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A job is coming up that I'm excited about but it pays less than half my last salary – WWYD?

(7 Posts)
Notquitesureagain Thu 27-Feb-14 09:16:30

Background: freelance since having DC1, 14 years experience in the sector. I like what I do (editorial work) and the flexibility that it gives me to mostly be around when the children need me but am fed up with (a) unpredictability of work flow and (b) the kind of editorial work I've ended up doing (a lot of it fluffy pointless content).

It looks like a job will be coming up soon with a local charity I already volunteer with. It's a fantastic organisation and I really care about what they do. They know me well and I think my skills would be a v good fit for the job so I think I'd stand a good chance of getting it. It's a part-time post (15-25 hours a week), which again would be very useful because it could be done during school hours. But the salary is tiny (between £15.6K and £17.6k a year depending on the hours I do). I was on close to £40k 6.5 years ago before I went freelance.

As a household we'd be fine because DH earns much more than me (and we've managed fine on his salary at times when I've not been earning much/on statutory maternity pay). My concerns are that:
(a) the much lower pay is a reflection of the fact that I'm a bit over-qualified for the job
(b) previous salary contributes significantly to how you are viewed in the workplace so if, a few years from now, I were to apply for a different job - the salary I take now moves me out of one band and firmly into another so to speak...

So, just wondering if anyone else has experienced this i.e. taken a big pay cut/a job they're overqualified for - and if so, why did you do it and how has it worked out?

Notquitesureagain Thu 27-Feb-14 14:45:23

Bit of a bump - anyone done this kind of thing? Thoughts about the career (rather than financial) impact of taking a significantly reduced salary

mylittlemonkey Thu 27-Feb-14 22:51:33

I have recently taken a job with quite a big pay cut although not as big as yours would be. The reason was because I felt the job, in evey other, way right for me and we could afford to take that cut. It also means I will not be working the excessive hours that go with a higher salary and I can have a more work life balance and spend more time with the kids. I also am looking forward to enjoying my career again. I did look at jobs where I would have taken a cut along the same lines as you are thinking about and would have no problem taking them if the job was right for me but a salary like that would not even pay for my childcare fees at the moment.

I think that as long as you are taking the job because of the reasons you describe then a future employer would appreciate that and would not necessarily band you with that lower salary. The only thing that might disadvantage future career progression is if you were not really developing your skills and experience which might not help if you later wanted to take a higher paying job in the future.

I think sometimes you have to look at what is right for you now rather than worrying about what might or might not happen in the future. That's often how people end up for years in jobs they hate!

Notquitesureagain Fri 28-Feb-14 12:22:57

mylittlemonkey - thanks, that's a really thoughtful, helpful post. This job could be done within school hours so wouldn't be incurring any additional childcare costs. I think I'd be developing my skills a fair bit actually and the point you make about looking at what is right for now is a really good one. I'm looking at other ways that I could supplement my income alongside this job too. Thanks again

Focusingkingqueen Fri 28-Feb-14 14:19:43

I took quite a big paycut or get the worklife balance but the key for me was to keep my Director title. I am quite confident that I will be able to explain the low pay I.e local, flexible, etc etc but it would be harder to explain that I had actually dropped to manager level and still convince them that I would be a suitable candidate for more senior role and paid accordingly.

Middleoftheroad Fri 14-Mar-14 19:59:20

Hi, I recently took a PR Officer job that pays £14k per year (that's working 20hpwk). Previously, I was on £35K a year at manager level. I have been freelancing too to make up the difference - but it's proving to be too much.

I'm still not sure about the job as it is essentially what I was doing before, but without the pay or the title - and part of me thinks I may as well do the f/t manager role again for the pay and the respect. You see, I feel I'm viewed as a junior now because of my salary and hours, which is odd considering the job does have a high level of responsibility. It's a tough one for my ego: especially when I see former colleagues in managerial positions.

But on the positive, I will use this as a launch pad to get to where I want to be and will just have to talk around the drop in hours and money.

glorious Sat 15-Mar-14 09:21:33

Is the salary you've quoted pro rata (and the 40k full time)? If so there's not quite such a huge difference.

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