4 times it pays to accept a lower salary

In the course of your career, you're apt to land in situations where you're choosing between two jobs, and two distinct salaries. Most people will naturally gravitate toward the higher income, because, well, money is important, and there's no such thing as having too much of it. But before you jump at that higher number, there are certain circumstances where accepting a lower salary actually makes more sense. Here are a few you might encounter.

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4 times it pays to accept a lower salary
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4 times it pays to accept a lower salary

1. When you'll get better benefits

Workplace benefits are an important part of your overall compensation package, so if you're looking at a lower salary from a company whose perks are outstanding, that's reason enough to consider that offer. Furthermore, a superior benefits package can actually save you money, even when you end up taking a hit on salary in the process.

Imagine you're choosing between two companies. The first is offering you a $65,000 salary and health insurance that'll cost you $300 a month. The second is offering you $62,000, but health insurance that's completely subsidized and free to you. Suddenly, you're actually $600 ahead by taking the second offer. Therefore, before you accept an offer on the basis of it coming with a higher salary alone, take a look at the whole picture and recognize the financial value your employee benefits might offer.

2. When you'll enjoy a more favorable company culture

Company culture can play a huge role in your day-to-day satisfaction on the job, so if taking a hit on salary means being happier at the office, it's probably a hit worth taking. Not being content with their company culture is actually the No. 1 reason younger workers quit their jobs today, so if you're offered the chance to work in an environment where employees are valued and respected, it pays to go for it.

3. When there's ample room for growth

Career growth should be a major factor in any job-related decision you make. Therefore, if you're offered a slightly lower salary by a company that's expanding rapidly and tends to promote workers internally, accepting that deal might pay off in the long run.

How do you know what growth potential your company has? It's simple: Ask. Find out how many jobs the business has added over the past year, and how many it plans to add in upcoming years. These are questions you're allowed to ask during a job interview, and if you have reason to believe you have more long-term potential at a company that's paying less at present, don't hesitate to join it.

4. When there's a better work-life balance

Only 30% of employees today are satisfied with their work-life balance, so if you're offered a role whose demands seem reasonable, it pays to consider it. Though a growing number of companies today are becoming open to flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, there's a large chunk of businesses out there that are sticking to a more rigid model. And finding a position where you'll get the former over the latter is reason enough to accept a little less money.

Though money does, and should, play a substantial role in our lives, it certainly isn't everything. Before you rush to take that job with the highest salary, think about the perks that might come along with making a bit less money. You may come to find that taking a lower salary makes you happier with your work situation on the whole.

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