Should I Leave My Job for Less Money

Sometimes, you might find yourself stuck at a job that may not be in your best interest. It may lead you to evaluate both your professional career and personal life. Ultimately putting you in a situation where you might have to decide whether to leave a job for less money.

In order to decide if you should leave a job for less money, you need to start with the reasons that you want to leave in the first place. Then assess the risks of your departure and follow up with a sensible plan to ensure your next job won’t lead you to the same spot you are in now. 

Leaving a job should not be a quick and irrational decision. To help you in this process, this post will provide some additional information to think about. If you already have an offer in your hand, check out our post here on if you should accept a job offer for less money. 

Should I Quit My Job for Less Money

Off the top of your head, you may think of many reasons to leave your job even if it’s for less money. There are a lot of people who don’t always like their jobs in general, so you are not alone. However, you should make sure you are not making a quick, emotional decision.

You need to work through a series of steps to think about your next move. That way you won’t put yourself in the same or worse situation on your next gig.

Determine the Reasons You Want to Leave Your Job

One of the first things to do is to think about why you want to leave your job. Are you feeling burnt out? Do you have a bad manager? Does your job have no growth?

You might have more questions, but the key here is to list out everything that is impacting you on your job.

Work Life Balance

Not having a good work-life balance may bring on a lot of stress to both your professional and personal life. If you are working to take care of your family, but can never see your family, then it might make you think it’s not worth it. 

Also, depending on if you are an exempt employee, you may not be getting paid for the extra work that you are putting in.

For example, if you are an exempt employee with a yearly salary of 60k, then this would be equal to roughly 29 dollars per hour based on a 40-hour workweek. However, if you regularly put in 55 hours per week, in reality, you are only getting paid closer to 21 dollars per hour.

It may be fine to sometimes put in extra time but at the end of the day, it needs to be fair. Otherwise, you will get burnt out.

Poor Management

Having an unsupportive manager can have a big impact on your career and happiness.

If you are walking into a negative environment every day, it will make you miserable. It impacts the relationship with your coworkers and potentially even your customers.

For example, if your manager is not providing feedback to help you reach the next milestone of your career, you may be stuck in your current position. This means your job has no growth.

If you need more information about how long to stay in a job with no growth, check out our post here!

While you should push yourself and take control of your career, your manager can be a helpful guide. They can help you grow by getting you the opportunities you need for others to see your talents.

Job Satisfaction

Being in a line of work that you don’t appreciate is never fun. There may be many reasons you don’t like your work. Perhaps it’s not challenging or something you are not passionate about.

This may lead you to not try as hard. Which would impact your ability to not only gain new skills but also grow within your company.

For example, if you want to build applications but are stuck in the QA department then you need to figure out what skills you need to get you into a type of role that better suits you. In this case, you might look at a pay cut short term if you believe that long term you will be able to benefit in a type of job you like more.

If you actually enjoy the job but not the people around it, then see if you have options with a different team rather than taking a pay cut. The grass might not be greener on the other side, so it’s good to look at all of your options.

Career Path

Depending on where you are at in your career might also have an impact on your decision.

If you are looking to start a family but don’t feel comfortable traveling,  you might rethink a job that has significant travel even if it’s a higher paying position. This may be important if you don’t have a support system at home.

Maybe you got a promotion or grew into a role that does not work for you. For example, if you don’t like dealing with a lot of politics with your customer as a lead analyst, it may be better for you to be an individual contributor. That way you can just execute on the work itself rather than deal with the people management of the role.

Regardless, it’s important to consider your career path when deciding to move in another direction in terms of employment.

Assess the Risk of Taking a Pay Cut

Once you have determined the reason you want to leave your job, the next step is to assess the risk of taking a pay cut.

Obviously, you should check if you can financially afford to take a pay cut. Although this post will not cover that in detail here, there are many financial planning sites out there to help you with this. 

If you cannot afford to take a pay cut, then you may just want to continue your job search while you are still working. However, if you can afford it, then it could open up the door for you to make a decision that would be in your best interest.

For example, if you are financially set and are looking to cut your work hours, then it may be reasonable to take a pay cut to have more time to do things that you want to do.

Just make sure to practice due diligence with all the risks associated with having less money and potentially being stuck in a situation worse than you are now.

Come Up With a Sensible Plan

Assuming you have researched all the reasons you want to leave, then you need to make sure that the new job is in your best interest. 

Some questions you might ask yourself:

  • Would you be happy with this new job? 
  • Is this a role you have previously done?  
  • Can this position move your career path to where you want to be down the road?

Take a step back and try to imagine yourself in the new job. Think about all the interactions you might have or the type of work that you have to do. Find out what makes you happy,

For example, you might think that getting the chance to work remotely might provide you much-needed flexibility. Whether it be taking care of family members or being able to catch that Amazon delivery.

If it’s something you enjoy, then it makes the decision simple.

However, if it’s a role you haven’t done before (such as a career change), you may not know what you are getting into. Do some research and chat with other people in the same profession. Make sure that you feel comfortable doing the job.

One example would be if you have always been a technical developer but are taking a sales job to try something new. Well, if you are not comfortable talking with people, your new job might end up being worse than your previous.

It comes down to making sure that whatever position or job you take, helps you achieve your personal and career goals. So, if you take less money, make sure to pick up the right skills you need to be successful or potentially increase your income down the road.

Move Forward With a Decision

Once you have determined that you are comfortable making less money, then the last thing that remains is the execution of quitting your job if you have an offer. If you need some help on how to quit your job, check out our post here!

Make sure that you leave on good terms. You never know if you need a reference plus, in many fields, you might end up working with someone you know again.

Don’t forget to provide that 2 weeks notice as well! Having a great transition plan not only helps your boss but also your teammates. They will appreciate you helping make the situation easier for them before your departure.

Why Is Quitting a Job So Hard?

For some people quitting a job can be very difficult. They may not like change or can’t put enough time into finding the right position.

Coasting through a job can put you into a comfort zone. Making it more difficult to leave since you have to think about the process of starting over. 

To get past this hurdle, sometimes it makes sense to figure out what you want for a career path and push yourself in that direction. If you are not growing in your job, check out our post here to help you decide how long you should stay at your job! 


Deciding to leave your job should never be taken lightly.

If you end up making less money, but you see that long-term it helps you move towards your goals, then it would make sense. However, if you are just making an emotional decision with no thought process, it may not work out so well.

Only you know what’s best for you, so make sure to make it a good one!