I am starting the process of transitioning out of a career in banking and, hopefully, into a career in software engineering.
One issue that I know will come up that I'm at a complete loss at how to handle is that of salary expectations and salary negotiations.
The primary issue here is that I do make a lot of money right now, and I am more than willing to accept a significantly1 lower salary to be in a career that I know I will enjoy tremendously more than the one that I have right now, and to have a better work-life balance.
Since I'm not currently a software engineer, I only have a vague idea what is a reasonable salary. I know the question of "what are your salary expectations?" will come up, and I don't want to run the risk of lowballing or overshooting what is reasonable. How do I make it clear to the recruiter I lack information here, but do it in a way that doesn't immediately cause me to be overlooked?
I have no idea how to make it very clear to any recruiters that I am willing to take a very large pay cut. I want to make it abundantly clear that just because I make a lot of money right now, that I really am okay with taking a large pay cut and I am willing to be in the range of reasonable salaries for a software engineer?
1: I want to be very clear about this. I'm not talking about being willing to take a pay cut of a few or tens of thousands of dollars; I'm talking about being willing to take a cut to total compensation of materially over a hundred thousand dollars. This is not a humblebrag, I implore you to not take it that way, I just feel I will get more helpful answers if the scale is understood.