I have a job offer from company A which is a start up in its early stages and its not making a profit which is the reason why the company cannot offer a higher salary.

They are offering me a salary of 60k(edited) per annum and SARS worth of 4.5k.

Currently, I am working at company B which is giving me 65k and I have been at this company for more than three years.

Company B did not update my contract this year like all the other years but this time I got fed up and talked to my manager about it and got my contract updated with a raise of 3k. I have more than 6 years of experience but my company kept me at the title level of Software Engineer until I specifically asked to be promoted.

Furthermore, My current company kept assigning me grunt work and it felt like, I was not allowed to pickup work which I was fully capable of doing. My company completely forgot about all the big projects I have delivered in the past. Their have been times when I had nothing to do but all the tickets were pre assigned to the other guys. It felt like my current company did not trust me.

I am very keen to accept the job offer but all my friends are recommending against it. They are of the opinion that I should look for another job for a well established company and should get at least the same pay.

PS: I used to be very shy. I guess that is the reason I got pushed around a lot in my current position.

  • It's personal and I'm not sure we can answer this for you. If you're unhappy at your company, then move. I have moved companies for raises, but I've also moved because I'm not happy where I am and want somewhere with more support and training, even when it pays less
    – Gamora
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 13:11
  • No, I have applied at other companies but I have to solve their coding tests to proceed to the next rounds. I have to make this decision first before proceeding to the tests. My skillset is in high demand and all the companies think I am a great fit.
    – Xeon131
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 13:22
  • @xeon131, How good are you at solving coding tests? leetcode.com pramp.com Or another question would be, how would you feel working at a startup that doesn't screen your future co-workers with coding tests? Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 21:26
  • @JoeStrazzere I got the offer very quickly from this company and I am considering it since the people I met during the interview process were very nice and I am unhappy at my current company.
    – Xeon131
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 4:29
  • Also, this is one of the main reasons stopping me from joining the new company. I think I get more offers
    – Xeon131
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 4:36

3 Answers 3


My first suggestion would be to respond to the new job offer with, "My current position pays me €65,000 and so I'm afraid I'm unable to accept a cut in pay." If they really want you they're probably going to be willing to at least match your current salary, and I don't think you're going to alienate them by asking for such a straightforward and reasonable thing.

  • 1
    OP can try and negotiate a better offer with the company, but I don't think it's good advice to outright refuse their offer if they're not happy in their current company.
    – Gamora
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 13:14
  • Thanks, I will try that but I feel so awkward talking about money. They already know my current position pays me more. They offered me Stock appreciation rights to compensate for that worth 4.5k euros but I am not sure how it works
    – Xeon131
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 13:25
  • It's hard to talk about money, no question, but remember that the person who gets hurt when you don't talk about money is you.
    – Jim Kiley
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 14:20
  • 3
    @Xeon131 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck because they feel awkward talking about money and were not taught how to talk about it. I guess a similar statistic exists for other countries. Please stop considering money to be a taboo and start learning about it and express your compensation concerns when negotiating :)
    – Jonast92
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 15:05
  • 1
    One more thing. I would not accept stop options worth anything unless I'd be willing to invest that amount from my own pocket into the company.
    – Jonast92
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 15:07

While 5k might seem like a reasonably substantial amount, if you work it out, it comes in at a less impressive sounding $96 extra per week. Then, if you pay income tax, this will be eroded further - to maybe half that depending on where you live.

Only you know how much extra you'd come out with every week and if that would make a material difference to your life.

However, there are a number of reasons it can make sense to play a long game and take a less well paid job in the short term...

  • the work would be more enjoyable/suitable
  • it offers more potential for personal and career advancement
  • the organisation's culture is superior
  • the organisation's name on your CV will be a bonus when looking for future jobs
  • the work/life balance is more... (well) balanced
  • there is a possibility of a much better salary (or IPO payout) in the long term

We work to pay the bills and put food on the table- but there is more to it than just the cash you take home. This is a place where you will spend 40 hours a week - probably more if you work in software engineering if my experience is anything to go by. Would you be happy to spend 40 hours a week in this office, with these people, doing this work for 5 years or more? What is the commute like - will you get more time with your family?

Also as other have said, talking about money is nothing to shy away from. It's literally just business. It's a negotiation - you want to extract the highest amount possible from them in order to do the job, they want to pay out the least possible to get you to do the job. Hopefully, you meet in the middle.

  • Thanks for the well thought out answer. I have done the math Its going to be 307 euros per month less than what I currently get which is not a lot.
    – Xeon131
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 15:15

Consider the risk also; you're being offered less than market value, to work in a company with no track record, which is not making a profit. At the very least, you should be offered share options in this startup to mitigate the risk (you'll probably never be able to use them, but in the rare event the company succeeds, you'll have a small bonus to look forward to).

It all depends on your personal situation as to whether you take this gamble, or whether you look towards a different company with a higher salary.

  • I am being offered shared options worth 4.5k (Stock appreciation rights).
    – Xeon131
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 4:39

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