Job-Hopping and Pay-Cut Woes


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Anonymous writes: Since 1992, I have worked for several different companies. About 3 years ago, I switched employers and stayed there about a year before joining a start-up company. I had been employed by the start-up for about 8 months before they were acquired by my original employer. I’ve been asked to take a substantial pay cut. So, I’m somewhat torn between staying with this company and looking for new employment locally. I suspect that even at my reduced salary I might be faring better than the local wage scale. Then there’s also the problem of my resume. I’m concerned about how bad my resume looks with all the moves in such a short period of time. A co-worker said that since I was only gone for about a year and now back I started that I should just list the current company as “1992 to present”. The Career Doctor responds: The current state of the economy is affecting workers and job-seekers in so many ways, from layoffs to reduced hours to pay cuts. And everyone is frustrated, including the employers and the employees. And you face multiple issues. First, because you work for an out-of-state employer, I suspect your pay is much higher than the local wage scale. But rather than guessing, I suggest you hop on the Internet and do a little salary research. You can conduct your research by going to one or more of the several salary Websites and/or searching for similar jobs and comparing wage scales. Once you’ve completed your research, you need to develop your options. If you decide to accept the pay cut, I would try to negotiate a timeline for a return to compensation at your previous levels. I might also negotiate an increase in other non-compensation benefits, such as more time off. Second, please do not “fudge” your resume. There is nothing worse than lying or providing misleading information on your resume. By definition, a resume is a statement of facts about your educational and work experiences. In your situation, you have solid work experience with a number of companies that shows your ability to stay with employers for extended periods of time. But just as importantly, job-hopping is so much less an issue than it used to be. Employers know that numerous factors (mergers, economy, rightsizing, dotcom bust, etc.) have led to many job-seekers having more short-term job stints than in the past. Find more information about salary and salary negotiation tactics by going to this section of Quintessential Careers: Salary Negotiation Resources. And you can get more information about writing your resume by going to the Resume Resources section of Quintessential Careers.