I'm in a bit of a bind here.

I need employment pretty desperately. (Which, of course, is not unique.) I'm also not someone with a whole lot of job experience under my belt. (A little volunteer work, that's it.) I think I can do good work; I'm itching to code and code and code. I Want A Chance To Prove Myself.

I may have just gotten one.

This brings me to the second part of the dilemma. There is no way, none at all, that I could possibly get more than a 30.000US salary for this position. It will probably last a year.

However, due to oddities of my local economic condition, it'll be the most money I've ever made. Quite literally, I've never made more than half that amount at any job, part/full/whatever. Frankly, this may look like a piece of fool's gold to almost anybody else who's worked for startups before, but fool's gold sells well for me.

My question is simple -- will this destroy my career before it's started? Will this give any employer I might ever have the idea that I can be purchased for nothing (not nothing to me, certainly, but some day I'd like to make more than 30.000US)? Will this make me a pariah in the community for being one more programming willing to work for "slave wages"?

I admit there's no easy answer to this question, but unless someone tells me that I'll be an absolute leper for taking the work, I'm going to reply with the most emphatic yes I can possibly write through email. I don't have much other option. I need to write code, I need to eat, and I want, so much more than anything else in my life, to finally deal with both of these needs at the same time. I shivered when I realized that I could actually get this job and possibly even be completely qualified for it.

So. Is leprosy in my future?