Dealing with a pay cut

2008

For many of us, this year's Christmas bonuses will be simply still to have a job. Some may even be asked – or forced – to accept a pay cut. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation, this piece on Monster.com has some useful suggestions.

According to author Paul Barada, the first thing you need to do is muster the courage to ask your boss some very important questions. While your instinct may be to sit quietly and accept whatever management sends your way, in this case your career and your livelihood could depend on the answers.

  1. How long will it last? Your manager may not have an answer here, but it doesn't hurt to ask anyway.
  2. Will the reduction affect your other benefits? Sometimes your salary level can help determine what health insurance benefits or life insurance benefits you qualify for. It can also affect your 401(k) and pension.
  3. Is the decrease for everyone across the board or just certain departments? If it turns out that the salary decrease is narrow and focused mostly on your department it may be time to update that resume.
  4. How soon will the reduction take affect? This is key as it will help you plan accordingly.

    Barada has a number of other things to keep in mind, but those four questions he suggests should be at the top of your list.

    Whether or not your boss even has answers can help you determine if the pay cut is a temporary issue you can live with or a reason to start looking elsewhere.

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