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Ask Vicki: I took a 50% pay cut for my dream job. How do I ask for a salary increase at my next job?

In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi explains how to avoid being penalized for taking a reduced salary.

Ask Vicki: I took a 50% pay cut for my dream job. How do I ask for a salary increase at my next job?

Vicki Salemi

Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to socialmedia@monster.com.

Vicki Salemi

Q. I took a 50% pay cut for my dream job. How do I ask for a salary increase at my next job?

A. It’s okay to be upfront with potential employers about your choice to sacrifice pay for a dream job.

When you’re asked about your current compensation, provide a ballpark figure of your entire package by factoring in the employer share of benefit costs, which is a rough estimate of the value of your paid time off and other benefits.

For example, instead of saying you earn $50,000 at a job that may be worth $75,000, you can say your total compensation package is “in the 60ks,” therefore putting you closer to the target of their anticipated comp.
 
Overall, though, don’t let the perception of pay penalization prevent or stall you from forging ahead looking for a better paying job at an employer who truly values your worth. 
 
An excellent employer, one that will pay you what you are indeed worth, will look at compensation numbers for an accurate range of the going market instead of looking at your 50% pay cut right now.

Read Vicki Salemi's answer to "I took a 50% pay cut for my dream job. How do I ask for a salary increase at my next job?" on Quora.