In the movie All The President's Men, the informant "Deep Throat", is said to have coined the phrase "follow the money". In that context, it was the approach used to trace the Watergate scandal back to it's source. That phrase could also describe the approach many people take as they "advance" their career. Many people believe that their salary directly correlates to their skill level or their worth in the overall market place. That couldn't be further from the truth. You are only worth what a given employer is willing to pay you and it is often a mistake to make a job change based on salary alone. Your skill set and experience should always be one step ahead of your salary because the alternative can result in unnecessary and sometimes painful decisions.
This is a concept that I have tried to convey to every candidate I have represented in the past. Some get it while others think it is just a clever ploy to get them to take a pay cut. I have witnessed first hand many cases where individuals were forced to take a pay cut or, worse yet, had long stints of unemployment because salary had far surpassed their skill set. Taking a pay cut that is forced on you is far more painful as opposed to taking it by choice. These income adjustments tend to come later in life when your lifestyle is more established and the results are potentially more devastating.
You can avoid the pain altogether if your focus remains on developing your repertoire and not your checkbook. No one has ever been hired based on the amount of money they are making. In fact, it is one of the biggest detractors, especially when you couple it with multiple job changes. There is another phrase that was coined by Michael Phillips, author of "The Seven Laws of Money", which is, "Money will come when you are doing the right thing". Loosely translated, worry about your ability to do the job and your competence to do it, but certainly do not worry about the money. I try to take this advice myself putting the focus on giving sound career advice and not on how quickly I can place someone and make my fee. However, in case you still think this is a ploy to convince you to take a pay decrease, remember that my commission is based on your starting salary.