After going through series of interviews, you have finally been offered the job you are pining for. Upon accepting the offer, your future boss discusses the salary offer but it is lower than expected. What do you do? Do you accept the job?
Should you ever take a job that pays less salary than you expected?
It is understandable to feel disappointed when the pay is lesser than you expected, especially if it is your dream job. But if you think you should automatically dismiss a job offer because of less salary, think again.
Make no mistake, we’re not advocating caving in and accepting peanuts. You should always know your worth, negotiate for as much as you can get, and walk away if you’re not satisfied. All we’re saying is there are extenuating circumstances in which taking a lower paying job could benefit in the long run.
Here are nine things to consider when accepting a less salary position
- Better benefits: a company offering a low salary might have a good employee benefit package. When you consider all the benefits that a company offers, then you can see the true value of what they provide their employees. These benefits include: retirement plans, medical care, sick and annual leave, sabbatical leave, study leave, maternity leave, child care, sponsorship to conferences and workshops, leave bonuses, work life balance, and university supported benefits.
- Dream job: If you’ve always imagined yourself in a certain role, or working for a particular company, taking the job might be worth it even if the salary is lower than at your current position
- Cost of living: you should calculate the cost of living where you’ll be residing when making your decision. A company might offer you a higher salary but will require you spending more on transport or housing whereas the one offering a low salary might require little expenses.
- Your happiness: make sure you are happy doing your job, because no happiness can reduce job satisfaction. What is important is that you are finally happy and professionally fulfilled. It improves your quality of life in countless ways.
- Job hunt difficulty: Sometimes, job seekers may be willing to take a pay cut because they can’t find a job that pays what they used to earn. If savings are running out, and unemployment benefits are near an end as well, working for less money may be necessary, and preferable to the alternatives. While a long-lasting and difficult job hunt is a perfectly valid reason for accepting a lower salary, avoid sharing this with interviewers. Of all the reasons for accepting a lower salary, this is the one that will raise a red flag, and cause interviewers concerns that you’ll only be at the job for a brief period of time.
- When you’re making a career change: One of the big reasons to take a lower paying job is if you’re switching industries. It may be worth a cut in pay to gain a new set of skills and experiences that will broaden your skill set. It’s unreasonable to expect to receive top salary when you move into a role where you have little to no experience. In these situations, it’s usually a longer-term play to take a cut in pay so you can make a significant jump in pay after 18 to 24 months.
- Better job title: While you’d rather have the title and all the cash that comes with it, for some people having a more impressive title is compensation enough. After all, with a higher title comes more respect within the company. It also allows you to negotiate a higher wage after a performance review, and to ask for more money when you start looking for a new job.
- The company promotes from within: If you can get a job with a company that has a reputation for promoting from within while providing training and benefits, you will more than make up for the loss of pay you experience by accepting a job that pays less. If you can get a job with a company that offers on-the-job training and possibility for promotion, your value as an employee will increase and higher pay will follow.
- You will have extra time for your family: If you choose a higher-paying job with a long commute, you may make more money but time with your family will be reduced. Most people value time at home with their family so if you have a choice between a job that pays more, but requires you to be away from home more often and a job that pays less but allows you to spend more time at home with your family and children, choose the job that pays less for greater happiness.
See also 10 Signs You Aren’t Getting a Raise
See also How to Handle a Lowball Salary Offer