Should You Accept a Job Below Your Salary Requirements?

I was over at Free from Broke yesterday with, “Is Being Unemployed Hurting Your Job Prospects?  Why You Should Accept a Job Below Your Salary Requirements.”  Here is an excerpt:

Kelly was a lawyer making a six-figure income when she was laid off in April of 2010.  Since then she has worked to make herself more marketable by going to school to obtain a Master’s degree with the hope of becoming a college teacher.  She took out student loans to pay for both her additional education and to use the money to supplement unemployment.

Even with unemployment and student loans, money is extremely tight.  She always enjoyed her large salary and is not used to living below her means.  Now, she is still responsible for the student loan payments that have come due and car payments in addition to rent, utilities, and groceries.  Her car is in need of repairs and due to the high price of gas, she limits her trips and stays home much of the day.  She has very little in savings and has had to begin to rely on credit cards to get her through this lean time.

Meanwhile, she has applied to hundreds of jobs and has been offered six different jobs, all of which she declined because they did not “meet her salary requirements”.  This begs the question:

In today’s economy should you stand firm on your salary requirements?

 I would love it if you headed over to Free from Broke and read the whole post and shared your thoughts.   What do you think?  Should you accept a job that pays less than you were previously making?


  1. I think you should use a variety of strategies, including taking a lower paying job. I think you should volunteer while you are looking and use all your network connections. Many employers should be understanding under the circumstances. I am not sure if we will get back to some higher salaries while there are so many unemployed.

    • Melissa says:

      Good point. I agree that it is better to take a lower paying job, or if that is not available, to volunteer. I don’t know when “Kelly” will decide A job is better than unemployment.

  2. No way! It is A LOT easier to get a job when you already have a job. That’s my opinion anyway.

  3. If you don’t need the income, you can keep holding out. However, there may come a time when you need the job, in which case you may as well take it. Then, if you don’t move up and get more pay, just start looking again while employed.

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