but sometimes, it’s the best thing to do.


*Collaborative post.

18 responses

  1. This is a great topic! One I have a little experience with myself. Good point about life outside of work. So many people are strapped to their jobs and their whole life is an endless cycle of waking up, going to work, coming home, rinse and repeat. Great points to consider!

  2. A good topic. I have not been employed for more than 16 years so I am not sure about what to say. But in my time in the office, I did a lot of work that was not paid. It did train me for what I have now.

  3. Sometimes you have to make the sacrifice to get where you want to be, particularly if you want to change your area of expertise. I spent years working in Management in retail and knew I had no desire to move further up the chain in that area, so I made the decision to take quite a dramatic pay cut to move into our head office and pursue a career in HR – best decision I ever made! It’s hard when you have gotten used to earning a certain amount, but I had to accept I had no previous experience or knowledge in my chosen field and had to start from scratch. It paid off though, I’ve made the money back and then some now, and most importantly I’m 100 times happier!

  4. Very interesting topic. Sometimes, people struggle with both things. But I believe temporary pay cut is just temporary. Once you’ve mastered the skill you want, you end up getting a very rewarding career.

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