When is a Lower Salary Worth Accepting?

Should You Take a Job That Has a Lower Salary Than You Expected?

I‘ve always been a big believer in doing what you love in life. I know some people strongly disagree with me when it comes to this subject. And I get it. Some people consider a job to be just a job. You go in, get paid and get out. I left my last job because I was unhappy; frustrated with how things were and day by day, work started to get to me. I would go home emotionally exhausted and  I didn’t want to talk to anyone or be around anybody because I just needed time to myself just to stay sane. And when my work colleagues were consoling me, they said “work is just work. Don’t let it get to you. Come in, do your job and then leave it behind when you go home at night.”

And that was what frustrated me. 

I didn’t want my job to be just a job. I spend five days a week at work. If those five days were consumed with negative feelings then the majority of my life would just be spent unhappy. It just didn’t make sense. If I wasn’t passionate about doing something, how do you expect me to do it well?

One thing I’ve learnt over the years is that a higher salary doesn’t always equate to a better job. The bigger the brand doesn’t always mean the happier you’ll be. That’s not to say it’s the other way round. But I’ve learnt not to determine my happiness by the metrics of the brand value.

So when is a lower salary worth accepting?

Changing jobs is a big decision to make and it requires some careful thought. But ultimately it comes down to what you consider an important enough reason to leave. For me, it was the sake of my happiness. When it comes to considering a new position, salary, of course, is an important factor. You only hope that this new position offers a higher salary than what you’re currently on. But what happens when the salary is lower?

A Lower Salary Is Worth Accepting if You Just Need Work

If you’re out of work and need money to pay the bills then it’s better to have a job with a lower salary than what you were previously on than no income coming in at all. If your savings are running out and your unemployment benefits are coming to an end as well, working for less may just be necessary.

A Lower Salary Is Worth Accepting if You’re Changing Careers

I’ve been there. Life can get tough when you’re transitioning or trying to transition from one industry to another. But I believe that everybody should go after happiness before anything else. If you’re not doing what you love in your career, figure out what it is that you want to do and chase after it. It’s not going to be an easy process but take it step by step and you’ll get there.

Chasing after a career you’re passionate about may mean that you’ll have to accept a much lower salary as you typically won’t be worth as much in your new career path due to your lack of experience but at least it’ll give you a peace of mind knowing you’re doing something that you’re passionate about. I know that’s not enough if we’re being realistic about life because the majority of us have bills to pay but before you make that move, make sure you have savings saved up to cover you in desperate times of need. If you work hard at your job, you’ll move forward fast and onto a job with a better-paying salary; or at least feel confident enough to go for interviews in this field because you’ve gone out and gained the experience to get you the job you’ve always wanted.

A Lower Salary Is Worth Accepting if it Means Keeping Your Current Job

If you were forced between taking a pay cut or losing your job, which would you go for? The best option here would be to take the pay cut but start hunting for a new job. Typically employers prefer to hire a candidate that is employed than somebody that is unemployed.

Despite getting a pay cut, if you work hard at your job, you’ll build a better case for the company giving you a raise once the economy recovers or the company gets back to better conditions. It may take a lot to get back to that higher salary you had but at least you make a significant leap in the right direction.

A Lower Salary Is Worth Accepting if You’re Wanting a Work-Life Balance 

Quality of life is important. A recent survey conducted online by a talent acquisition and career development firm found that 45% of working adults would be willing to give up a percentage of their salary for more flexibility at work. Yes, being focused in your career is very much a good thing but too much work and not taking the time to enjoy your life can take a toll on you, your happiness and your sanity. If you’re spending too much time at work and feeling exhausted from it all, maybe it’s time to take a step back, assess your situation and figure out if a cut back from work is what you need.

A Lower Salary Is Worth Accepting When the New Opportunity Is Way Better

Salary is important. But it’s not the only factor that can determine a good job. Sometimes your new job offer can be a fantastic opportunity compared to the position you’re currently in e.g if you’re dying to work for a specific company or it’s a good chance to get a hold of your dream job. If you’re miserable in your current job, it may be the time to move on. Everybody deserves a career that they love, it’s just a case of whether you’re willing to go after it.

A Lower Salary Is Worth Accepting When You’ve Maxed Out of Your Salary Increases

Let’s say that you’ve been at your job for a long time. You’ve worked hard and you’ve received regular raises. There’s going to come a time when you hit the salary ceiling, max out of your salary increases and further salaries will not be possible without having an overall promotion. This would be the time to move on and accept a lower salary from a different company if a promotion just isn’t on the cards. If you take a position in a fast-growing company, this may lead to multiple opportunities for career growth and also salary increases.

ALT = Joeyt



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