Why I decided to take a pay cut.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone(Image sourced via Live Life Happy)

In late December I applied for a new job (in the same company). Last Tuesday I interviewed for the job. On Friday I was offered the job.

It took me three days to accept the position.

No brainer, right? I applied and interviewed for the job, clearly I’m interested in it.

Here’s the thing, this job comes with a fairly healthy pay cut. I have a mortgage and a child in daycare, a pay cut is not something easily invited into your home. Not without a lot of thought and discussion.

That said, after a weekend of soul-searching, great conversations with great people, and crossed-fingers “I hope you have my back on this, Universe,” I have decided to go with my gut and remember why I applied for the position in the first place.

Here are my reasons for taking a pay cut:

I’d prefer to stop dreading Monday. If something new can help with that, I’d like to explore it.

Before I left my current position to take my maternity leave, my job was on shaky ground. Times they were a-changin’, folks. My job’s still here, but there seems to be a guillotine above it and no one knows if it’s going to fall, or when. It does not feel especially wonderful to be doing a job that one (or more) people think should be written away. Despite the importance of the scope of the position, it feels pretty redundant.

I’m bored and I’m stagnating. Don’t get me wrong, I do my job. I accomplish my tasks and I do it well. Buuuuuut, if we’re being honest, I don’t start or finish things as quickly, or with as much gusto, as I should.

I have promised myself that I would quit. If only the right job would be posted. There you have it, Self. Let’s recognize and respect opportunities when they are presented to you.

Entrepreneur magazine, along with the above “you promise yourself that you’ll quit” as a good reason to take a new job, even if there’s a pay cut, advises that another good reason to leave a position is if “you don’t want the job your boss has.” Folks, I do not want my boss’s job. For me, the perks do not out-weigh the stress. So, I’m at an impasse. My current job is as far as I can go in this department, if I’m not interested in being groomed for my boss’s job when she retires. New job? It’s not entry level, but it’s not penthouse suite, either. There’s room for movement.

(Entrepreneur magazine actually summed up a few key points in that list of theirs. So did Forbes…. )

Just over two years ago, I met with my Human Resources department, after I did not get a call-back on an application I had submitted for my Dream Job (in this company). My HR representative advised that I would need to enter a different department (and probably take a pay cut) in order to grow the skills and experience necessary for that job. (She also advised that with my education and experience, I should be able to fast-track. Good news!) The job I am taking could very well be the key to The Dream. It will bring me into my department of interest and allow me to interact with and help the exact people I have wanted to work with for years. (It will also allow me to interact with and help students in a completely different way than I do right now, which I am so thrilled about.*)

It’s going to be the kick in the ass that I need. (Because I’m going to make it the kick in the ass that I need.) See, I’m not comfortable with this pay decrease. My household can handle it, we can budget and manage, but I don’t want us to have to. I want us to stay on the footing we’re on. So, I’m going to use this opportunity to address one of my afore(vaguely)mentioned goals. I am going to use this as a big ol’ carrot to motivate me to take on more responsibilities with current (freelance) clients and to pick up one or two more. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do, it has been written in my list of completely achievable and realistic goals, and I’m not going to sit and argue with The Universe.

On that note, I believe in The Universe (there are a lot of things to call It. I find that I’m most comfortable with The Universe because It’s all-encompassing. It’s so much bigger than my comprehension. I hazard to give It a name at all, but I have to call It something). I believe that if you work and put yourself out there, you will make a change. I worked, I put myself out there, and I got an answer. I can’t deny that there may be something to that, so I’m going to take a change, step out of my comfort zone, and know that I tried.

Miss shots(Image sourced via Gentlemint)

There you have it. New job. I’m pretty excited about it, and also a lot “oh crap, new job again” nervous. But, people tend not to interview lightly. I will trust that these new bosses knew what they were doing and that I am absolutely capable at succeeding in this new role.

Have you ever taken a pay cut to get to a place you really wanted to be? How did you cope? Was it worth it?

Here’s some of the reading I did (when I was trying to find articles that told me what I wanted to hear. …at least I can admit it, people):

When You Should (And Shouldn’t!) Take a Pay Cut (Kade)
14 Signs It’s Time To Leave Your Job (Smith)
9 Signs You Should (Maybe) Quit Your Job Now (Rampton)
7 Signs It’s Time To Quit Your Job (Gardner)

Bear McCreary – All Along the Watchtower


*I work for an educational institution. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that before.


20 thoughts on “Why I decided to take a pay cut.

  1. Congrats! I just read an article about how successful people are people who are willing to take risks. You must be on the right track (to great greatness–alongside Oprah and other super successful people)!

    • Awh! Success. Honestly, if I can say “I lived” at the end of my life, I will be a happy person. I want not to ignore opportunities and watch life pass me by. THAT is success (to me).

    • (I WILL EMAIL YOU BACK. Good grief, this month. Seriously. I’m so sorry, lady!) New opportunities abound, yes? That is awesome! 🙂

  2. suzymmarie says:

    Congratulations girl! What a great way to start your new year and, although you’re having to take a pay cut, it sounds to me like you’re doing the right thing. Working your way towards happiness my darling!!! Good luck ❤

  3. Damn, I totally missed this blog post (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME). Well, you obviously know how much I support you and think that this was (and is) a very very good idea. It was time to leave—and you did! ❤ ❤ ❤ Continually impressed by your forethought and determination and self-awareness. You are AWESOME.

    Also, on track to dream job? Best ever.

    • Nothing is wrong with you! You have busies in your life and missing a blog post is not A Thing to worry about. 🙂

      YES! It was a good choice. I am especially sure of that, now that I’ve officially made the switch. Thank you. You’re wonderful and you make me smile. Step by step, life is coming together. Thank fuck.

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