During your career, you may find yourself out of work but with an offer in hand that is less than what you were previously earning.
If this happens, take a deep breath and don’t act on emotions. Consider the positives. An offer is a good thing! The company likes you, believes you’re a fit for their culture and is confident that you’ll do a good job. Also, understand that what your previous employer paid is often irrelevant to the company courting you. They likely have many reasons for calculating the offer that they extended.
Assuming that it’s a job you want, consider the situation:
- Will your cost of living be going up or down?
- Will the difference in pay impact your lifestyle?
- What are your other options? Is another offer imminent?
- Will the new position move your career forward or at least be a lateral?
- What are the risks if you turn down the offer? Remember, your market value tends to decrease as unemployment time is extended.
Any salary is better than $0. In how it may impact your lifestyle, a slightly lower salary often makes very little difference. $1,000 over the course of a year is approximately 50 cents per hour.
If you feel strongly about needing a higher salary to accept, present your case to the company. Show them your value. But remember, sometimes during a career, a degree of pragmatism is required to stay afloat.