After a tedious application process and a series of grueling interviews, you’ve finally gotten that job offer. You should be elated. However, there’s a problem: the salary.

The money part of the compensation package just doesn’t live up to your expectations. Now, you’ve got a quandary. Should you settle for the lower salary or turn down the offer and keep looking for a higher-paying position?

Unfortunately, like so many things in life, there’s no clear-cut answer. It depends. It matters how long you’ve been out of work. And it matters if you have any other realistic prospects on the near-term horizon.

Here are some factors to keep in mind as you weigh whether to take a job with a disappointing salary:

The Job Itself

Some things mean more than money. If you’ve been offered a once-in-lifetime situation, or the position represents your dream job, it might be hard to turn down…even if the money seems below your market rate.

You see it happen in sports all the time: the aging veteran takes a pay cut to join a championship-caliber team, so they can finally win a ring. You might not be playing for a championship trophy, but you do hold deep career goals that you want to achieve. Keep those in mind as you consider the offer.

Other Benefits

The cash part of the compensation package might be low. But the other aspects make up for it. Maybe you need health insurance. Maybe the position comes with a nice retirement package that will help set you up for your golden years. Remember that a compensation package has other aspects than your paycheck.

Position Fits Your Lifestyle

You want to stay in your hometown. You enjoy working from home. The position comes with exciting travel opportunities. You’ve always wanted to live in Hawaii.

Whatever the details, a position can have a lot of qualities other than salary that makes it enticing. Take all aspects related to the situation in mind when weighing the offer. Giving up a little cash might give you access to a better overall work/life experience.

Learning Opportunity

Some jobs act as extensions of your education. You make some money (we’re not talking internships here), but cash doesn’t provide the main incentive. Instead, your goal is to pick up new skills and expand your knowledge base.

If the position you’ve been offered gives you a chance to develop your talent and position yourself for better positions down the road, it might be worth the near-term monetary sacrifice.

Resume Builder

When you’re starting out in the workforce or switching industries, you have to pay some dues. Statistics may show a certain average starting salary for a position. Well, that average figure suggests that lots of people are working for less than that number.

You might have made more at your last gig. Unfortunately, you might have to take a step back to take two steps forward along a better path. Getting some experience and building a track record can pay enormous dividends down the road.

Your Situation

Sometimes you just need a paycheck. If you’ve been out of work for a while, you might have to take whatever you can find.

That doesn’t mean you have to stop looking. View the position as a temporary landing spot until you can find something more ideal, either providing the money you were looking for or more of the other incentives.

Partnering with a strong staffing firm, like SmartTalent, can help you find that next career step, plugging you into positions that are both financially rewarding and meaningful building blocks for a longer-term career.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.