Is Salary Always the Bottom Line?

By Kevin Roth

“The other company offered me the $100k salary I was asking for. I prefer this opportunity but it’s a red flag that they can’t get me to that same number.”

Let’s use a fun analogy on this. Say you’re dating someone and for your birthday they buy you a $20 gift. Your ex used to get you way more expensive presents. Does that mean your ex valued you more? Does this signify that your current significant other is never going to be able to support you?

Not in the slightest. Maybe these two people were at different stages of life. Maybe your ex already established a career and the new one is just starting their path. Maybe the ex came from money and the new one is self-made.

Instead of getting hung up on the numbers themselves, recognize that every company not only has a different budget to work with but also a different long-term value proposition. Just because a company can’t match another offer or meet your target number doesn’t automatically signify that they’re in financial trouble or don’t value you to the extent that another company does.

Evaluate circumstances surrounding an offer, not just the offer itself. If you’re confident the opportunity is better and the company really does seem to love you, go with your gut and not the money (within reason of course!).