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Phoenix Forward

5 reasons to accept a lower-paying job

When to take a lower-paying job

Money certainly talks, but is money everything when vying for a new job?

Absolutely not, says James Lipot, faculty member in the University of Phoenix MBA program and founder of a human resources consulting firm. “There are many other reasons to stay at a company or take a new job for less money,” he explains.

He offers five situations in which job seekers should at least consider accepting a lower-paying job:

1. The company offers great benefits.

“A higher-paying job can often require you to pay more for your benefits, so are you really earning more?” Lipot asks. “Dollar for dollar, benefits are worth more than pay.” A good benefit plan will include medical and dental insurance, matching retirement contributions and tuition reimbursement, among other perks.

“If a company will pay (even a portion) to advance your education and career, that is a plus,” he says. “Think of it as a free education.”

2. You are gaining knowledge.

“If the skills you add from the lower-paying position are transferrable to your dream job, you would benefit from taking that lower-paying position. This is especially important if you are changing career paths or industries,” Lipot explains.

“Some knowledge can only be obtained on the job,” he adds.

3. The company promotes its employees.

“If you can get in with a company that has a great track record of promoting from within, providing training [and] benefits,” Lipot says, “you can more than make up for any loss you took in taking the position.” If a company also offers on-the-job training, your value will rise, and higher pay will follow.

4. You can reduce your costs and stress level.

Getting to and from work costs money, and the farther you commute, the higher your personal expenses, such as gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.

“If your higher-paying job requires you to commute more than 30 minutes each way to work, you would save money by taking a lower-paying job that is close to home,” Lipot says, adding that long commutes affect a person’s mental and physical health.

5. Your family time will increase.

If you choose the higher-paying job with the long commute, you may make more money, but your time at home will be reduced, affecting your family. “Most people — especially those with small children — want to spend time with their families, play with the children, coach them in sports, help with homework, be a mom or dad and more,” Lipot says.

“Sitting down with the family for dinner is healthy — beyond food — for both the parents and the children.”