I accepted a job offer 4 months ago. The pay is substantially lower (40%) than what I had been making. I was told during the hiring process that after 90 days I would receive a significant raise, and then be eligible for raises based on merit every year. They knew what I was making before and said I could achieve that salary with 2 annual raises, providing my work was good.
About a month in, someone on our team was let go. I snoop around and find out this was due to financial troubles. My 90 days come and go and no talk about my raise from my boss. I finally ask and he says that it's not going to happen and that likely my annual raises will not happen or just be at 'cost of living' increase unless we can pick up some new clients. My boss has stressed there are no issues with my work at all.
Now, clearly I messed up because I did not get the raise in writing. I did not even receive a written offer. It was just a "come in on Monday the 18th" thing. I know this is incredibly stupid and do not want responses focusing on how stupid I am and that I needed this in writing. I realize this now.
I feel like I'm in a pretty dangerous spot here, career-wise. I had been making a salary 40% higher than where I am now for nearly a decade. Their initial promised raise would have closed that gap by half. I could live with that, especially because I planned on working myself back up to where I was before.
But instead, I'm stuck at this junior level salary. How is this going to affect my future job prospects, especially if they pull salary history? If I share this story in an interview when they ask why I am looking, will it make me look stupid and hurt my chances? Is it better to start looking now and explain my situation to prospective employers, or to stay at this low salary for another year and hope things turn around? I feel like I've reset my career-clock 10 years by this move.