Should you ever take a job that pays less salary than you expected?
After several rounds of job interviews, you’ve finally been offered the position for which you've been pining. Upon accepting the offer, your future boss rattles off all the benefits you’ll receive including medical, dental, vacation days, and your 401k. But then he gets around to your starting salary, and it's less than you expected.
It's understandable to be downright disappointed, especially if this seemed like the perfect job and company. 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 five things to consider when accepting a less salary position—and why it could be the next best thing for your career.
5. A Better Job Title
You’ve been an Administrative Assistant for the better part of your career thus far. Your new job, though, comes with a shiny new (read: better) 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.
4. Lower Taxes
It’s inevitable—the more money you make, the more your income will be taxed.
Granted, the difference might be negligible or even nonexistent. But if you live in a lower tax region, it might make sense for you to accept the position and the less salary that comes with it. Less of your earned income will be taxed, and more of your paycheck will stay right where you want it—in your pocket.
3. Cost of Living
Let’s say you live in San Diego, CA, and the job you’re planning to accept is across the country in Atlanta, GA.
Before you cancel your flight and the furniture movers, you should calculate the cost of living where you’ll be residing when making your decision. While your less salary may seem like peanuts where you currently live, it could stretch much farther in your new zip code. Making $80,000 in New York City but paying an exorbitant mortgage or rent could leave you poorer than if you took the same job somewhere else with much more affordable housing costs.
If the position you’ve accepted allows you to work remotely, less salary might not seem so bad.
In fact, there are considerable cost savings associated with working from home. For example, those who have a remote job can potentially save upwards of $11,000 annually on everything from commuting costs, office attire, and even lunches. Factor in those unseen but significant savings when you consider the salary on the table.
1. Better Benefits
Maybe your new job is willing to pay for you to go back to school and complete your Master’s. Or you might get to travel abroad once a month for corporate meetings.
Your workplace benefits may not appear to be able to replace cold hard cash, but imagine if you had to shell out the money to buy those things yourself. Your salary might allow you to wind up breaking even—or even earning more than if you had to pay out-of-pocket for those items yourself.
Even If You Accept a Low Job sOffer, Remember to Negotiate
Just because you might end up accepting a lower paying job, doesn't mean you shouldn't negotiate. You should. Always. And Salary.com can help.
The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.