I recently accepted a job that pays me 65K less than the position is worth. It has been well over a decade since my salary was this low. “Take the job until you find the one for you and one that will pay you the salary you deserve.” Everyone I know repeated that sentence to me. My first inclination was to turn it down. In fact, I was insulted when I received my offer letter. Did they think I was an idiot? Did they think because I was a woman I would just say yes to a ridiculously low salary? Perhaps they accidentally left off a digit!!!!
I took everyone’s advice. A low paying job is better than no paying job. I was tired of consulting and was ready to call a place of employment my home away from home, Working for one firm would give me continuity. I was ready. So, I took the horrible paying job while I continued to look for a job that would pay me the going rate for a tax director.
By the second week after I started my new job, I received a call for an interview for twice the amount of money I was making. I turned it down. I told myself it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Within a month, I had three more calls for interviews. I turned them down.
Why was I turning away these great opportunities? The answer: I FOUND PEACE. I found peace at this law office, made up of tax attorneys, tax accountants, and myriad other positions. I also felt I could trust the man who runs the firm. Of the three men who interviewed me, only one wasn’t an attorney, but he is the person who runs the firm. He was the last person to interview me and when I asked about salary, he said, “I promise the firm will pay you as much as it can.” I don’t know why, but I believed him. When I received my offer letter however, I wasn’t prepared to see such a low number. I immediately felt like a fool for trusting him and called to tell him I wouldn’t accept the job. There was still that “something”, a gut feeling that made me believe he wasn’t lying to me. So what did that mean? Was the firm falling apart?
The firm isn’t falling apart. They are restructuring. In the meantime, resources are low. In place of the salary I deserve, I am the Director of the Tax Department and the people on my team are as nice as they are smart. One has a Doctorate in chemistry, one has three Master degrees, one is a CPA, two are Enrolled Agents, and the rest have varying degrees of tax experience. The partners of the firm are a father and son team and both are very kind. And the man I trusted, the one who runs the place, he is exactly whom he seemed to be at my interview. He is a man of integrity. He has a deep voice, deep blue eyes, and a very rare quality: honor. There is also a touch of movie star quality when he enters a room. He is extremely masculine but also very kind, caring, and sweet. He expects everyone to do their best and he leads by example. His grey hair is a reflection of his many years of experience.
So here I am, two months later, under-paid and the happiest I’ve ever been at a job. I rent out a room, which helps me to pay my bills. I thought I would hate having someone in my home, but he is a wonderful young man, a pilot, and I have given him a place to live where he feels comfortable and safe.
My daughter is getting married next month. She hasn’t lived at home for eight years and I miss her so much, even though I see her at least once a month or more. But now, I feel like I am a substitute mom for a young pilot, a guiding force the employees on my team, and I found my home at the law firm, which is exactly what I wanted and more.
I have faith, in time, the firm will prosper and I’ll start making more money again. In the meantime, all the support they have given me makes my job so much easier. They have trusted me to run the tax department the way I see fit and take the time to listen to any ideas I have for the firm. I believe I have found a work-environment where I can thrive. I wake up happy every day. I am at peace, which is priceless.