The War Room
Advice
Post

Have you ever taken a pay cut for a job you actually like, or have you ever turned one down to remain in a job you don't enjoy? Seeking advice.

For additional context, I am between two roles at the moment.


I have a side hustle (not OnlyFans you weirdos) that brings me joy and pays me reasonably well. I currently dedicate ~10 hours per week in a sales role with a small company in the app development/custom software space. My manager over there has recently extended an offer for a full-time position, but it would require I take a somewhat significant pay-cut (10-20k or so, but not positive because commission variable is exactly that.. a variable.. please note that I am an entry-level human being, only 3 years out of college, and 10-20k is a big chunk of change in my world s/o student loans). There is definite room for growth here and I'd receive a title bump.


On the other hand, I have a full-time job that actively sucks my soul but comes with great pay and benefits. I'm in an entry-level sales role with a tech company that recently got their hands on a lot (a LOT) of funding for a very large valuation (very VERY large). That alone is tempting me to stay and see this thing through. Also #equity. But, I generally wake up dreading the job to be done and it's ensured monotony. There is not a clear path towards career progression here. Though the silver lining is the global team I work on and the awesome individuals on it.


My question: At what point does one choose happiness and genuine interest in what they wake up to do every. single. day. over the almighty dollar?


Do any of you have experiences either way to share? Did you take the pay cut and did it work out? Did you regret it?


Alternately, did you not take the pay cut and continue on with the higher salaried gig? Did you regret it?


I know this decision is up to me at the end of the day but I'm seeking some unbiased advice or experiences from fellow War Room folks.


Thanks in advance!

🎈 Mentorship
🙏 Mental Wellness
💰 Compensation
22
InQ5WeTrust
Arsonist
+8
Sales Savages, what is our profession? Trauma!
It depends on your own mental health/enjoyment and whether the money is enough of a tradeoff. For some people, the money is enough. 

I personally just accepted an offer for a lateral move after 7 months at a company. The type of sales at my current job was just crushing me, and I knew I wouldn't be happy or perform well in the long term. 

The new job offers a much broader role with greater room for growth. Also a couple years out of college like yourself. 

The money can always be achieved later once you crush those numbers and have a great track record at a job you enjoy. At least that was my logic. 


SaaSyJulie
Fire Starter
+1
SDR
Curious - what kind of lateral move? Where did you start and where are you now?
InQ5WeTrust
Arsonist
+8
Sales Savages, what is our profession? Trauma!
Current job is SDR at a Series-A startup - sales style is high volume smile and dial - minimal interaction or using your brain really, just hit your numbers. 

Jumping to another Series-A startup - enterprise sales - carrying out discovery + handling relationship management + some product management. Still an SDR role by title, but more interesting to me. Clear progression path as well. 


WCK
Notorious Answer
+11
Padre de Tequila, General of the Coors Knights
I think it all depends on how much you value your mental health. I took a pay cut of sorts to go into education because it allowed me to coach, which I loved. But I lived paycheck to paycheck as a result. I went into sales off sheer luck and love it, and found a healthy work/life balance that allows me to coach as well. But having dealt with depression and anxiety, I would absolutely take the ~15k pay cut if it means that A) I can still live without scraping by, B) There is room for growth in compensation, and C) I don't have a negative affect on my mental health any longer.
SaaSyJulie
Fire Starter
+1
SDR
Thanks for sharing! Glad you're in a good spot!
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Senior Account Executive
Your physical and mental wellbeing are ultimately more important than money. You have to decide for yourself when you're truly done taking abuse.
Ma
Maxwellmurk
Account Executive
I was in this position when I got back into sales.  I had a cake job, but I really did not love it.  Took the chance on a sales job that caught my interest, and at first, it sucked because I would look back at my cake job that had great pay and security and think, "what the fuck did I do?"  In the end, it all worked out.  There were ups and downs, but I was doing a job that I liked going to every day.  You are young, and now is the time to take some calculated risks.  The lower amount of what-ifs in your life, the less time you will live with regret
SaaSyJulie
Fire Starter
+1
SDR
Thanks for the advice! Appreciate your perspective.
SlinginSoftware
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
I took a 30k cut to come to my current company. I was trying to break into tech sales and it was the only option I had. In the end, I more than made up for the drop in OTE for the first job.
SaaSyJulie
Fire Starter
+1
SDR
Congrats to you! What industry were you coming from?
SlinginSoftware
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
I was in ad-tech sales. I had been doing it for around 4 years, but didn't want to be thought of as just an "Ad Sales Professional"...I wanted to be a "Sales Professional"
SoldMySoul
Opinionated
+5
VP of Sales
I’ve taken a pay cut by hopping into a start-up, and the lingering regret of losing out on benefits, equity, and that extra money does take a toll. 

if there’s a lot of growth potential and future, it could be worth the transition. See if there’s bargaining room in there and what’s better at the end of the day for your mental wellbeing and livelihood. 
SaaSyJulie
Fire Starter
+1
SDR
I'm in a similar situation. It would mean leaving those start-up perks behind - benefits, reimbursements for cell and wifi, monthly meal stipend, wellness stipend, etc. And more comprehensive health insurance. So it is a hard choice in that regard. 
hurtscuzimold
Opinionated
+5
Dude abiding
There’s gotta be some correlation with age and responsibilities 
SaaSyJulie
Fire Starter
+1
SDR
What does this comment mean?
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
I took a paycut changing jobs during Covid. Just because my job at that time made me depressed. I’m pretty happy with my job now. Only the pay is just ok. 

