I have been working at my first job out of college for about 10 months now as a developer. Just recently it was announced that starting immediately everyone is getting a pay cut. Our pay was not the most competitive to start with. I am doing well, I dont NEED more money, but most of my peers that graduated with me are making at least 20% more, some making even over 50% more. I genuinely feel like I am worth more than what I am getting.

Obviously, I am looking at jobs, updating my resume and git page, etc. My only issue is that I really like my job now, I feel like I am doing very well there. Drama is rare, everyone is nice, I am treated well and frequently praised by my leads and my directors are great. My fear is that I may get a job that pays substantially more, but has a culture that I don't align with or worse a hostile environment.

For now, my plan is to conservatively shoot out some applications over the next few weeks until I get an offer, then have talk with my boss about a raise.I feel that, while maybe a raise would not put me where I ideally want to be, it may be enough for me to stay. If they agree right off the bat, I won't mention any offer. If no budge even with the offer, I will probably put in my notice on the spot.

Another, maybe more important concern I have is how the company is doing as a whole. Of course, higher management assures us that the company is doing great, growing, etc. But I cannot think of another good reason for cutting payroll than declining profits etc. Maybe the owner bought a lambo or something.

Please share your thoughts and suggestions. Perhaps there are things that I have left unconsidered in my situation. Like I said, I am young and inexperienced, so any new job would certainly be starting at the bottom again (although 10 months is not exactly a long time, either).

Thank you everyone

EDIT: Per the rules, I need to make my question more specific. Do you think a salary drop of about 10% across the board (most all teams) should scare me? Are there other reasons than the obvious that an employer might do this? Is the company I work for going under?

  • 1
    Is there a specific question that you want us to answer, as per The Workplace rules? Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 0:28
  • 14
    If everyone's pay is being cut, it's a last-gasp effort to keep the company afloat so you'll probably be out of a job soon anyways whether you want to or not. Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 0:32
  • I have edited my question to focus more on the possible declining sustainability of my employer, sorry about that. Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 0:36
  • which country is this in? If in UK I think this could be considered constructive dismissal (although not for the OP as he has not been there long enough)
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 3:37
  • @JoeStrazzere Possibly if I understand this peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/… google gves other examples but in legalese which I think mean the same thng
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 11:58

3 Answers 3


You're doing everything you can but you need to be more aggressive in your job search. It's time to burn those sick days.

As a side quest it's worth scheduling a meeting with the uber-boss to ask details about the pay cut - what were the reasons for it and how come the company came to that decision. Don't think for a moment you're being nosy, this affects your livelihood directly so you're entitled to ask.

The main story line is that you're not the only one who's unhappy with it and your colleagues are also looking for an out. The pleasant environment you enjoy is about to change as people move on.

Generally you're right that the company is either in dire straits or management is irresponsible. In both cases you have to expedite your search. In both cases you will not get a raise. That ship has sailed.

In short, the decision to leave has been made for you. It could be worse, you could come to work one day to find a lock on the door. Your job is always to look out for yourself, and consider this an extended notice from your boss. Good luck and hope everything works out for you.

  • 6
    Perfect advice. If the pay is getting cut, the business is in trouble. Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 1:28

Do you think a salary drop of about 10% across the board (most all teams) should scare me?


Especially if they are already paying under market, the most likely reason for an across the board pay cut is serious financial trouble, bordering on desperation. When you cut pay, even the most happy employee will start looking: The good ones will find better paying work very quickly. The company loses the top talent and is stuck with the ones that are either too lazy to look or poor performers.

If there was a a better explanation, you would have probably heard it by now, but it's always ok to ask around how the business is doing. As employee, you should keep your finger on the business pulse anyway.

Time to polish your resume.


Do what you can to find a new job. It should be your first priority. If the company gave you a 10 percent pay cut, then they shouldn't be surprised if you give them a 20% work cut and spend your time trying to find a better position.

Don't even bother talking to your boss. A pay cut is an absolute deal breaker. You don't want to stay with that company.

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