Being a recruitment consultant for many years, this has been one of the leading questions asked by candidates. Under normal circumstances, my answer would be NO. An increment on any potential job change is the norm and most candidates would expect a good increment if they do make a move for very good reasons. When I interview candidates to learn more about their expectations and motivation, one of the standard questions I will ask is " What's your salary expectations on your next move ?" Some of the standard answers would be: " I am flexible for the right opportunity ! " MUSIC TO MY EARS"; " I am not considering opportunities without a X% increment on my current package. " ; " I am ok with a lateral move (ie) if I don't need to take a pay cut " ; " I am ok with a pay cut as long as the new role can offer me better work life balance."; " I am ok with a pay cut as long as the new role offers me career progression. " ; " I am ok with a pay cut as long as the new role offers me training, new challenges and the list goes on..........
To our surprise, quite a lot of candidates are willing to take a pay cut for one reason or another.
One prime example I recall is that I have once advised a candidate to take a pay cut to join a leading financial institution. We had long discussions why she should consider taking a "TEMPORARY" pay cut. After spending sometime understanding what she is looking for on her next move, I was able to pick up her personality traits and her motivation and expectations, at the time I genuinely feIt it was a good opportunity for her at that stage of the career. I was also able to foresee she should go very far with the new employer and of course with a lot of hard work and being loyal to the institution she was being groomed as a leader. She is currently leading a team of 10+ and undoubtedly earning very good money.
Each candidate is unique so there is no standard answer to the subject question. When considering a job opportunity, there are many different factors to consider in addition to salary. However, this is NOT a decision to be taken lightly as you may have financial commitments or you may always feel unhappy by accepting a pay cut and many other reasons why it isn't for you.
To complete this blog, I have done some research and there are a few reasons when someone would consider taking a pay cut:-
1) Gain a new set of skills and experience that will further his/her career.
2) Better work life balance
3) Something you want more- additional paid holiday, shorter commuting time, more flexibility (ie) can work from home so you can undertake a part time course or whatever it may be.
4) Better work environment- to leave a nasty boss, horrible work environment or office politics.
5) Glass Ceiling-You may hit the glass ceiling in your current company but by taking a pay cut and joining may be a start up company, your income my increase one way or another. Typical example, if we all had a crystal ball and invested in amazon or alibaba when they first started we can probably all retire by now.
Hope you enjoy a bit of sharing!