Should I accept a lower paying job to be happier?

A pay cut can sometimes be the better move for your career

The vast majority of millennials have the expectation that their wage will continually grow.

However, a move to a different sector of the economy could sometimes result in a pay offer that is lower.

If you accept a job with a lesser wage, there is always the possibility that it may lead to greater personal growth or employment that is more satisfying.

Therefore, even while taking a wage reduction may not seem appealing at first, doing so can end up being beneficial in the long run.


The conventional thinking used to hold that accepting a wage reduction was equivalent to taking a step in the wrong direction, but the reality may now be quite different.

When someone join a new company, go to a different field, work fewer hours, or realign their job with their principles, they may make the decision to accept a wage decrease. Other reasons include:

According to the findings of a recent survey conducted by Fast Company, three quarters of millennial employees working for large American companies are willing to take a pay cut to work for an organization that is environmentally responsible. This finding is in line with the trend that has been observed.

And according to the results of a poll conducted by the software firm ServiceNow among Canadian millennials, 47% of respondents said they would forego a wage increase in exchange for more meaningful employment.

Workers who have lost their employment are more likely to take a lower income when they find a new job, even if it is in the same industry, and particularly if they move into a new field. This is true even if the new job is in the same field as their previous one.

According to the most recent Workmonitor Research conducted by the recruitment agency Randstad, for example, 61 percent of Singapore workers are prepared to take a lesser wage in order to keep their current jobs.


There are situations in which choosing to take a lesser wage might be beneficial, despite the fact that a greater compensation is preferable.

According to observations made by the recruiting business Robert Half, some individuals looking for work find themselves stumbling through their university education and ending up in occupations that are vastly unlike to the careers they had envisioned for themselves. The term "golden handcuffs" refers to the situation in which an employee who has been working for a longer period of time finds that they have a lousy job but a decent wage, making it difficult for them to quit their position.

The findings of the most recent Global Employee Pulse research by the technology platform Qualtric, which indicated that just 49 percent of Singapore's employees are content with their present positions, confirm that a significant number of workers in this country are dissatisfied with their jobs.

A great number of workers, at some time in their careers, get the epiphany that they are working in the incorrect field and need to make a shift in their line of work. It is possible that accepting a lower salary will be worthwhile given the potential for the new chance to bring about pleasure, work satisfaction, more possibilities, and rewards.

According to Robert Half, "Finding employment that connects with you is unusual," therefore it's worth it to look beyond the reduction in income and celebrate the improvements that may come with a new job.

There are a variety of different circumstances that can warrant a reduction in pay.

One option is to work less hours or on a flexible schedule.

As an example, a banker changed careers and became the chief executive officer of a non-profit organization on a part-time basis. As a result of this change, she now works 3.5 days per week and has more schedule freedom.

One further reason may be to get admission to a life-changing event, a guiding figure, or a professional network that will, in the long run, be beneficial to your career.

In order to gain a foot in the door in the film business, for instance, a fresh graduate from another country accepted a menial position working as an assistant for a well-known film director.

You might also pick up useful new talents that put you in a good position for the years to come. For example, a technology professional in his 30s in this city decided to start his career by accepting an entry-level position with an asset management company. This gave him the opportunity to learn new skills while also positioning him for a job that would provide him with greater job satisfaction and higher pay in the future.


If you do make the decision to go to a new job that will result in a lesser pay, you will still need to make enough preparations and set yourself up in a way that will allow you to be successful in the new role.

If you are considering accepting the job to improve your prospects for the future, you should consider how much you will be able to earn in your new role over time and whether or not it is the kind of work that will reward you with larger pay rises as you advance.

Talk to the organization and some of the people who will be working with you in the future to ensure that you will be able to obtain what you anticipate from the position whether you are choosing it as a lifestyle choice or to bring your beliefs into alignment.

When you negotiate your pay, you should think about asking for other compensation such as a mobile phone package, parking, school fees, a bonus, or shares in the firm so that you may lessen the effect of the wage decline. For example, you might ask for parking.

When you have a lesser salary, having money saved up before you make the transfer might offer you the piece of mind you need.

Alterations to your way of life, such as going out to eat fewer times a month or planning more frugal trips abroad, are another alternative to consider.

And if you want to utilize the job as a stepping stone to a better career in the future, you should plan out in advance how you will acquire new skills, expand your network, and become recognized at the firm or in the industry.

When deciding whether or not to take on a new position that pays less, you should give serious consideration to both the costs in the near term and the rewards in the long run.

If you are able to receive the benefits that you want or put yourself in a position to earn a better job, it may be well worth it to take a salary that is lower in exchange for a brighter future.


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