A few times in my career I considered to (or did) take a pay cut, mostly to break into some domain or learn something hard to acquire, things like
* C++ HFT
* oracle DBA
* technical pre-sales
* threading, MOM for trading engine
Each time, it’s crucial to question and be critical about the promised benefits. Most of the time, we would regret the sacrifice.
https://bintanvictor.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/c-learning-aids/ has some c++ learning aids that could possibly reduce the need for those pay-cuts