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When You Should and Shouldn’t Take a Pay Cut?


Whether people state it or not, one of the key aspects in deciding whether or not they will accept a job offer is almost entirely based on the pay check which they will receive. This is not because people are greedy, but merely because in this day of immense expenditure, without adequate amounts of money, one will find it impossible to support himself as well a family. If you are in a fix about when you should or should not accept a pay cut then here is a comprehensive list to help and guide you to take the right decision.

take a pay cutWhen Should you take a Pay Cut?

1. When you have switched careers:

When you have switched careers and you have just started out to seek employment, you rather not expect a big salary. Just because you enjoyed a big salary as well as position in your previous career path, that does not imply that in this one you will get to pick up things from there, rather once again you will have to start from the bottom and make it to the top by virtue of your hard work as well as effort. Though switching careers has benefits of its own, yet it is a tough and challenging thing and this pay cut factor is something you ought to keep in mind.

2. When all you really want is work experience:

If this is merely your second or third job and all you really want is to gain some work experience then it is all right to accept a pay cut. Sometimes even if you have to accept a minimum stipend, the fact that you are associated with a big company could really make your resume look incredibly impressive. When starting out, these are some things which you ought to mentally prepare yourself for, remember a pay cut now could help your career flourish in the long run.

3. When you are trying to achieve work life balance:

Often it happens that those jobs that pay really well are those that severely make you compromise on the personal front as well. If your previous job, was one of those jobs that offered you a huge pay check at the cost of your personal life as well as at the cost of your health then now maybe it is time that you accept the job that offers the pay cut, because though you lose out on the monetary front, yet you make up for it by getting your peace of mind and getting to spend time with family as well as friends and in life, this is very important indeed.

4. When you are starting your own business:

If you have just embarked on a new venture, by deciding to start your own business as well as becoming your own boss, then be prepared for the fact that initially things will move slowly and money will be tight. In such a case you should be okay with taking a pay cut as it is you who will reap the rich dividends in the future. If the base as well as the foundation of your company is strong then in time to come success will surely be attained. You, must remember to be patient as well as give your hundred percent at all costs to help your company become a global one.

5. When though the money is little, you need the money:

In today’s day of inflation, there is so much competition between companies and jobs are scarce, then you should remember that getting some money at hand at the end of the month is better than not getting paid at all. If you leave a job because of the pay cut without having any other option before you then in time to come you might realize that seeking employment again has become near impossible. After all there is some truth in the common saying, ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’.

6. When you love your job:

Sometimes people love their jobs so much that money is something which becomes secondary to them. Such an amount of job satisfaction is something which is hard to find indeed. So if you are one of the lucky few to love your job to this degree then you ought not to let something like money stand in the way of what you like doing. If you love what to do you should stick to it, because when you have genuine passion for your career path then you automatically come up with great and revolutionary ideas that could really ensure that you attain success.

7. When the job comes with other kinds of additional perks:

You should certainly not hesitate to accept the pay cut when you find that though your job may not be paying you the highest salary, yet you get other perks and benefits in other forms. For example you might get some coupons which you can use at the super market or your office gives away some useful freebies every week or even you get insurance cover for your entire family. Things like this do surely make up for the pay cut. Therefore you should always ensure that you look at things from a holistic point of view such that you do not make a wrong choice.

8. When the company is not doing well but you think things will get better:

In the business world, sometimes it might just so happen that initially a company was doing great and then it was a pleasure to work here but then due to inflation in general, the company had to make some cut backs in the forms of perks as well as pay cuts, in such a case you might choose to leave the job, however if you think that soon enough , once the lull period is over that the company is going to get back on its feet then for a short while you should not have a problem accepting the cut in your pay as there is something called loyalty as well.

9. When your job helps to make a difference in the lives of others:

If previously as a corporate lawyer you were able to bag a six figure salary, but now as an environmental lawyer no one can afford to pay you that much, then you ought to accept the pay cut, owing to the fact that what you are doing will make a difference to the lives of people as well as to the society in general. Giving back to the society is very important indeed and sometimes the joy you get by bringing a smile on others face makes up for the fact that you had to accept a pay cut, you realize that there are some things more important than money.

When you Shouldn’t take a Pay Cut?

1. You are putting in a lot of hard work into your job:

If you think that you are someone who is putting in a lot of hard work into your job and that there is no reason why you should not be paid a bigger sum, then you should not hesitate before you do not accept the pay cut. If at the end of the day you feel over worked and under paid then you should not hesitate before handing in your resignation. No good company would ever want any of their employees to ever feel cheated. If a company values you then it will go out of its way to ensure that you are content at all times.

2. When the company is doing very well and can afford to pay well:

Sometimes when a company is not doing well, then maybe accepting a pay cut is alright, however if you notice that the company is making tremendous profits and that the company spends lavishly on all fronts, except when it comes to making payments, then maybe this is something you should bring to the notice of your boss and senior. If he values you enough he will look into the matter, otherwise you should not think twice before quitting and working elsewhere, where employees are valued much more.

3. When your contemporaries earn much more:

If you even have a shadow of a doubt in your mind, then what you ought to do is speak to your contemporaries in other offices and companies and find out if they are earning more or less the same amount as you. You should certainly not accept a pay cut if you find that it is much below the regular wages of someone working at your position. Even if you do not know any contemporaries to inquire from, you could always look online and find answers to any questions which might be plaguing your mind at a given time.

4. When you think you are an asset to the company:

If you consider yourself a true asset to the company and you think that there is no reason why you should accept a pay cut then you should not hesitate before turning it down. Many a times, companies refuse to take notice of those individuals who get things done in a silent as well we unobtrusive manner. They focus their gaze on those individuals who are all pomp and show. In such a case you should not shy away from letting the company know, if you are not given your dues you could seek employment elsewhere.

5. When you already have a better job offer:

It might just happen that you may be lucky enough to have a better job offer at hand, then in such a case you should not think twice about turning down a pay cut in your company. Though loyalty is important, yet at the end of the day you must look into your own needs as well as those of your family members, first, before anything else. If you have another opportunity before you, then you should not let it slip through your hands.

6. When the job or salary gives you no satisfaction:

In addition to the fact that your job offers you no satisfaction you find that you have to endure a pay cut as well then you ought not to accept it. Either your job should pay you very well, even if it is not what you love doing, or secondly your job should provide you with satisfaction even if the pay is not that high. If you have no positive answer, for either side, then you ought to find another job where you can either pursue what you love doing or at least take home a substantial pay check.

7. If you have a big family to support:

If you are the provider in the family and you think that with the pay cut you will find it incredibly tough to make two ends meet, then in such a case you ought not to accept the pay cut as it could really put you in a serious mess, financially. No matter what, you should try your best to spend some part of your salary and save some for the future .

So these are some of the main things you ought to keep in mind when it comes to pay cuts. The decision however when you should or should not accept such a cut is entirely up to you and you ought to base your decision on what you think will work out fine with you. The chief thing to remember is that though money is an integral part of today’s twenty first century business world which is absolutely indispensable, yet job satisfaction is something that is equally important, without which you might think of your work as a burden and you might resent this later on.