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Could you accept a 50% pay cut for a job you really want?

(24 Posts)
TeaPleaseTa Sat 22-Feb-20 20:47:00

I have been at my current job for 15 years, can do it standing on my head and am fed up with the internal politics, stress and general atmosphere.

However it is fairly well paid and we live in an expensive area.

Whenever I take a step back and think about life, recently I’ve thought I’d love to chuck it in and work for a charity. Women’s Aid was a thought. However I can’t live on fresh air and I have no experience in that field.

There’s a job locally with another charity, where I think I could transfer my skills, for half my current salary. It looks to be a good organisation and they are keen to interview me. The work would be totally different to anything I have done before but that in itself is exciting, if scary.

Can I be the newbie (am currently the old goat in the corner who’s been there forever)? Can I drop the money for the life change? I don’t want to feel that hung up on money but we all need it.

Anyone done a similar move and felt better? Or regretted it?

OP’s posts: |
RainbowMum11 Sat 22-Feb-20 22:22:37

the main question is, can you afford the drop in salary? A 50% reduction in gross salary generally doesn't = a 50% drop in take home.

If I could make it work, then yes I would go for it - life is too short to be unhappy at work if you have a viable alternative.

Hedgehogparty Sun 23-Feb-20 17:12:28

I’m currently considering doing the same as you.
I want a job with less stress which I can continue to do as I get nearer retiring. But the hourly rate they are offering is less than I was paid 25 years ago...

fedup21 Sun 23-Feb-20 17:14:32

I’d be tempted to go part time instead of working full time for half the money.

inwood Sun 23-Feb-20 17:17:27

No I couldn't, not without downsizing, cutting holidays, kids activities etc.

PatchworkElmer Sun 23-Feb-20 17:18:02

If can afford it, go for it. However, make sure you do your research first and ask good questions at interview- I made a similar move about 18 months ago- the (relatively small) charity was an awful place to work, and has had a serious impact on my MH. I think I naively assumed that a charity would be a half decent employer! I’m now back in my original sector and so happy and grateful to be there.

topcat2014 Sun 23-Feb-20 17:21:13

Thing is, just because you drop from say 50k to 25k doesn't mean the 25k job will appreciate your sacrifice and therefore let you coast. You could have the same stress for half the money.

TimeforanotherChange Sun 23-Feb-20 17:27:54

No. I can't afford to. I'm the sole breadwinner and don't have that luxury. However, if you have a supportive DP/can live with the drop in wages then why not? I'm fortunate to like my job, but there is nothing worse than being stuck somewhere you hate.

FrippEnos Sun 23-Feb-20 17:35:32

What does your DP think about this?

SnowyPetals Sun 23-Feb-20 17:35:50

How big is your current pension pot? I think it's easy to forget about the need to provide for yourself on retirement when thinking of these moves. That alone would be reason enough not to cuty salary massively at this point in my life.

Monstermissy36 Sun 23-Feb-20 17:37:25

I have just taken a different role in the same company which meant a pay cut. For me it was absolutely worth it as I'm now working in the area I originally trained in. My old job had changed too much over the years and I hated it.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sun 23-Feb-20 17:39:18

Whilst job hunting can you make every attempt to reduce your outgoings? Start now. Save save save.

nellyburt Sun 23-Feb-20 17:49:41

It depends on many things.

Is your current salary £40k or £100k?

Can you afford to take the cut? How would you feel if you take the cut and there are the same issues at the charity.

I work for a charity and there are plenty of politics and issues.

Janedoe82 Sun 23-Feb-20 17:53:28

Depends what the charity job is (I work in charity senior management) and your motivation in wanting to do it. If you think you are going to be able to go in and sort someone’s life out for example I would think very very carefully.

icannotremember Sun 23-Feb-20 17:58:07

I couldn't. Half my income would mean we wouldn't be able to meet essential expenses.

If money wasn't an issue, sure.

