Would you apply for a post that paid less than your current one?

Adele69 AAT Student Posts: 320
I completed my AAT studies over a year ago, unsupported by my company. My current role is supporting the financial management system we use, but this means it has been difficult to get enough relevant financial examples to put in a MAAT application. For the last few months I have been focused around Receivables systems issues.

Anyway to get back to the topic, I have been applying for Accounts/Finance Assistant posts, and these have mostly been a couple of thousand or more under what I currently get paid. I was asked about this yesterday for a recent application prior to my next interview in a few days. How do you deal with companies asking why you are applying for a job that pays less than your current one? Have you done this in order to make a shift into a different area of work? Did it work out okay?

The reasons I am applying to move I could get into if anyone is interested or feel it's relevant. Thanks.


  • davealucas
    davealucas MAAT Posts: 139 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    Not personally but I did have a work colleague many years ago who did.

    He called it a short term loss for a long-term gain with more job satisfaction.
  • fedemenni
    fedemenni MAAT, AATQB Posts: 95
    I did get a job which paid just over £400 more per year than the previous one but the benefits coming with that are hugely beneficial. If you are changing and making a shift into a different area of work is normal and expected that you get paid less, you are investing time in learning and so it is a good reason to reduce your salary.
  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    Yes, if the opportunities were greater.

    Your answer is in your post by the way.

    Your current employer does not support you and your exposure to the whole of the finance function is limited and preventing your growth as an individual. Explain you are prepared to take the short term hit for the long term gains that it would bring. Question them on the exposure to what you want can be achieved within their organisation.

  • Adele69
    Adele69 AAT Student Posts: 320
    Thanks. Interview is tomorrow. Even if it doesn't feel right it will be useful interview experience and may help focus me on other applications.

    Another factor which is driving my interest to find a new employer: next year, my current employer is relocating their central offices to the middle of nowhere, turning a 5 minute cycle city commute into about 1.5 hour west edge of the county driving commute (best case scenario - transport in the County is notoriously slow/bad). I haven't owned or driven in 20 years so it will be a big hit to finances either way

  • KLM
    KLM AAT Student Posts: 26
    edited March 2019

    I found myself in a similar position last year. I was supporting the accounts team, but it was mainly simple admin work and I wasn't really gaining any real 'accountancy' experience.

    I saw a job for a trainee in a small local accountancy practice, with a starting salary of almost £6k less than what I was earning at the time, but I applied and got offered the job. It's the best decision I've ever made.

    I've had to cut back financially on certain things, but I know it'll be worth it in the long run. You can't put a price on experience and I've already learnt so much in the last few months which is really helping with my studies.

    Good luck with the interview and with whatever you decide to do!
  • Adele69
    Adele69 AAT Student Posts: 320
    Thanks. I felt the interview went okay, but if I was the preferred candidate I would be weighing up this expectation of better all round financial experience in the longer term would outweigh the loss (also as it happens about £6k) and that I have never resigned from a job. Tbh I'll be surprised if there isn't someone with just the right Sage 50 experience, that would be their first choice.
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