3 Times You Should Consider Making a Career Move That Pays Less


When making a career move, the advice is usually to choose something that helps you get a bigger paycheck. Whether that’s taking a new position with the same employer, or going to work for a different company, it’s about the salary. But there are times when it shouldn’t be about higher pay at all. In fact, here are three times when you should think about a career move that will actually have you making less money at the start.

1. A new job gets you into an industry you want to grow in.

If you’re looking for unique growth opportunities in an industry that really matters to you, some of those opportunities may not come with a big paycheck. That’s not to say you won’t end up making plenty of money later on. But when you change industries you often have to start at the bottom. That could easily come with a pay cut, but could also be very worthwhile in the long run.

That’s especially true for industries that are up-and-coming, and that have the potential for explosive growth in the short or medium term. As long as the industry is a solid one, with real potential for growth, if it’s something you really want to be a part of then it can be a great career move. Sometimes, a particular area or type of work just calls to you. If that’s the case, you’ll likely feel happier and more rewarded in life if you can work in that area.

2. You’re joining a team, department or organization that has room for quick growth.

Rapid growth is often a great reason for a career move. If you’re able to get involved with an area that’s going to boom in the next few months or years, and that’s likely going to keep booming for a long period of time, it can be well worth the pay cut to get your foot in the door. It could be anything from a different team at work, to a start-up organization.

Just remember that having room for quick growth doesn’t guarantee quick growth. You’ll be taking a bit of a chance by doing this, and it may depend on how much less you’ll be making. Do your research, though, and you should be well-prepared to make this kind of career move if that’s what you choose. Making sure you’re prepared is the key, so you also have a plan if the organization doesn’t take off the way you’d hoped, and the idea of quick growth evaporates.

3. The responsibilities and demands are a better match for your work/life balance.

Sometimes, a career move that pays less money isn’t about the amazing growth you could see later. It might not even be about the kind of industry you’re working in. It could just be that you don’t have enough time for the other things you want to do in life. Maybe you don’t see your family enough, or your work schedule means you’re gone during hours when your spouse is typically home.

Those kinds of issues can become problematic for even the most dedicated employees, and it’s understandable that you’d want to make some changes if it feels like your time is all work and no relaxation. Living life isn’t just about getting a paycheck. Fortunately, there are many career moves you can make that will give you more time for the rest of your life. By thinking carefully about what really matters to you for your present and your future, you can make the right career move — even if it pays less.

About the Author: Michelle Dakota Beck has worked as a professional freelance writer since the 1990s. During that time she has written everything from product descriptions to full-length books. Her areas of specialization include real estate, home services, legal topics, relationships, family life, and mental health issues. You can find her on WriterAccess.

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