5 mins read

When Should You Accept Working For a Lower Salary?

Last Update: April 29, 2020

It’s very unlikely that someone dreams of finding a job that pays less than what they used to earn. The salary range is still a tricky thing to discuss. We strive for progress, and this just feels like going backward. It is important to know your worth and not let anyone take advantage of you, your intellectual property and/or your hard work.

However, it isn’t always about money.

As outrageous as it sounds, but accepting a lower salary doesn’t mean you’re taking steps back on your career path. 

There are situations when working for less money is a step in the right direction. Of course, everyone is different and it depends on where your priorities are. However, there are some cases where the majority would agree upon the subject.

1. Better benefits

Better benefits

An old saying goes “Not all that glitters is gold”. Money isn’t the only thing that guarantees that you’ll be satisfied with your life. If the job has a lower salary, but great benefits that compensate the pay cut-it might be a good deal.

Think of more free days, work from home or something third that is an important factor in your life. Negotiate and see if you can find a solution that is favorable for both parties. Many people agree that good benefits have a bigger impact on their life and overall satisfaction with a job than just the salary factor. Of course, some argue with this, which is also understandable. It all depends on what are your priorities.  

2. Career switch

If you’re going into a different career field, you can expect that the salary won’t be the same as you’re used to receiving. After all, it is a different job and a different career. If you feel like this career path is the better option for you, go for it. Work your way up to the top, become better at what you do and eventually, the pay rise will come. Even if the industry you’re switching to is known to be more lucrative, be patient and work on your career first.

3. Longer period without a job

Longer period without a job

Sometimes you really just need a job. Yes, it would be nice to get paid more, but if you really feel like it’s high time you get back in the work field, accept the position. It will mean that you at least have some funds you can count on until something better comes along. Of course, regardless of the fact that you’re hired, keep searching for a new job as vigorously as you would if you were unemployed. Furthermore, hiring managers are more likely to hire someone that has a job.

4. Better position

If you are offered a position that would make you happier but has lower pay, it might be a good trade. Especially if that position is a stepping stone to other promotions and further advancements in your career.

There are people that are offered positions where they would make more money, but they declined it because they really liked their job. Unfortunately, fewer people are happy and excited about their jobs. If you have an opportunity to be among them, or even work at your dream job, you should seriously consider it. Even if the pay is somewhat lower than you would like.

5. Relocation


If there is a job offer that pays less than your current job but requires relocation to a place where the cost of living is lower than at your current location, why not? It’s understandable that you will need more money if you live in Manhattan, N.Y. than in Memphis, Tenn. Analyze the situation – sometimes moving to a cheaper city with a lower pay can even mean you can save more money than you would otherwise. Do the math and explore the possibilities before you jump on declining the offer. It might be worth your while.

Lower pay doesn’t always mean you’re not progressing.

The mismatch with your salary history doesn’t necessarily indicate you’re doomed. If you accept the position with a pay cut, sometimes it pays off in the long term. Of course, everyone wants a high paying job but always look at all perspectives. Of course, if you’d feel like you’re being taken advantage of with the salary you’re offered, politely decline. You know your worth and you don’t want to be anyone’s cheap labor. However, if the pay is slightly lower than you’d expect but the position has other great advantages, you should consider taking it.  



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *