As a recruiter we hear many different stories about why people are looking for new jobs. This week I heard two different scenarios from people that both relate to taking a pay cut. The first scenario is from a candidate whose company is cutting their sales peoples commissions by 25% and the other is from a candidate who is considering accepting a job offer for 25% less than the previous position they held. One is thinking about moving on to find another job and the other is thinking about accepting a new one. The similarity is they both will be making less money. My initial thought is both of these people should look for other opportunities, but in this economic situation there are other things to consider so I suggested they both consider these questions while making their decision and let me know what they decide to do. The company: Do you believe in the company and the philosophy of the leadership? Does the company offer a growth opportunity to you? Will you have the ability to make the money back that you will be giving up? Does the leadership support the employees? There are a lot of questions to ask yourself in a situation like this. Think about your finances: Will your finances allow you to live on what they want to pay you? Will your family need to make sacrifices and will you be ok with what you have to give up? Discuss this with your spouse and think about what it means to your family. Can you be happy with your new compensation? Will you have the motivation you need? When you know you will be making less money than you did before, can you put your heart and soul into your job the same as you had previously? If you decide to stay or accept the job, make sure you can do this as it will show in your work. Does the job offer you value? This is a critical question to ask yourself. If you accept the pay cut, will you be more valuable in the market a year from now than you are today? Will you gain new professional experience, and/or develop interesting and new relationships? In the working world, compensation is an indicator of performance and achievement. If you can put aside your current compensation woes and focus on gaining the experience and knowledge that will make you more valuable in the future, will that value out-weigh your lower income? Make sure you are satisfied with your decision? Nobody is happy losing money, especially when you have to work for it, but sometimes it may be the best you can do. If you accept the pay cut, make sure you are mentally prepared for what it means. Here’s a quote to consider in this process: “When one door closes, another opens but often we look at the closed door and do not see that another one has opened”. Take this quote however it suits you best, but be sure to be happy with whatever decision you make. It may mean you accept the pay cut or it may mean you open the door to something new. What would you do?