I’m in the part of life where you need your money the most. So it sucks. On the other hand, I have confidence I can get a higher pay in the future. 
SaaSyJulie
Fire Starter
+1
SDR
Do you regret it? Or are you valuing your happiness more than the $? Totally get it, I wouldn't say I'm at the time in my life where money matters most, as I don't have a mortgage or a family yet, but I am trying to get those student loans paid off, car loan, high rent, attempting to save, contributing meaningfully to my 401k etc, so money does matter.
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
Well I very happy the way it is now. Maybe I m a bit too ambitious to stay here too long though. Only thing I hate is the combo lower pay and mortgage.
SoldMySoul
Opinionated
+5
VP of Sales
Just my experience here, so take from it what you will! Look into your start-up opportunity, the people, their values, and their goals/projections. Is it something that just looks and feels good in comparison to your soul sucking job? Or is it something that you know and believe with all your heart that it’s the right place to be? What are their future offerings looking like? Will they offer equity, benefits, etc? Or at least a good chunk of paid time off? What’s the big picture with them? In comparison, are there any changes you can make to make your current role more enjoyable? Is there an option to do part time at both and play the waiting game? What are your growth opportunities? There’s a certain level of comfort involved with working for an established company that’s already sorted out all the kinks, even if it’s sucking your soul away. Maybe a different department or a healthy chat with management could alleviate some of the pressure. It’s definitely a risky chance to take when you’re still paying off school and trying to enjoy your life.
mommabear
Account Director
I would have never dreamed of taking a pay cut when I was in the 1st 15 years of my career because I was so money motivated but as I got older and had more family commitments, I found myself facing a similar decision and took a bit of a different path to give me more work/life balance with a pay cut.  I have since made back the deficit and for me it was worth it but it was definitely a challenge financially for a little while which brings on its own type of stress!!

Good luck with whatever you decide

CPfor3
Opinionated
+3
Business Development Representative
I do believe happiness is key, but this day in age money is super important so I have turned down opportunities to be happier simply because they paid less
heartburn
Good Citizen
VP of Sales
I did. In February. I took a $200,000 pay cut and made a life change. In 4 years I became an alcoholic, agitated, ADHD machine. I gained 50 pounds, grey hair, and ate my nails every day. I had “golden handcuffs” and one day I just couldn’t take it. We made life style changes, I got a new job with a much smaller company. I reset my life so I can run my playbook to the top in a much smarter way. So far I haven’t wanted to pound liquor at night. I sleep like a baby. I’m happier, my wife is happier, my puppy is happier. Everything is better. Money is only good, family is better.
Ma
MattClark
Old School Bravo
Senior CyberSecurity Consultant
What's a pay cut in sales, a lower base? Does the salary really even matter if you're exceeding your numbers?  OTE is a shell game and, to me, it has little relevance. It certainly has some weight, but I put more into the opportunity I'm potentially stepping into and what the next few years look like from a potential earnings perspective.

 The national stat is something like less than 40% of salespeople hit their quote...it's set up in larger companies for you to JUUUUUUST squeak out your number or not ever hit it.  

Example:

$125k base / $125k variable, 25 sales people, 3 hit their number (my last company). Most people got a sale or two and brought in around $150-175k.

$110k base / $110k variable, 10 U.S. salespeople, most at or well above their number once they get rolling (6-8 months). Two top sellers made close to $400k total.  

I also know PLENTY of enterprise level sales people with a $200/$200 model that never hit their number.

So, the question really becomes about the individual company, how much you love the opportunity, their solutions' relevance in the market, and how much you're willing to hustle to double your fucking number.

Amirite?
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
I can tell you I wasn't any happier the year I made $300k+ than the year I made $100k. If you, truly, and I emphasize truly, think you'll be happier in the new role, it's worth a go. You'll catch up on earnings eventually. But you better be damn sure.
BCD
Politicker
+6
BDR
Some great advice - I’d rather be hardly broke, than very broken. 
wowsalesenabler
CEO
There's a lot of comments about money, benefits and mental health here and all seem helpful. I'd challenge you to think about your career long term, and try to figure out which would contribute more to that. The drop in pay may be short term but the long term benefits may be greater. You're exactly at the stage in life when it pays off to make bold career moves. 5 or 10 years down the line it may be harder to do that. And while college loans may feel like a crusher, wait until you have a mortgage and kids...(sorry) The expenses keep going up, so yeah, salary is definitely a factor, but maybe the lower salary job today will lead to higher ones later on since there is a clearer career path. Sorry I can't just tell you what to do but these are some things I'd suggest you consider while you make this decision. The good news is that you have 2 good options available to you, so whatever you choose, you can't lose. 
No_ty
Catalyst
+6
Sales Dir.
Is better to ask for forgiveness rather than forgiveness
LordBusiness
Politicker
+8
Chief Revenue Officer
The roles seem similar, why does one suck the life out of you and the other is fulfilling? (Just curious).  From my experience, being great at something requires a level of dedication that turns even a passion into a job.  Sales (at any company) if you are doing it right is monotonous and boring.  Its all about repetition and process execution.  If it were me, I'd stay at your current (better paying) gig, and ask for more responsibility, something else to drive your passion.  
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