Candidates ready to accept lower pay

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Our survey of financial services professionals, undertaken at the end of last month (ie, post the worst of October, but pre Citigroup's 50k job loss announcement), suggests a degree of realism is penetrating the financial services job market.

Of the 365 of you who answered the survey, nearly 60% were prepared to accept a pay cut in your next job.

Predictably, this willingness was higher amongst people who were out of the market - of whom 80% said they'd be willing to accept less pay in return for a job.

More surprisingly, 20% of people working at the moment were willing to accept a pay cut in their next role.

This is about as far as the realism goes, however. Although you're willing to accept less pay in a new job, you're not willing to accept that much less.

Only a quarter of respondents who haven't got a job were willing to contemplate a pay cut of more than 25% in their next role, and more than 60% of people already out of the market said they wanted their next role to be either comparable to or better than their last one.

Respondents also showed considerable attachment to financial services: despite the disappearance of thousands of banking jobs, only 7% were prepared to contemplate working in another industry altogether.

Anyone moving out of banking altogether may have to swallow a very substantial pay cut. Based on weekly earnings, the median UK salary in 2007 was 25k.

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