Is It A Good Idea To Pursue Accounting Job Opportunities On A Lower Salary?

I was reading an article on LinkedIn that shared some statistics about people’s perceptions around taking a pay cut to get their next job.

It got me thinking about accountants and other functional professionals that I work with.

Now it’s fair to say that each individual has their own set of circumstances.

We all have bills to pay and need to eat.

If you have been trying for a while to find a role for a while, the temptation may well be to pursue accounting jobs on a lower salary.

But is this a good idea?

Let’s look at it from the employer perspective first.

If someone applies for a role that seems radically different in terms of salary to previously, the immediate question is going to be why.

In the ideal world the hiring organisation would reach out and ask you the question.

In the real world this is not likely to happen, especially if there are plenty of good candidates who could do the role.

Assuming they can get past this initial question, other things that will go through their mind is:

  • Is this just a stop gap role.
  • Will this person jump ship as soon as the market picks up.
  • Will they be bored.
  • Have they really still got it to do a very hands on role.

Getting past the perceptions or biases is going to be tough.

Of course you may well have genuinely good reasons why you are looking at opportunities at a lower salary.

You may be looking to change sector or move from a commercial organisation to a not for profit.

You might be looking move from a big employer to a smaller organisation.

Your family circumstances may have changed.

Here’s what I suggest.

If you have some very specific reasons for looking move into a role on a lower salary, explain your reasons when you submit your applications. 

Make the case in a positive way.

Proactively address the concerns that might exist in the mind of the hiring manager.

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About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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