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Why You Should Take that Lowball Offer Right Out of College


Many college students have delusions of receiving a job offer that amounts to living a rich, grand lifestyle. After all, this is what you go to college for, right–to make money? Once graduation rolls around, and there are no job offers on the plate, it is easy to get discouraged. Finally, an offer arrives, but it is nowhere near what you were expecting and your first reaction is to decline the offer. Stop! Before you make such a big decision, here are the top reasons why you should accept the offer–even if it is a lowball one.

Reason #1: What Have You Got to Lose?

Oh, yeah, money–you know that crucial thing everyone needs to live. Granted, the job offer may not be what you dreamed of making, but it is certainly better than making zero. Having a lower paying job than you expected is better than not having a paying job at all. Rather than holding out for that dream job that may never come along, go with a sure thing, even if only for a short period of time.

It is not like you are turning down a better job offer to take less money. You are taking an offer, maybe the only one, and that gets your foot in the door, which brings us to our next point.

Reason #2: Opportunity to Gain Experience

Experience is the one thing that sets all candidates for a position apart from others. In an uncertain economy, businesses need all the ammunition they can get to succeed. This includes hiring workers that are already skilled and can bring their experience to the table. Not having any experience, because you have just recently finished school is working against you.

Take this opportunity, and it is an opportunity, to get your foot in the door and gain some experience. Make it your priority to learn and gather all the information about the job and the tasks that it entails. It won’t be long before you can apply to other companies that offer more money. The difference now is that you will have some experience, and you will be added to the list of candidates that have potential.

Is that Lowball Offer Really that Low?

It is easy to get deterred by the figure and think that you are being low balled. Have you taken the time to see past the figure and think of what other perks you could be receiving? For example, many companies may not offer high pay rates–at least not as high as a major corporation–but they make up for in terms of the benefits they offer.

Take the time to thoroughly examine the offer that is on the table in front of you before you decide to turn it down. Here are some things you should consider:

  • Health Benefits – Many companies are downgrading their health benefits in an attempt to save costs, but others are securing excellent health benefits to make up for what they cannot offer in pay. In this day and age, having benefits is important so take a good look at the health benefits that are offered.
  • Bonus Pay – Many employers try to reward their employees with performance based bonuses. These are becoming a more standard way to reward employees for loyalty and perseverance, especially in times of uncertainty.
  • Paid Time Off – Paid time off or PTO as it is more commonly referred to now is a big bonus feature that should not be disregarded. It essentially is free time that you get paid for, and should be viewed upon as a significant perk. PTO can be as little as one week or as many as four weeks, depending upon the package that your prospective employer decides to offer.

It is great to have aspirations and to want to carve out a grand lifestyle in the future. Right now though your focus should be on the beginning of your life and working your way up to those senior roles. Money should never be the sole factor as to why you choose to accept a job, and there are several things that you should evaluate before accepting or turning down an offer including travel time, the benefits package, and growth opportunities. Basing such an important decision on money alone will not lead you to the right decision 9 out of 10 times.

What would you do if you were faced with a lowball offer? What factors are important to you? Comment below and share your advice!

Dominique Brown is a financial planner, landord, personal finance blogger and video blogger. He is the owner of where he talks about everything from being a new father to his worst financial mistakes. He has been featured on The Huffington Post and H&R Block. You can find him either on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube or Instagram.



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I took a low ball offer at the time, and it worked out in the end bc base salaries were raised by 50% the very next year.

    Beggars can’t be choosers! Just get your foot in the door!


    • I agree… I took my first job just for the experience.

  2. There’s a lot to be said for getting your foot in the door and letting your work speak for you.

  3. Foot in the door, work your but off, gain some experience then ask for more money

  4. I did well and received a good offer. I would suggest negotiating if you think you are being lowballed and back up your negotiations with data. In the end though, a lower paying job is better than no job. You can keep your search going even if you take the job.

    • It’s easier to find a job.. while you’re working at least 🙂

  5. You make a lot of good points in the post and honestly, new graduates need to realize that any job is better than no job for a number of reasons.

    • I agree.. heck for the networking alone it’s worth it.

  6. I’ve been trying so long to get my first job out of college, I’d probably take it even if they only paid minimum wage. If nothing else, it would give the experience to get a higher paying job in a couple years once I actually had something relatable on my resume.

  7. I agree! When you’re fresh out of college and running out of options, it is better to grab even a lowball job offer, if only for the experience it will provide you, along of course with the fact that it is better than staying home and not able to earn anything to support yourself.

    • You know what’s crazy? Some people would rather stay home and leach off their mom and dad instead of taking a lowball offer.

  8. My daughter’s first job out of college was offensively low ball. She entered a training program in retail management. Starting salaries in retail is usually pretty low, but she was promoted 8 times in 6 years. She left the company 10 years ago and took a great opportunity and doubled her salary. Sometimes you take risks and are rewarded handsomely!

    • Did she take the lowball offer or skip it and go into the retail program?

  9. I graduated from college in 2008 and entered the work force later in the year. I wish I hadn’t taken the “low-ball” offer because I think it limits where you go from there. But also, at the time, there really weren’t many options unless you were specialized in accounting, engineering, or IT.

    I’ve had to work my butt off in order to boost my income dramatically.

    • Now, I’m curious on what the low ball offer was and what you did to boost your income.

  10. I’m currently in the low-ball phase. I took a position as a contingent position and pick up shifts where needed. Having SOMETHING on my resume got me a part time job (paid a little more) which got me a teaching job (paid a LOT more). Some days I wish I had a full time job but I do enjoy the variety of having 3 jobs.

    • I would lose my mind going back and forth between 3 jobs, I applaud you for being able to go through with it. What is your plan to get the full time job?

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