10 Pointers When Considering A Pay Cut For Career Change




If I asked you whether you’d leave your current job for a new job that comes with a pay cut, what would you say? Most people would be on the fence not sure what to do and others might drop everything and dive right in. There are lots of things to consider before making a career change and it starts with the financials.


There’s no way I would take a pay cut


Sometimes you may have no option whether you get a pay cut or not so before you dismiss earning less money remember you are owed nothing and can lose it all in an instant. Perhaps a better way to view a pay cut is that it would take adjusting to but eventually it will work out.

What does it mean to take a pay cut?

It is what it is, a pay cut. It means you get less money for a job you perform whether it be your current job, a new role with-in a company or a 360 degree role change into something entirely new. It happens every day and to be honest more people need to consider their options when it comes to finding a career that makes them happy rather than worrying so much about a pay cut.

Why? Because we get used to the money we earn, that’s why. Everything revolves around our net income especially a budget. Most often people will use every last dime in their budget because they can and if need be really could cut their expenses if a pay cut ensued.


Career change is a tough choice


when you see an opportunity to grow don't wait jump in and make yourself known

For almost 4 years I worked 2 full-time jobs one being a contract job which was my dream job and the other that I liked but it wasn’t that job I’d wake up and be thrilled about. I needed change and I wanted to grow and learn new skills that I could expand and share with others.

Have a little faith in yourself and a big emergency savings!

Sometimes this means leaving one career for another which can be scary for people who are financially stable or have a family. Some people worry about being let go with loss of  income or having to apply for unemployment. This may or may not be approved based on the reason of termination.

It’s about screwing up the new job and being fired or the famous words “laid off” or “It isn’t working out” that holds people back. It’s also the “what if’s” and am I ready to walk away and do it all over again somewhere new.

Lots of questions will run through your mind and rightfully so.


Where are Canada’s best jobs?


Canadian Business put out a list of 25 jobs in Canada that made top spots but you don’t have to grab one of them to be happy at what you do.

  1. Construction Manager
  2. Mining and Quarrying Supervisor
  3. Pilot or Flying Instructor
  4. Software Engineer
  5. Police Officer
  6. Fire Fighter
  7. Urban Planner
  8. Petroleum and Chemical Process Engineer
  9. Business Service Manager
  10. Deck Officer
  11. Specialized Engineer
  12. Aerospace Engineer
  13. Locomotive Engineer
  14. Corporate Sales Manager
  15. Pharmacist
  16. Elevator Mechanic
  17. Lawyer
  18. Economic Development Director
  19. Real Estate and Financial Manager
  20. Telecommunications Manager
  21. Utilities Manager
  22. Pipefitting Supervisor
  23. Mining and Forestry Manager
  24. Nurse Practitioner
  25. Public Administration Director

Did I make the list? Who cares… it’s not about the title or the money it’s about doing what you love which sometimes means a pay cut and career change.


Risk Yields Results Depending on The Impact To Your Life


I’ve since learned that if you hate your job you CAN make a change but you have to be willing to accept adjustments to your life including your budget and work-life-balance.

What I mean by the above statement in terms of risk and I say this with an open-mind is that if you know risk is involved especially financially you will go above and beyond your norm.

You will push yourself harder than ever before because you do have something to lose. There is no comfort zone and honestly I don’t know if many people ever get into that zone unless they’re earning money while they sleep.

A career change is never cut and dry. You don’t just get the job, go to work, earn a salary and go home. You’re in for a big surprise if you think that you don’t have to show your boss and team what you’re made of especially being the new kid in town. This is another weight that may hinder your decision to make a career move and take a pay cut that you’re not used to.

With a new baby and 2 full-time jobs plus blogging there were nights I had a few hours sleep and although I don’t recommend it this is reality for people who want change. You do whatever it takes to get what you want (as long as it’s legal, lol) but one of my biggest pointers is that it can’t last forever.

Eventually you have to make your mind up and decide to quit one job for another. This can be tough if you are in a situation like I was where one role was permanent full-time with benefits and the other was contract with a very good defined benefits package.

A friend of mine took a massive pay cut and now has to travel one hour to and from work every day BUT he’s working in a position that he loves and takes him to work only 3 days a week. “I’d rather go to work for 3 days instead of five 12 hour shifts with a pay cut (not because of hours) and come home happy”, he told me. I agree with him 100%.


Never Get Used To Your Net Income


Never, ever get used to the amount of money you bring home because when the day comes that you do take a pay cut whether it be from your current employer or not it will hit you even harder. The best thing you can do is make sure that you budget and save accordingly and always remember that you are blessed to even have a job. At any time you can have that job swiped from underneath your feet and you’ll be back out on the job hunt again.

It sure was nice bringing home between $10,000- $13,000 net a month and for years we got used to seeing that high number when we ran our net worth updates. Again, it was never something I got used to because I knew one day I’d be taking a pay cut for a period of time until I reached my full income potential with-in the company. Being young it didn’t affect me as much but I would be lying if I said I miss seeing those numbers in my bank account each month.

You can check a few of our budget updates from 2015 where I was earning more than I ever had in my life but working two jobs. The money was nice and in part I got used to it so when I went down to one job with a pay cut I felt that pain. I learned quickly never to put any emotion into money.

When the time comes where you’ve had enough, your spouse and kids have had enough you must make that change. It may not even be what you want and you may feel everything you’ve done to that point was a waste of time BUT your health and family must come first.


How To Adjust To A Pay Cut The Right Way


  1. Plan accordingly in advance if possible before a pay cut or career change
  2. Budget Adjustments even if that means cutting costs where you don’t want to.
  3. Change the way you shop and spend money- Shop smarter, shop second-hand.
  4. Lower your allowance or the amount of  “spending money” you allow yourself
  5. Learn to say no to invitations which are too costly for your income level
  6. Accept what you earn as a blessing and move forward don’t dwell on your past income.
  7. Focus on your new career and family life balance and you may see your income improve.
  8. Everything takes time and with time comes experience and that means potentially more money.

Don’t fight about money with yourself or a spouse rather find ways to make it work for the both of you.

  1. If you don’t think you can handle a pay cut then consider waiting until you feel confident in making the change but be aware that no job is secure and that you must be ready for potential pay cuts, lay-offs etc. could happen at any time.

It has been almost one year now that I have been full-time in my new career which I love and enjoy talking about with my friends and family. One of the things I rarely did in the past was talk about what I did for a living and now I embrace it because I wake up with a smile.

It took lots of hard work, blood, sweat and tears but in the end it worked out. It may have had a different outcome for me had I not received my new employment offer but I would have come out one hell of a smarter guy then when I went in. Besides, I would have been right there waiting for the next job opening, experience in hand.

Discussion: Have you ever made a career change that you were nervous about that came with a pay cut? What other tips can you offer for someone who is struggling to make the move to working two jobs or jumping head first into a new role and leaving their current job?


  1. You should always estimate the responsibility, that gonna appear together with new position. If you’re not ready for this, money and your own growth must wait.


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