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Why you should always accept the right job, even if the salary is lower than you would like.

I recently read an interesting article, detailing how Harrison Ford nearly turned down the role of Han Solo in the first Star Wars film. The reason being, that he felt the salary for the role was lower than he expected at only $1,000 a week (in the 1970’s). http://www.recruitmentgrapevine.com/article/2015-12-02-how-low-pay-nearly-deprived-the-world-of-han-solo

Everyday the consultants at BCL Legal talk to candidates who have particular motivations in their job search. Very seldom is the primary motivator money. More commonly people are looking for greater career opportunity, to change discipline, to relocate or to get better work life balance.

By accepting the position as Han Solo, Harrison Ford started a journey which culminated with him being the highest paid actor in the world (at one stage). If he had walked away because of the salary he would not have had the chance to work with Steven Spielberg, which led to Indiana Jones and so on and so forth.

As reasonably impartial third parties in the recruitment process consultants at BCL Legal pride ourselves on giving 100% objective advice as often as we can. It can be frustrating when candidates secure positions with greater opportunities, change disciplines or secure better work life balance only to see them walk away because they believe the salary is too low?

It is one of the harder aspects of our job to see people throwing away massive opportunities, roles that will give them exactly what they want, roles that will change their lives in the medium and long term for the sake of a short term issue with salary. Quite frankly it is heart breaking to see people making genuinely dreadful decisions. It is worse when they call back years, months or even days later having understood that we were telling them the truth.

At BCL Legal in Birmingham our consultants are not in the business of stuffing people into jobs. Our position as the leading legal recruitment agency in the Midlands has been hard earned through providing accurate and objective advice. If the role is not right for you, we will tell you.

If a position ticks all of your boxes, then you have to give full consideration before turning it down. As Harrison Ford has aptly demonstrated you could be walking away from the opportunity to become the next superstar in your field.

The position is even more confusing when the job offers that people are turning down represent increases on their current salary. This is often tied into assumptions about what a job “should pay”. The truth is, if you are a 5 year PQE residential conveyancing solicitor who has been looking to move across into commercial property for four years’ it may not be considered sensible to turn down a commercial property job that offers you an 11% pay rise because you think your current role will give you a pay rise next year.

In that instance the primary motivator is to become a commercial property solicitor. So take the opportunity and become a commercial property solicitor. It is likely to lead to much greater opportunities in the future.

Do not lose sight of the primary goal, make sure that you seize opportunities as they arise and don’t let “your impression” of salary hold you back. If objectively it looks like you are passing up the opportunity of a life time, then you probably are.

“May the force be with you”

Nick Fear
Manager – Private Practice.

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