Career Pivot Without Taking A Pay Cut

Changing career is something that professionals are apprehensive of going through, mostly due to the belief that they would have to start from the bottom of the ranks and take a substantial pay cut. This is not necessarily true nowadays, as careers are becoming more flexible and less linear, and because companies are now focusing on transferrable and soft skills when hiring new employees.

Don’t let your fear of taking a pay cut stop you from pursuing a career pivot. With the right strategy, and a good amount of confidence, you will successfully pivot and come out on the winning end of a negotiation.



So how exactly do you pivot without taking a step back in salary? We’ve listed the ways you can keep your current pay, and how to prepare as you deal with negotiations.



Audit your assets 

Look back thoroughly on your previous job scopes and make an inventory of all the skills and talents you have acquired over your years of experience. Might sound tedious, but it will come very handy during the interview and is a great way to navigate the pivot process from zero to half glass full, real fast.


After that, research on the new industry or role that you are applying for across all platforms from LinkedIn, articles online, interviewing professionals, videos and podcasts, etc. What technical skills and experiences do you have that can apply to your new industry or role? How can you tie your assets together with what the new job requires?

Consider an internal change

 Feeling unhappy and just can’t stand another minute of what you are doing, but very much satisfied with your current employer? Consider a change in role with the same company. The familiarity can benefit you as they already know who you are and how you work, and they will be likely to keep a credible employee.

The pivot steps are still applicable as you may still need to compete against other talents who applied for the role, so remember to remain on your toes and prepare for the change. Here is our most recent article on the initial steps you can take when you want a pivot, Top Tips for A Successful Career Pivot 


Increase marketability

Do you have any skill gaps that are necessary for you to fill? Before moving on to the next steps, it’s important to make yourself as marketable as possible. You can take additional courses, start some freelance work, volunteer or offer your services to your network in exchange for a short mentoring program. We’ve written about ways to learn the soft skills to get the career you want here.


If you have a good knowledge of the role, you can also take it up a notch and start creating a Personal Brand, even if you don’t have experience in it yet. This will definitely make you an attractive talent for future recruiters. We have a number of articles on how to start building your Personal Brand, like this one, How to Begin Building Your Personal Brand


Play with your uniqueness and strengths

It can be defeating to look at the experiences you lack when deciding to career pivot. Rather than focusing on those, it’s more productive to focus on your unique experiences and strengths and play with those that can be translatable into value in a new profession.

You will need to position yourself as someone who can bring in new ideas and perspectives based on your background, as challenges in a company can benefit greatly from someone who isn’t in it.


During the recruitment process, be specific on the scope of work of the role and how you can contribute based on similar practices done previously or learnings you acquired, instead of being general and talking about how it will be easy for you to learn when you already get the job. Show that you have done due diligence and know what you are coming in to from the get go. 



Negotiate well

You will need to negotiate to get yourself on the winning end and not take a pay cut. As we’ve mentioned earlier, you’ll need to do research and know the pay range for the position. Through several clients, I’ve tested and proven that ‘pitch’ formulas and personal statements can help to be more confident and clear in the message.

Deliver strong points as to what value you can bring to back up your asking rate, and present your well-documented Personal Brand so they can see what you are capable of. Position yourself well so the employer knows you will be worth the investment in the long run.


If you have been thinking of branching out, pivoting or don’t know what’s next for you, don't hesitate to seek for help. Reach out to us and send us a message. Join hundreds of our coaching clients who have pivot successfully, with everything but a pay cut.

Petra Zinkimpaccct