Job Advice

Bringing Home the $$$ in a Recession

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June 24, 2010
Everyone wants to make more money and a look back through our 10 year history only encourages that thought.  Lately I have been getting a lot of questions about salary and pay so I thought I would post a few thoughts regarding this issue. 

The question I get most often would be:  The position pays less than what I was making, should I consider it?  My advice:  Stay open minded but evaluate thoroughly. 

Ask yourself these questions to help guide you through this question:

1.  Is the position one you desire – for reasons other than monetary value?

2.  Is the company one you would be proud to say you work for?

3.  Does the culture and environment seem like a good fit?

4.  Are you unemployed or about to be laid off/downsized?

5.  Is this company in an industry that’s stable or even growing?
If you answered yes for two or more of these questions then my advice would be to strongly consider the offer even though it’s less than you were making.  As an Indianapolis staffing recruiter with That’s Good HR I have met many people over the past year who have been affected by the recession.  This may come in the form of them being downsized, their hours cut, mandatory pay cuts or being put on furlough.  You have to think about the reality that when these companies are starting to recover from the recession, they may not be able to afford what they once could in terms of salaries and benefit packages.  If companies were forced to institute a mandatory 10% pay cut, they can’t make an offer for a new employee that would be more than the employee that stayed and took the 10% pay cut.  Some companies are looking more closely at their numbers and figuring out exactly what they can pay employees in order to maintain their business, even if it means they are less competitive than they once were. 

I would encourage you to look at more than the money in a time of economic recovery.  Even if it’s less pay, the benefits of the position, the learning experience, growth potential and just overall being happy with your career should make up for the loss of salary. Besides, if you are really that good at what you do, it will just be a matter of patiently demonstrating your competence and proving your worth and it will come back to you in the long run.