Taking a Lower Salary Can Pay Off In the Long Run
If you'd tell most people that accepting a salary that's less than what they'd hoped for would be beneficial, they would probably look at you in disbelief. Most of us work, in part, to get paid, and the bigger the paycheck, the better.
But there may be circumstances where the salary offer is not what you expected – it's lower. Before you nix the idea of accepting a lower-paying job, take these payoffs into account. While your bank account may not grow as quickly as you'd like it to, you can still be rewarded in other ways.
1. More Respected Job Title
There will hopefully come a time when your manager feels the time is right to promote you to a higher and more meaningful role within the company. But not every company has the budget to up your salary as well.
Accept the offer and gain more respect amongst your co-workers and clients. Show that you're in it to win it, and you have long-term aspirations within the company or in that particular field in general.
Salary.com notes, "It also allows you to negotiate a higher wage after a performance review, and to ask for more money when you start looking for a new job."
Update yourLinkedIn profile and the new job title alone can open up new doors with exciting possibilities. So even though you didn't see an instant salary hike, with time, things will fall into place and quite likely into your bank account.
2. Better Benefits
A significant payment isn't always in the form of a direct salary. Benefits provided by an employer can be real money-savers that balance out a lower-than-desired monthly paycheck.
As per The Balance, "A company's benefits could easily outweigh the difference in weekly paychecks. Possibly the company has better health insurance, or offers on-site childcare for free." Salary adds, "Your salary might allow you to wind up breaking even—or even earning more than if you had to pay out-of-pocket for those items yourself."
Heck, they don't call them "benefits" for nothing!
3. Depends Where You Live
A paycheck in a remote town in Nebraska will go a heck of a lot further than it will in Manhattan. Location is a key component as to how much you should be willing to accept and still have a stable and satisfactory quality of life.
Perhaps a company will pay to relocate you to someplace where the cost of living is low. Not only will you gain new experiences and head out on new adventures, but you won't require as much money to have the things you desire. As Salary notes, "Making $80,000 in New York City but paying an exorbitant mortgage or rent could leave you poorer than if you took the same job somewhere else with much more affordable housing costs."
Additionally, if you already live in an area where the cost of living is lower than a major metropolis, don't compare average salaries across the country. As long as you can afford the way of life you're comfortable with, there's no need to squabble over a few extra bucks. Getting more for your money is a payoff in itself.
4. Work Remotely
When it comes to working from home part or all of the time, a reduction in salary will pay off in the forms of less stress and increased productivity. The lower salary will make up for itself in the now gone travel expenses, lack of need for an expensive work wardrobe, more time for sleep, and less interruption.
According to Salary, "Those who have a remote job can potentially save upwards of $11,000 annually on everything from commuting costs, office attire, and even lunches. So factor in those unseen but significant savings when you consider the salary on the table."
Working remotely can help one attain a more balanced way of being. As per The Balance, "Many people are willing to work for less payer if the trade-off is a better work-life balance, lower stress levels, a better schedule, or even a shorter (or no) commute."
Working from home is a dream come true for some and well worth a lower paycheck thanks to the many perks.
Don't give up your dream job, or at least a good one, based on salary alone. Keep these factors in mind when you're going through the hiring process and realize what makes "cents" for the time being.
Looking for a job? In addition to encountering those annoying never-ending job interviews you may find yourself face-to-face with an artificial intelligence bot.
Companies worldwide increasingly use artificial intelligence tools and analytics in employment decision-making – from parsing through resumes and screening candidates to automated assessments and digital interviews. But recent studies claim that AI does more harm than good.
While AI screening tools were developed to save companies time and money, they’ve been criticized for placing women and people of color at a disadvantage. The problem is that many companies lack appreciable diversity in their data set, making it impossible for an algorithm to know how people from underrepresented groups have performed in the past. As a result, the algorithm will be biased toward the data available and compare future candidates to that archetype.
The City’s Automated Employment Decision Tools (AEDT) law is designed to offset the potential misuse of AI and protect job candidates against discrimination. It was enforced on July 5th, 2023 in New York City - with other cities and states expected to gradually follow suit. Employers must now inform applicants when and how they encounter AI. Furthermore, companies have to commission a third-party audit of the AI software used, and publish a summary of the results to prove that their systems aren’t racist or sexist. Job applicants are able to request information regarding what data is collected and analyzed by the AI. Violations of the law can result in fines of up to $1,500.
Replacing Human Hiring Decisions
However, should a job applicant want to opt-out of such impersonal judgement by a bot, the new law's scope is quite limited.
While the law specifies that instructions for requesting an alternative selection process must be included in the AI screening disclosure, companies aren't actually required to use other screening methods. Not to mention that the law only applies to AI in hiring and not any other employment decisions. It also wouldn't apply if the AI, for example, flags candidates with relevant experience, but a human then reviews all applications, making the ultimate hiring decision.
