It’s OK if your next career move does not include an increase in your compensation! Whaaaat?

Written By: Les Schafer, Senior Manager of Client Experience & Recruiting

I know, I know, at about this time you’re wondering why continue to read on, you only want to know how you can increase your salary in your next career jump.  I will also be the first to tell you that I would like nothing more, as your recruiter (your coach, consultant, advocate, chief negotiator, personal relocation assistant, etc.) to get you that salary BUMP, ONLY if that is what you really want.

I would say 9 out of 10 times I work with candidates who are looking to better their current situations and most times it includes an increase in salary. But 1 out of 10 times there comes a situation where someone wants a title, or they want a better location, or they just want a more stable situation and they are willing to take a step back in salary.

I say to those 1 out of 10 people that I commend you for knowing what you want and for being willing to leave some money behind. I get it, you feel this is the best move for you and you know that what you might be giving up in salary now will pay off bigger dividends down the road.   Because of your new location, or your new title, or because you now get a chance to work in that start-up environment you always wanted to work in so you can really put your skills to the test.

Now the next question you are probably asking yourself is, “It’s ok to make a move for other reasons and if it involves taking less in pay, it’s ok to do this?

I have been a recruiter now for almost 8 years and I have seen this from time to time.  I recently just helped a Vice President take a President’s role, taking less in base salary, bonus, and equity. Why?  Because it was a fit for where he wanted to be from a professional standpoint, it worked for his family’s situation for the next 5-7 years, he didn’t have to move and he will now have access to a whole new sphere of professional contacts in the Pharmaceutical Industry than if he were to have stayed in his Vice President role.  There were other reasons as well and a big one was the chance to build a business and help with a complete makeover.  All of these things add up and can be converted into a non-monetary value-added benefit.

So YES! It’s ok to make this kind of move in your career as long as what you perceive to be giving up in compensation, you feel you are equally being compensated for in other areas.  It’s your job to list out those areas and do a cost/benefit analysis and then see where the data falls.  If the data doesn’t point you in a clear direction, then ultimately you have to listen to your heart and do what you think is best for your career.

A good recruiter can be a fantastic resource for you when you are thinking about making your next career move.  So, shoot for the stars and go get the career you deserve.