Should You Accept a Job Offer for Less Money

Finding a job and going through interviews is already tough enough but when you end up getting a low job offer, It can really be frustrating. Ultimately, you will need to make that tough decision on whether it’s worth accepting less money or continuing the job hunt process.

The short answer to this is:  First analyze your financial situation and what the new job has to offer. If the benefits outweigh the risks, then you should strongly consider taking a job that pays less.

There are many factors that you need to look at to determine if the benefits outweigh the cost of taking a job for less money. This post will provide some additional information to help you in the decision making process.

Should You Accept a Job Offer for Less Pay

Before making any quick decisions, you really need to spend some time thinking through what you have going on in your personal life and where you want to take your career. A good starting point would be with your finances.

Financial Situation

First you need to look at the financial implications of taking a lower paying job. If you are financially set, then you really won’t have any worries. However, if you are not, you may have to take a look at many questions.

Are you currently employed or have been in between jobs for a while?  Is this job in a different state and you would need to relocate?  If so, are the moving and cost of living appropriate for the lower salary?

Currently Unemployed

If you are currently unemployed and your savings are starting to deplete, then it may be wise to accept the lower pay. Sometimes you have to do what you need to, in order to survive and take care of yourself and your family. 

If it’s been a long while since you last had a job, it would be good to have something on the resume so that you do not have a big gap of time between jobs.

Moving and Cost of Living Are Less 

If the job is in a different state and the cost of living is less than where you currently live, then this could be another deciding factor of accepting the job or not. For example, if you are moving from California to Arizona, the living expenses and costs of buying a home are much lower. 

You need to look at all the financial factors before making that choice. Click this link to compare costs of living for each state.

One more thing to consider when moving to another location is your family support system. If you are moving somewhere far away and have to add things such as child care or babysitting costs it can add up quickly.

Do the Added Benefits Outweigh the Cost

It is important to look at more than just the salary that is offered. Some companies may have lower salaries but have other perks that make up the difference. These perks can be financial related and/or non-money related but still just as important.

Financial Perks

To help negate the lower salary, some companies offer different types of compensation. Some of these may include annual bonuses, employee stock options, better health insurance, and offer free or reduced childcare. They may even offer to pay for education or training that could advance your career.

Other things to consider is the type of company you’re joining. For example, if the company has good growth opportunities you might be able to get a raise or move to other higher paying positions once you have your foot through the door.

Non-Financial Benefits

Aside from the financial benefits, you will want to look at the work/life balance. Maybe the reason you are leaving your current or previous job is because it was too stressful due to long hours, long commute or bad working relationships

Will this job be less stressful and have a better work culture?  Will it allow you to work less hours and have a shorter commute? 

Some companies may provide you the opportunity to work remotely. This will allow you to save a lot of costs in terms of transportation. Check out this post if you want to see some of the benefits of Remote jobs!

If you get a chance to be more with your family and/or spend more time with the hobbies you enjoy, it might be worth considering taking less money for the flexibility.

Opportunity for Career Growth

If you are at the highest pay grade at your current job, it means you probably won’t have any more room for growth. When looking at new job opportunities, you should look at the bigger picture to see if it can give you the opportunity to advance your career.

This will help you move faster to the type of the job that you want. It also would help you make more money in a better position.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if choosing this path will help you grow:

  • Will this new employer provide you with a long term opportunity to grow in the same position or advance to a higher position?
  • Will you have the opportunity to create new professional skills or sharpen your current skills in the field?  
  • Will this company offer to pay for outside classes or conferences that will help you to advance to the next level? 

If you answer yes to these questions, it may be worth taking a closer look at this job opportunity.

Is There an Opportunity to Negotiate the Salary?

Many times, employers may offer a lower amount, expecting the hiring candidate to negotiate. According to this article on Glassdoor, a rule of thumb would be to counteroffer between 10 to 20 percent of the initial offer. 

Before the meeting, be sure to come prepared with facts of how much your expertise is worth. If what you are asking is way over the market value, then the employer is most likely not going to budge. Check out Indeed Salaries to know what the market average is for your position.

Also make it clear what you can bring to the table to help the company succeed. If they feel that you are going to add more value to their company, they may reconsider the offer.


When looking at any job opportunity, you should try to take emotion out of the decision making process. This means looking at all the deciding factors and making the best decision based on information you have gathered.

In this situation it means taking the time to create the pros and cons of going with this new career opportunity versus staying in your current situation. If this job will provide you with a better work/life balance, better non-salary financial perks, and a chance to grow and eventually make more money in the future, then it might make it an easier decision.

Best of luck finding your new job!