Why you shouldn't chase the money

Life is more about money

It's not about the money money money. We don't need your money money money.

Money doesn't buy you happiness is the old saying. I once heard a response to this that went: the person who says money doesn't buy you happiness doesn't know how to spend it. This is the philosophy I aspire to - it isn't wrong to strive for wealth as long as it is intended to support a greater, higher purpose. However, there are other things to consider in your chosen career other than the money alone. This is particularly true in the short term - people make career decisions chasing after a salary increase. Not always such a good idea!

The work life balance 

There may be career and job opportunities in another business sector that pays far more money than you earn today. However, there's an important consideration other than money. What are the new hours and what is the holiday allowance.

If you're used to a 9am-5pm job and then apply for another job that works 8am-9pm then you may be in for a bit of a shock. The sudden change in hours is going to be quite exhausting and you may find that you'll have to adjust your social life in order to cope with these new hours. Adjusting your social life may result in friends finding your lack of presence during the week a bit of a strain. Was the job move worth the extra money to potentially sacrifice friendships? I was almost on a path towards working within equity research on a bank. This would have required getting up at 5:30am and not getting home until 9pm, resulting in me spending less time with my friends and partner. I wasn't prepared to do this.

Additionally, you may find that although the job offers more money you lose out by missing out on holiday days meaning that you'll spend less time during the year relaxing and recharging. Similarly you may find that the new job has fewer benefits. Is it worth giving all this up for extra cash?

Short term pain and long term gain

Finally, you may find that accepting a lower salary today could be beneficial in the long run. Let us say that you were studying an apprenticeship to become an electrician. The training takes 3 years and pays £20,000 per year. You might get to year 2 and find out about a management position in a hardware store paying £30,000. It would be foolish to take that management position for the extra money. You're much better to finish your apprenticeship and become a qualified electrician as your long term future earnings from this career path will likely vastly outweigh those coming from the store manager job path. So always consider if you are learning something at the moment that will be useful to your career boost in the long run. If so then sacrificing extra income today will likely be worth it.

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