Should you take a pay cut to change careers?

career change coaching confidence pay rise promotion Jan 18, 2022
Lata with chin on hand, text: pay cut to change career? Thumbs up emoji or thumbs down emoji

Here's something I get asked ALL. THE. TIME.

"Do I have to take a pay cut to change careers?"


And the simple answer is: no. 


But Lata, are you sure?

Yes! In fact, I've changed careers twice and in both instances I've gotten $15,000-$20,000 pay RISES. 


The first time, I moved from Advertising to Marketing. I consciously went from agency-side (Advertising) to client-side (Marketing) because I knew it paid more to do the same type of work.  I didn't do another degree, I didn't retrain, I didn't go back to university. In fact, I'd never even studied one subject in Marketing. But I had worked in several advertising firms and Advertising and Marketing are flip sides of the same coin. I simply chose to move to the side that holds the coin (yep, just call me The Witcher haha). But seriously, I moved in-house and then worked with our advertising agency suppliers. And... I got a $20,000 pay rise.


The second time, I moved from Marketing to Change Management. Again, this was a conscious move because I knew that project work paid more AND would give me the variety I craved. Just like Advertising and Marketing are flip sides of the same coin, you could say the same about Marketing and Change. Marketing deals with engaging the hearts and minds of external customers to purchase. Change Management deals with engaging the hearts and minds of internal employees (and external stakeholder groups, where relevant) to get on board with change in the organisation. And... I got a $15,000 pay rise.


So how did I career change and get paid MORE?

Can you see the trend here?

I used the same skills and experiences but applied them in a different way. This is the power of "transferable skills" and they are the reason you can absolutely change careers and get paid the same or more in the new gig.


When I rewrite women's CVs and update their LinkedIn profile (especially when helping them move into Change Management), my main focus is finding the gems of transferable skills.


I define transferable skills as the skills you could use in any job, any company, any industry, any country.

They are non-technical and non-specific. As the future of work keeps changing, and roles and career paths become more fluid, transferable skills are starting to trump job titles and pave the way for easy career change.


  • If you can engage stakeholders in one role, you can do it anywhere.
  • If you are a brilliant communicator, you can do it anywhere. 
  • If you are an awesome leader, you've got a job anywhere in the world.


The same goes for Sales, Customer Service, Client Relationships, Training, Tracking & Reporting, Budget Planning, Strategy, Management, Data Analysis etc. Often it's the "soft" skills of people and leadership that are, ironically, the most transferable.


All the other technical skills of most jobs can be learned on the job (excepting fields like Medicine, Law, Psychology or Financial Advice where you have people's health, mental health or financial wellbeing at stake, or where you require licenses and certificates to practise safely). And truly - going back to university and industry accreditations often won't teach you the practical, technical skills to do the job. Because you learn best ON THE JOB, after you've made the career change.


So now to the money...

Ok, so you can change careers easily enough. But why would your new employer pay you the same or more?


The answer lies again in those little gems called transferable skills. Often, you are more ready than you think. And the transferable skills are often the skills used at more senior levels, that pay more. All your experience that came before shouldn't be thrown out - you are building your next step on the staircase of your shining career, not jumping to a wonky ladder.


And you can of course follow my lead, and choose professions that generally do pay more.


But the last secret ingredient is confidence. When you truly align yourself with your internal worth, your external job offers increase. In both of my career changes, I didn't ask for pay rises. They were offered to me, and I had the confidence (and grace) to accept them.


Changing careers is magic - it's like a new lease on life. And if you want to do so lucratively, definitely grab my free "Underpaid & Overlooked Coaching Action Guide" where I share my 5-step process to change careers with confidence and earn your worth. 


Click here to get my Underpaid & Overlooked Coaching Action Guide


You can change careers. You can earn the same or more. And you can have a great time feeling confident doing it.


Lata xx


Free Coaching Action Guide :  Underpaid & Overlooked

If you're thinking about a pay rise, promotion or full career change, download my free "Underpaid & Overlooked Coaching Action Guide" now to change with confidence and earn your worth.

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