Q. I was offered a dream job, but the salary is lower than I am making now. Is salary always important? If this is such a good fit for me and I love it, should I take it anyway? I know I will prove myself there and get raises—I have always received raises wherever I work. Do you think I should take the job or keep looking?
A. Is a lower salary important when it gets you a dream job? No one but you can really tell you if you should take a job when the salary is lower, but it could be the right move.
If you are out of work, need a better work-life balance, gain other compensation in the form of benefits or a less costly commute, have reached the highest level available at your current company, are burned out at your current job, are transitioning to a new career, or are eager for the challenges and experiences of your dream job, then accepting a lower salary may make sense.
You do not mention your gender, but women often feel that income is less important to a career choice or job search than other considerations, according to BestColleges. In fact, 34 percent of men consider the income potential of a job compared to 20 percent of women. Do a search for comparable salaries to make sure you are not underselling yourself.
You might also want to consider whether:
- You are able to meet your needs on a lower salary. If you have not yet considered the impact on your budget, savings, or live style, now is the time to perform those calculations.
- Your next raise will bring you to the salary you should have. If it will take years to make up the difference, you are sacrificing thousands of dollars of income and savings over the long term and never catch up to where you should be.
- The company cares about its employees in other ways. Does the lower salary mean that the company is also stingy about training and development, benefits, work-life balance, time off—and pay raises?
- The company expected you to negotiate a higher salary or other compensation and you simply took their first low-ball offer. Have you explained why you deserve a higher salary? If the company is offering below the common market salary for that position or for your experience, you have a good argument for higher pay.
- Your next employer will recognize your true value. Will your lower salary make future employers feel that you paid less because you are worth less or because you value yourself less? Will they lower their offer as a result?
Should you decide to keep turn down this offer and keep looking, you should review your resume and LinkedIn profile to determine if they are consistent with and support the salary you want. Contact Robin’s Resumes® for professional advice on a resume and profile that will help point you toward your dream job at the salary you deserve.