By Joe Stein
We generally think of obtaining a new job for something more, whether it is additional money or better benefits. While it is certainly nice to get something extra when changing jobs, this is not always the case.
I understand that for some who are unemployed, finding new employment is the focus rather than making sure something more is obtained. For today, however, we are looking at those who are gainfully employed but may be considering the difficult decision of whether to find another job, even if it means taking less.
In previous generations, the concept of changing jobs for less was close to unheard of, since the philosophy was that you “gutted” it out until something better came along (even if the “better” means waiting until retirement). We are finding more and more Job Seekers actually considering accepting less in order to improve his or her work situation.
If you are in the situation where you would love to find a new job, but feel stuck due to your current level of compensation or benefits, consider the following.
• Could Less Now Mean More Later? – Sometimes a person needs to take a step back in order to move two steps forward. If you are moving to join a company that is growing rather than stagnant, then your compensation may actually increase in the long-run. In another example, if you are joining a company where your Manager will advocate on your behalf for future promotions or perhaps he or she will be retiring soon, then you may actually end up ahead of where you are currently situated. The moral of the story is that it may be beneficial to try to project where you will be in a few years with the new company, rather than just focusing on only the offer in front of you.
• Better Job Security – More is only better if you actually receive it. If you are in a situation where your position is in peril, then a lesser opportunity may be better for you. There are a number of variables to consider, such as your own performance (or your boss’s perception regarding it) and overall company financial health. The idea being that it is generally easier to find new employment when gainfully employed rather than waiting until you are out of work.
• Improved Work Life Balance – Many employees are in the situation where they have above average compensation, but very little time off to enjoy it. Similarly, you may be enjoying additional weeks of paid time off due to your current tenure, but perhaps you might not need all of that vacation if you are in a job you actually like while working a reasonable workday.
• Enjoying Your Manager – A primary reason that people leave their job is their boss. If your Manager makes you dread coming into work each day, is it really worth the additional compensation or an extra week of vacation?
• Enhanced Company Culture – What you think of your employer and how they treat their employees plays a big part of overall job satisfaction. Similarly, if you go to a place where you will enjoy working with your co-workers, you will feel much better.
• More Interesting Position – The work you do plays a big role in your job satisfaction. If you are in a rut with your current employment, you may be amazed by the difference found in a new position. Different people, different challenges, less stress, and some different tasks may change your outlook considerably.
• Being Your Own Boss – Our primary focus has been on considering a position with another employer. You may, however, consider becoming your own boss with a business idea that you are considering. Your initial compensation may be considerably less in the beginning (as you build the business), but you may be far ahead in the years to come. You also can enjoy the satisfaction of working for yourself.
If you do think you have reached the point that you will consider accepting less in your new role, there is some pre-work to do. The biggest decision is to determine how much less you are willing to accept in the new role. If you have a family, it should be beneficial to make sure that not only your spouse is on-board, but also your children, since some “belt-tightening” may be required.
It is hard to accept less, as many of us live paycheck to paycheck and have worked hard to get to the level we are currently at. It can be a blow to us not only economically, but also to our morale to take a step backwards in our career. There are, however, many situations where you should at least consider taking less in order to have more in your career.
As always, best of luck in your job search.