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While trade wars dominate the news the knock-on effects of political grandstanding are far and wide. South Africa is not immune to it and along with our own economic turmoil the job market is amongst the first to suffer. This pressure is ultimately passed on to the public who in turn struggle to get adequate salary increases and competitive job offers. This begs the question; when employers will do almost anything to fill job posts except pay them more, how does one survive in a salary shy market?

Are You Too Expensive?

We see it more and more, companies struggle to find the right staff, their brief is so specific and they are trying to locate the minority who may only make up 5% of developers who even exist. Even then only a handful of these people (if they are very lucky) are on the job market. So quite often anything from six months to a year will pass without a particular position within a company having been filled. When the right person comes along, angels are singing, harps are strumming and there is an inexplicable bright light appears. And then… as quickly as it appeared it disappears. The company, hiring managers and people involved realise that the candidate does not fit within their budget. Nobody likes a budget but they are a very tough reality these days. Maybe you are just too expensive?

Should You Take a Pay Cut?

There is a very fine line between your niche skills affording you a fat or a fair salary; and you merely finding a job. We all think we are ‘worth it’ but there is a bigger picture here. There’s no denying that the cost of petrol keeps rising, food isn’t getting any cheaper and nor is electricity. The cost of living has sky-rocketed and it feels like our salaries aren’t catching up. At what point do you make the decision to take a cut at the risk of not finding a job altogether?

Before You Take a Paycut, Consider These Points

• Is there room for growth?
• Is the company stable?
• Do they offer attainable performance bonuses or 13th cheques?
• Are they willing to invest in you as much as you are willing to invest in them?
• What can you learn from this role?
• How will your quality of life be affected? If you are paid a little less but the perks are great and you will spend less time in traffic, maybe it’s worth it?

What Can Businesses do to Help?

Some businesses are less open to negotiation than others but a little compromise makes the world go ‘round. So they cannot pay you as much as you want but maybe they can sweeten the deal in other ways? They could offer you the chance to upskill, flexible hours, better benefits and maybe even more leave? These are all important points which can be discussed and resolved to find a fair solution for both parties. The long-term gains could well be worth the short-term sacrifice.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. We are all squeezed but maybe there’s a way for both parties to walk away satisfied. Don’t turn down a job offer at the first glance, take your time and tease out the finer details. When someone offers you less than half of your previous salary maybe then you should walk away. Luckily we always have lots of positions on offer. Do yourself a favour and take a gander at some of the opportunities we can offer you.