Taking Less Compensation


Taking Less Compensation probably one of the most upsetting and disappointing aspects of searching for a new job, and being over 50, is when you know you are “well qualified”.

The reality of needing to consider positions for which you have to take less compensation that is considerably less than your value normally brings and less than you previous job.

It is part of our mindset to view increases in pay over the years as hard won advances in our career.  Makes total sense…However, the prospect of losing ground from the heights we have obtained is, at best, difficult to swallow.

Some reasons less compensation makes sense
...other than that of a job loss are:

  • You may want a shorter commute…something local instead of that long commute into the city
  • You perhaps may want to improve your work/life balance…especially if your family situation changes
  • You want and change of scenery and want to move to another state
  • You want to start your own business
  • You feel chances of moving up are better with a new employer

Regardless of the reason, just remember, for the right reasons, it okay to take less pay – it is not a reflection on you, it may just be the right choice for you and your family. 

Remember the old saying, “money doesn’t but happiness”. 

Whether the job market is soft or strong, what is most important for those of us in the AARP bracket (over 50)…is the need to understand that “we aren’t as young as we used to be.” Finding a job in your 50’s and 60’s is not only more difficult, we are also are over qualified for most jobs. 

Since, as I did, we usually move from large companies to smaller ones…these smaller companies need our “been there, done that” expertise, but they cannot pay for it.

Do you REALLY need to keep making that big salary?

Sure, money is the yardstick by which we measure our success, but you are only one who knows that your new job with a better title pays less than our last job. Can you honestly look at yourself in the mirror each day and not think that you have failed in some way, when in reality, you have succeeded since you are now working at a job that is challenging and rewarding – just not financially. 

If you take a job for which you are over qualified and underpaid, one factoid that may have escaped your thinking is that it is somewhat hard to get fired from jobs like this, because of all you bring to the table.  You will be one of the most valuable folks at the company.

In Conclusion...

The most important thing is to be working…life is full of compromise. 

Let me be clear about one thing here…I am NOT talking about taking a low paying job working for wretched people or joining a bad situation – just to get a job.

That is never worth the money, even if they are paying you well. 

Do not let the “idea” of a reduced salary that is known only by you, stand in the way of your happiness.



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This site's success will hinge on me helping you solve problems. For those of us over 50, we face more challenges than others younger than us when competing for jobs and getting doors to open.

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