Two years ago, I ran a post with a poll question that asked readers if they've ever taken a salary cut with a new job. It was a timely issue since we were still in a recession and unemployed job seekers were more likely to settle for something less in their paychecks just to work again.
Things have changed a bit since, but anytime is a good time to address the issue and ask the poll question again. For many, the thought of accepting a job that pays less money than they made before is repulsive, especially if their lifestyle is, shall we say, a bit on the extravagant side.
But there are times when you might have to swallow your pride and take a hit in the wallet. Here are five situations in which accepting a job with a salary cut might be a wise decision:
- You're unemployed, your benefits are running out, and you need a job to avoid financial disaster.
- You've been unemployed for awhile (say, six months or longer) and you don't mind a salary cut because you've learned how to live on less.
- Your chances of moving up are better with a new employer, even if it means taking a step or two back in your career path before you move forward.
- You loathe your current job, so you take one that pays less to save your health and sanity.
- Your new employer offers a smaller salary but pays for more of your benefits, giving you only a slight reduction (or maybe even a slight gain) in overall compensation.
You may find it difficult to accept a lower salary offer, but it may be a good move. To make the decision easier, it's important to know the salary range for the positions you're seeking, as well as trends in the economy and your industry to help shape your salary expectations.
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