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If you were offered your dream job, but it required a pay cut, would you still take it?


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My husband works for a federal contractor, there were new guidelines just put in place, and several employees quit,  and a few were fired because of how they acted. I won't make any further comment on that, I just wanted to explain why this job came avail..

 

The position that my husband has always wanted has come available, it's in IT, everyone knows he's wanted this job, even the guy who had the job who got fired today has said in the past that my husband was more qualified for it than he was, but he already had the job when my husband started working there..

 

The senior staff person in charge of hiring that position came to my husband today, and said the job is his if he wants it,, he still has to interview other people but he told my husband it's his. He asked my husband how much he's making now and was shocked at how much, i dont know why, my husband is senior staff just like he is. He said he thinks the top salary for that IT position would be 7k less than what my husband is currently making.

 

My husband said to me tonight that he'd do the interview but he's not taking a pay cut, I said think about it first, do you want the job you have right now for the next 30yrs, he said no, I hate this job, I already knew his answer, he gripes about his job every night when he gets home.. I said we can make it work with $7k less, it won't be fun, but you've always wanted this position and i want you to be happy, he hugged me and said ty for saying that, it means a lot, I guess you didn't marry me for the $$, we both laughed, he was making $11 an hour as a security guard when i met him. lol

 

I'm a little scared about a pay cut tbh, my husband said when he finds out what salary they're going to offer him he'll come home and talk to me first, and we'll decide together if he should take it.

Edited by butterflywings
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In the past, I have taken a pay cut for a job I liked better, and I was glad I did it.  That is one of the reasons I live below my means, so it's possible to take advantage of opportunities to make life better, and even have some extra savings built up in case it goes wrong.

 

I also occasionally take high-paying jobs I don't care about much, to build up my war chest, but only if those jobs have a specific end date that isn't far off.  After all, my career should serve me, not the other way around.

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I believe much would depend on how generous the employer is with periodic raises.  A $7K difference today does not mean the same difference six months or a year down the road. 

 

That said, I have always been one of those people who entertains offers but have on more than one occasion passed simply because of where it was located.  There really is only one thing I am holding out for that would have me move to where ever in the State they wanted me to work, but it also comes with hefty retirement benefits...and when you reach a certain age, things like that are worth considering even if the fiscal side of things is generally in hand. 

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Yes*, and the opposite is also true.  

 

I'd never take a job I didn't think was a great fit in exchange for more money.

 

I did that once, so I guess I should say that I'd never do it again.

 

* Of course, it depends on how significant the decrease is to your lifestyle and your financial goals, and only the two of you can decide that.

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Every staffing unit has flexibility in assigning salaries, if they wish to use the discretion to exercise it.  However, it's not always wise to use all of your leverage to get them to exercise it ... sour sentiments that can follow your path may result.

 

In this case, I'd suggest a compromise $3.5k cut in pay.  That should be sufficient for them to acknowledge the sacrifice involved and cover the rest.  Just be prepared for next year's increase to be cut to the bone.  On the other hand, the federal government is involved.  (My perspective is limited to private industry).  Maybe he'll have to choke on the full $7k. 

 

Then it becomes time to size up prospects.  If you husband will savor this job more, maybe that'll translate into stronger opportunity for advancement.  A $7k cut now, could mean $20+ more in 2-4 years. 

 

Or, maybe this new job will be a stepping stone into a private employer who isn't hamstrung by government budgets. 

 

Ultimately, emotional well-being carries with it greater opportunities.  Don't let a short-term pay cut be a blinder to that possibility..

 

 

 

 

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He rescinded his notice of interest in the job, he's not even doing the interview..

The job would've been seen as a huge demotion, he's a senior staff member, only the director is above him, and the IT position isn't even a manager, so there wouldn't be any bonuses, but the real deal breaker was he found out yesterday that the senior staff member who told him what he thought the salary was for that position was wrong. My husband spoke to HR in CA, and that position actually pays $15k less than what he's currently making..

My husband came home last night, he was not happy... what made it worse is he was going to accept the $7k pay cut.. He was frustrated because now he knows he'll never have that job..The director called him yesterday afternoon after he rescinded the offer and said Im glad you're staying, i need you where you're at, I know you always wanted that job but it would've been seen as a demotion and career wise it would've been a mistake for you to take it..

 

Thanks everyone for responding.

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6 hours ago, butterflywings said:

My husband came home last night, he was not happy... what made it worse is he was going to accept the $7k pay cut.. He was frustrated because now he knows he'll never have that job..The director called him yesterday afternoon after he rescinded the offer and said Im glad you're staying, i need you where you're at, I know you always wanted that job but it would've been seen as a demotion and career wise it would've been a mistake for you to take it..

 

I trust that this is just a "jumping off" point in your husband's quest for greater job satisfaction.  No one's assessment of their job should be "I hate this job".

 

My sense is that he doesn't hate his job responsibilities, per se.  (If so, then it would be worthwhile exploring what he would prefer to be doing and the options for doing so.)  More likely, I expect, is that he hates negative attributes attached to those responsibilities (possibly some personalities with whom he interacts, a need to go through the motions on some tasks that have little purpose in the end, or other unrewarding aspects to which he must commit time and effort with little constructive consequence).

 

If the situation reflects this latter possibility, this episode may provide an ideal time to engage his director with suggestions and ideas on how to restructure his responsibilities and/or authority and/or who he works with/through to provide a more satisfactory work experience and a more productive one as well.  Making his director aware of his frustrations (in a constructive manner) can serve to posture this recent job exploration as having been a means by which to address that frustration, and increase awareness that unless that's resolved in some fashion, he's vulnerable to losing your husband should the right opportunity crop its head up.

 

Of course, this calls for your husband having a clear vision of what would potentially yield a better outcome that's within the scope of his management to address.  The key adage is, "Never come to a manager with a problem without at least 3 suggestions by which to remedy it".

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