TIME FOR A PAY CUT

GQ (Australia) - - GQ INC. -

WTF, YOU MAY HUFF, BUT TAK­ING A BACK-POCKET HIT IS A SAD AND GROW­ING RE­AL­ITY FOR MANY PEO­PLE (EVEN THE NEW POTUS). HERE, HOW TO MAKE IT WORK AND FIND A POS­I­TIVE OUTCOME.

Awork­ing life used to be so sim­ple – get the de­gree, do the train­ing then graft un­til you’re sent off into the sun­set with a gold watch. Not any­more. Ca­reer changes, re­dun­dan­cies, tog­gling be­tween the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors or sim­ple pres­sure to progress make the prospect of a pay cut more likely than ever be­fore. Not, we’d hope, any­thing on par with the $1 a year Pres­i­dent Trump has vol­un­teered to take for his White House gig which, to be honest, seems about right for some­one with his level of civic ex­pe­ri­ence. But with em­ploy­ees tend­ing to spend less time in roles, drop­ping up to $10k in salary is no longer un­usual. The trick is to view it as a smart, gutsy play in a long game. “Show­ing you’re willing to take a spec­u­la­tive op­por­tu­nity de­spite a short-term sac­ri­fice is at­trac­tive to em­ploy­ers,” ex­plains Mar­cus Crow, from busi­ness train­ing agency 10000hours.com. Michelle Gib­bings, a lead­er­ship ex­pert at Change Merid­ian, agrees that ca­reer pro­gres­sion trumps pay. “Em­ploy­ers will con­sider whether your roles are get­ting big­ger, more re­spon­si­ble and more in­flu­en­tial,” she says. “Of­ten salary doesn’t even come into the first con­ver­sa­tion.” Con­stant up­grad­ing of your skill set is what’s key, adds ca­reer coach Ben­jamin J Har­vey from Authen­tic Ed­u­ca­tion, named one of BRW’S ‘Fast 100’ com­pa­nies in 2015. “If you tell a re­cruiter ‘I took a $20,0000 pay cut to do more mean­ing­ful work and bet­ter po­si­tion my­self for fu­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties’ then you’re some­one who’s got the courage to go against the norm and be dif­fer­ent,” says Har­vey. There are some cir­cum­stances where tak­ing a pretty size­able back pocket hit is al­most guar­an­teed, such as mov­ing from cor­po­rate to pub­lic sec­tor; mak­ing a ma­jor in­dus­try change that re­quires starting out on a lower rung; entering the start-up space; opt­ing for self­em­ploy­ment; or even just try­ing to re­cal­i­brate the sup­posed work/ life bal­ance. Oc­ca­sion­ally, it can also oc­cur when try­ing to sur­vive a purge at a com­pany. “Be re­ally clear on your rea­sons,” says Gib­bings. “Is this some­thing you’re do­ing be­cause you see greater op­por­tu­nity? Or be­cause there’s a chance to be­come a stake­holder if it’s a start-up? Or is just to en­ter a dif­fer­ent work­ing cul­ture?” Know­ing your rea­son­ing not only helps sell the move to fu­ture em­ploy­ers, but helps you jus­tify to your­self the pain of that first re­mit­tance slip. “Re­mind­ing your­self of your rea­son­ing will al­low you to han­dle the short-term ad­ver­sity,” says Crow. Don’t for­get to do the math. Can you af­ford it? And if the num­bers mean con­crete life­style changes – trad­ing the Cayenne for a Kia – can your ego take the hit? In the same way, think through the ques­tion of ti­tle. “Peo­ple are of­ten much more con­nected than they think to their po­si­tion,” says Gib­bings. “Like it or not, we live in a fairly hi­er­ar­chi­cal so­ci­ety and there is sta­tus con­nected to ti­tle, so if you’re also tak­ing a down­grade, you’ll need to be com­fort­able with that.” If it all adds up, hold your nose and jump. “The nar­ra­tive, in­wardly and out­wardly, re­ally should be one of courage,” adds Crow. “You’re some­one with the ca­pac­ity to face cer­tain losses for un­cer­tain gains. But you do it be­cause you be­lieve the fu­ture ben­e­fits will out­weigh the fi­nan­cial loss, and be­cause, over time, you know you’ll make up the short­fall.”

MONEY

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