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Sometimes when you look back, it will give you a chill. You will recollect all of those memories be it bitter or sweet. I took sometime to stroll around my old photo album and saw my final picture in my first office. It was lonely because no one took a photo with me. It marked the start of my journey towards a whole new industry as well as new role. That picture is very meaningful because it reminds me all of those bitter memory I got in my first job. It reminded me how my idealism turned out to be devastating. It taught me to listen to my heart more than my ambition to work for an ideal company.

I was one of the first graduated student who got a job. It was perfectly planned and executed because my first day was right after my graduation ceremony. I was happy because I could boast behind the prestige of working in one of the big four. After a few months, I started to question whether I truly in the right place. It was a difficult months for some reasons because my brain resisted to accept any of the learnings. As the result, I was one of the least desirable associates to work with because of my very poor performance. It was heavy and emotional because one time I cried on my way back home on a motorcycle. I blamed myself of being ambitious and felt not worthy at all because I was not as intelligent as my colleagues were. I was desperate to look for another job that would give me a chance to develop myself.

Long story short, I got an offer in another company. I remembered it was a monumental moment because I got someone inside the company to push my application. However, there was a catch in this offer. My salary went down significantly. Some of you, who are working in the big four, might know how the pay structure of the associate is. I had to sacrifice at 8% of my basic salary and potentially 20% of the whole package if I included the overtime. It was a difficult choice between staying and had to suck it up, or moving on and take that pay-cut. I decided to move and it turned out to be the best pay-cut that I ever took. There are tons of reasons and learnings that I got from this. Therefore, I will share you my top reasons.

First, it made me to stop looking for work only because of the salary and the prestige of the company. Work is a whole package which also include vision and mission of the company, environment, and the leaders. In my case, I met my current boss because of that pay-cut that I took. I really thankful for that because I did not even expect to cross path with him again. Since I took that pay-cut, I was surrounded by talented people who had the similar passion in technology and digital economy. I had a chance to work with people from different cultures. My new connections turns out to be an important part of my career successes. Therefore, I regard my pay-cut as a ticket price to get access to these amazing people.

Next, I worked till money did not mean anything anymore. I wasted my time in things that I did not care which resulted my poor performance. Looking back, I was not satisfied at all with my work and how I ruined my reputation. After I moved, I work as hard as I could and gave an extra mile because I really cared about my work, my clients, and my company. I did not even realise how immersed I was and was able to stay for three years. Because of that, I learned a lot about the digital commerce. Those learnings and good track records are the reason why I am part of the management team in Intrepid Indonesia. Therefore, I regard my pay-cut as my college fees to learn about digital economy.

The price that I need to pay if I did not take that leap was my health. I was too tired both emotionally and physically to go to the gym or eat healthily. I did not exercise enough and did not sleep enough. I constantly ended my day with stress which affected my sleep quality. Since I moved, I was happier and more productive. I was able to manage my time properly that I could have enough rest throughout the days. Even though during campaign was tough, it was still manageable. Therefore, I regarded that pay-cut that I took as the price I pay for my life.

Even though it sounded like I didn’t like my first job, I did not regret taking that step. If I had not been naive about finding my first job, I might not be too serious about my own journey now. If I did not experience pain in my first job, I might not be taking that pay-cut which lead me to this stage right now. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. I took that painful lesson and took a leap. I am now a stronger person and ready to move forward.

Finally, trying to see a pay-cut like this can be very difficult. Pay-cut can be risky because it is an investment. Sometimes, you are in a career dilemma where you have to consider for a pay-cut. I was lucky because I took it early on my career and it was a great practice. Who knows what’s in store for you when you are considering for a jump with pay-cut. You need to make sure that the pay-cut really worth the price you are paying. When you decide to be an entrepreneur for example, you get 100% pay-cut. Is it the risk worth taking? It is up to you to decide based on your own matrix.