AnotherEmma Sun 23-Feb-20 18:05:34

Well obviously none of us can answer the question without more info.

Do you have a spouse or partner who is working and earning a decent wage?

Would your new combined income (with the lower salary) be enough to cover your outgoings or would you need to do some budgeting and make some lifestyle changes?

If you can afford it and your partner (if you have one) agrees, go for it. There's more to life than money.

katy1213 Sun 23-Feb-20 18:05:58

I wouldn't. I'm sure you'd regret when the new job doesn't turn out to be quite as magical as it sounds - you'd only need one unpleasant colleague and you'd be kicking yourself.
If you can afford the drop in pay, much better to work fewer days than work full-time for less money. Then you can fill that time with whatever brings you greater joy.

ElderAve Sun 23-Feb-20 18:10:50

I could take the cut in pay because I currently earn more than I need -we didn't increase our outgoings/lifestyle as I climbed the ladder and DC are now independent and paying keep!

I'm ashamed to admit it but I think I'd struggle with the vastly reduced status. Also, IME, the higher up you are the less pressure and more flexibility you have. For example, in my current job, if I need an afternoon off to wait in for a washing machine repair, I'd just tell them I'm working from home. Someone in my organisation earning half what I do would have to book leave and it would only be granted if there weren't already others off. Likewise with my workload. It's down to me to manage it within reason, more junior staff often have much harder time pressures.

So for me it would depend on what the job is and how much autonomy you'd have/are used to.

AnotherEmma Sun 23-Feb-20 18:11:45

Actually katy's post made me think that it could be a good idea to reduce your days/hours in your current job and then volunteer for maybe 1 day a week. Volunteering is often much more rewarding than doing paid work for the charity because you don't have to deal with all the politics and demands of being a staff member. I supervise volunteers and they are always happier than all of us grumpy staff grin

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 23-Feb-20 23:02:15

I'm looking for a job in the charity sector just now. I'm only applying for part time, with the aim of keeping my current self-employment going on my non-working days - that is lucrative, charity work isn't!

However, I've been volunteering in my chosen sector for a year. Can you try volunteering to see how you get on? It's also worth remembering that third sector jobs are often looking for highly qualified people. For eg, the last lot of Women's Aid roles I saw advertised were looking for significant sector experience or a social work qualification. Entry-level roles do exist but they're essentially for minimum wage. This is why I've only applied for three jobs in the past year! The sector is very competitive and because pay rates are so low, people will move for not much money, so there are usually a lot of candidates with direct experience up for each job.

TeaPleaseTa Mon 24-Feb-20 10:13:50

Hi, thanks for all the replies, lots of food for thought here.

I do have a partner and they earn the majority of our current income, just under 2/3 of it. They are keen for me to give this a go and reassured me yesterday that we have paid off our extension and are ahead on our mortgage repayments, so my taking this cut is OK in that respect.

It’s also true that my take-home will be more than 50% due to tax. I’m on about 28K and would be dropping to 13K. This is working three days a week in both cases.

OP’s posts: |
TeaPleaseTa Mon 24-Feb-20 10:17:17

Yes, it would be strange being a junior colleague and not having some of the perks which can come with being part of the furniture.

Talking about stress and politics, everywhere has issues as people are involved. I just need to be rid of these particular issues. The place makes me ill.

OP’s posts: |
Lolimax Mon 24-Feb-20 10:22:07

A bit different but at 49 I took redundancy and followed my dream to become a student nurse. I'm SO BLOODY broke. Buy love it. Life will get easier next year when I'm qualified but to be without money when you're used to it is hard.

Zenithbear Mon 24-Feb-20 10:36:06

I would put half of my wages into a savings account/pension scheme/overpay the mortgage for a few years. See if you ever dip into it and you will have a buffer.
Then look at maybe going part time/dropping a day/finding something else.

It looks to be a good organisation
Problem is that you don't know until you are there.

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