In my early fed career in the 1980s an agency wide general downgrade happened. I was down graded from a GS-11 to GS-06. I retained my pay. In less than three months the personnel shop found a GS-11 job for me in the commuting area, 40 miles away. I had three choices, take the job, resign, or be fired. I took the job and began to look for a GS-11 or 12 job near my home. If a job opened I put in an application. It took a year, but I actually wound up at a higher paygrade job. Cut to the chase my career was not harmed, my pay and benefits remained intact. It was a pain in the neck for about a year. I hated the drive. Hang in there, agencies do not like to pay a GS-08 salary for GS-What ever work. Good luck.