Why You Should Not Take a Pay Cut? Here are the 3 Reasons Why

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Climbing the corporate ladder in the past 7 years has not been an easy feat. Whenever the annual review on individual performance comes around, I would pray to every existing Gods that my hard work would pay off in the form of incentives and increments.

But that’s just how I HOPE it would happen.

The truth however, is different. Increments and promotions don’t come easy, even if you did put sweat and blood into your work. It’s difficult to be recognised, even when you’re outstanding.

I’m currently unemployed because I needed a break. I still accept offers for job interviews to keep my mind sharp. I went for a few job interviews and was asked to take pay cuts simply because my last drawn salary was too expensive.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!”

That was my reaction when the interviewer asked if I was willing to take a pay cut. I was shocked that he had the courage to even suggest it.  Given my qualifications and experience for that position, it seemed like a joke.

When I asked the interviewer if he was willing to take a pay cut, he laughed it off. That laughter, to me, reflected my answer. Unless I was switching to another industry, a pay cut is a definite no for me.

Here are the 3 reasons why you shouldn’t take a pay cut either.

1. Know Your Worth

Qualifications may not be everything especially when every Tom, Dick and Harry has a university degree. But when your qualifications come with the relevant experience and skills, you are definitely valuable in your industry.

I have worked in the same industry for the past 7 years with a good track record and outstanding performance. My market value when it comes to salary increments should at least be 30% every time I decide to change to another company.

2. Money is everything. Almost.

It’s probably unfair to relate salary and personal expenses together. Or at least, that was what it said on the business-related articles I read. It also said that companies do not care about your bills and living expenses, so you shouldn’t put too much value on the number of zeroes on your paycheck.

But why does one work? Money, of course. As much as I wanted to believe that some people do work for passion and career progression, money is still the main source of motivation in the corporate world. Money pays bills. Money pays for every material thing that I need and want.

I know money isn’t everything. But with the constant inflation and hikes in living expenses, money is almost everything.

3. They can afford you

I have seen many job vacancies that will only hire experienced or qualified employees but offer a fresh graduate salary. To me, that’s ridiculous. In the corporate world, big companies that make millions annually can and should pay a decent and reasonable salary to their staff.

Negotiation skills is important when one requests for an increment while changing jobs. When I was offered a position in a new company, I often make sure I negotiate a fair increment. If there is no agreement made between myself and the hiring manager, I usually turn down the offer.

It might take a lot of effort, but the satisfaction of getting what you want and deserve feels good.

If I were to change to another non-related industry, I can understand why a pay cut is necessary. But I’m not moving to another industry, therefore a pay cut sounds absurd for now.

I am no longer the naïve fresh graduate who is willing to say yes to every request or demand. I know that I’m worthy of a certain salary, which is why I will never accept a pay cut.

After all, if you know you are good at what you doing, why downgrade yourself?

For more articles on career, read The Freelance Life: Protecting Yourself from Scumbag Employers, and 5 Ways to Handle an Emotional Boss.

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