Some civil rights advocates and public interest groups argue that the law isn’t extensive enough and that it’s even unenforceable. On the other hand, businesses say that it’s impractical, costly, and burdensome, and that independent audits aren’t feasible.
Responsible use of AI in hiring
Although this law may be a good first attempt to assign more regulatory guardrails around AI, it remains to be seen if it ensures the responsible use of AI in hiring processes. At the end of the day, perhaps recruiting talent should remain a human-made decision.
The good news is that AI can help companies without harming potential job candidates in many ways – such as connecting new employees with internal organizational information and company benefits during onboarding. Or helping employees to do their jobs more effectively rather than replacing them.
There’s all this talk about solo travel. And for good reason — no wasting precious time waiting for others to get their act together, take the plans out of the group chat and actually buy the tickets. Going solo, you can be spontaneous. You can plan your trips according to your precise tastes. You can hop on any flight and fly awayyyyyy.
But what if each time you flew you’d get a free ticket? That’s what you get with the Southwest Companion Pass.
Award status, upgrades, lounge access — there are many perks in the frequent flier game. But one of the coveted holy grails is the Southwest Companion Pass.
What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
The Companion Pass is part of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program. You get to choose one person to be your “companion,” and they fly with you for free (plus some taxes and fees) on every flight. That’s right. Two for the price of one. That’s half off each ticket if you split it! Whether you’re flying with a partner, family member, friend, or anyone else, they can tag along for free.
And it gets better: once you earn the pass, you can reap the rewards for that full calendar year … AND the next. That’s why people go mad trying to earn a companion pass during the early months of the year. The sooner you qualify, the longer you can use it.
There are also no blackout dates. There are no limits. And if you didn’t purchase the ticket (think: work travel, your companion, or a generous benefactor), there are no restrictions! As long as you’re the one on the plane, your companion can also … be on the plane.
You can also switch out your designated companion 3x a year. So, no need to stay in a relationship simply to get the most out of your companion pass! Ghost and fly away — with a whole new companion!
If this sounds too good to be true — it’s not. But there is one small catch. It’s kinda tough to earn this mega reward.
How to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass?
You can qualify for the pass in one of two ways:
- Fly 100 qualifying one-way flights
- Earn 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year.
Clearly, this is no small feat — especially if you’re trying to qualify ASAP.
So how do you actually earn the Southwest Companion Pass?
Don’t worry, there’s a path to earning this amazing reward without climbing on 100 flights or spending an exorbitant amount of money.
Earning 135K reward points may seem completely impossible, but it’s easier than it sounds. Simply sign up for a Southwest Credit Card and turn those spending habits into a rapid rewards account. Through the Rewards Priority Credit Card, earn points when using local transit and commuting, plus score major points and miles whenever you spend.
Stay with me here. This is not some scheme to get you into credit card debt. Many airline cards come with potential savings, giantic rewards, awarding you points, and cashback with every purchase you make that can be redeemed for travel. And often they can come with passive sign-up bonuses. If you spend a specific amount of money within a certain timeframe of opening the card, you can be in for a windfall of points.
Now that’s where the companion pass comes in:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Priority Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- Southwest Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest has three personal cards and a business card. Each of these cards offers rewards between 30K-80K points. In the past, people could open two cards and get a bonus that granted enough points to almost meet the minimum. However, with new restrictions on personal cards, you can only get one bonus every 24 months. Boo!
However, this doesn’t apply to business cards. If you’re eligible, have good credit, and not likely to spiral into insane credit card debt, you can open a business card and a personal card, and accrue 100K+ points. The Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card will get you points after you spend money in no time.
Now to earn the rest of them.
The secret to gaining these credit card points is to plan your card sign-ups around big purchases. Just before a recent move, I opened a card . . . and the rewards came rolling in — a small balm to ease the pain of how exorbitant moving can be.
Put everyday spend — especially big purchases or bulk items — on your Southwest credit card and watch your award points quickly add up. Typically, you earn 1 point per $1 spent on your Southwest card and 2 points per $1 on actual Southwest purchases.
But there are other ways to earn points, including:
- Flying Southwest: Booking travel on Southwest earns more points. The cost of this travel will be worth it with your companion pass
- Shopping from Rapid Rewards Partners: Purchases with Southwest’s “Home & Lifestyle” and “Shop and Dine” Partners also earn Companion Pass qualifying points. While you shouldn’t make gratuitous purchases, browse Southwest’s partners to see if you could earn extra points for items you'd be purchasing anyway. All this, simply from enrolling in their Dining Program and shopping with their partners.
So there you have it! And since it’s almost Spring, get to earning and soon you’ll be flying two for the price of one!