Help! I Got Offered the Job But Not the Salary I Wanted. Should I Take It?

Dear Work Coach,

Well, guess what? I GOT OFFERED THE JOB! I should be excited but the salary offered wasn’t exactly what I was hoping. Although it’s a nice increase, since I will now be commuting via car, I will have to factor in gas cost and tolls.

I mentioned this to the University but they were unable to increase the salary because the salary that they originally wanted to offer me wasn’t an increase from what I already make, so they had to “go to bat” to get the increase that they currently offered, so asking AGAIN, wouldn’t be in the budget.

So I am stuck now. With the extra expenses, I would have to incur, my “net pay” would not be much more than what I am seeing right now.

I really like this place and they seem to really like me but I am torn. It’s a higher position AND have great growth potential but I have to be honest, I need a BIGGER paycheck too!

Is it worth it? Should I pass up this opportunity and HOPE something like it with a higher salary comes along again or take the job and just deal with the small ‘net pay’ increase?




Hey Lisa!

Congratulations. I was hoping to hear the good news from you.

Obviously I can’t tell you what to do since I don’t know all the details of your personal situation and, of course, as you know, my crystal ball is in the shop. ) But, with that caveat in mind, this is how I look at it:

For the same amount of money (net) plus maybe a bit extra, you have a chance to start a job you really like NOW. Who knows how long it will be before another good opportunity comes along? Plus, this one has growth potential.

So let’s say you are investing a couple of years now for greater growth potential later. You could look at that as an investment in yourself, rather than focusing on the cost-of-commute details. If you were offered an extra degree right now that promised you all this, wouldn’t you spend the money on yourself? In essence, that’s what you would be doing. Since you aren’t netting less, than what have you got to lose versus all you have to gain?

Now…if all these details are coming up because a part of you doesn’t really want the job or think it’s the best for you apart from money issues, then please look at that. But, if you can for a moment just look at the job itself and really want it, then please don’t let not getting a lot more in salary stop you. Universities in general pay less, but they open up so many future possibilities. Plus they offer other benefits like free courses for you and any kids you may have, good retirement and health benefits, etc. And there is lots of potential for upward mobility.

So ask yourself whether turning it down now is really the best investment in your future career. Maybe it is. Only you can decide that.

I am excited for you that you made it this far and wish you luck in making a decision that’s the right one for YOU. My opinion is just that…my opinion. Only you know what’s best for you.

Oh…and if this helps…your commutation expenses are most likely deductible. ;-)

Please let us know, ok? Good luck!

Ronnie Ann


In case you’re curious, skim through the comment section from How to Tell If a Job Interview Went Well to see Lisa’s original question and the subsequent flow of comments from me and Lisa.


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.

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