Salary or job satisfaction: which would you choose?

  February 06, 2017

It's a kind of 'chicken and egg' scenario – if you take a job for the money but hate it then you'll be miserable because you hate your job; but if you take a job you love, but it pays pennies, you'll be miserable because you're poor. There's no real win in either scenario. Of course the ideal would be to find a job you love that also pays really well. But nobody actually gets to do that right? No one has even had a job they really love and that rewards them financially, surely? So you have to choose.

Maybe, but we find fault with that thinking because there are so many variables, for example what would count as a 'good' salary to you? If you're a graduate then having more than £100 in the bank at a time would probably be counted as being 'quids in', because lets face it; when we graduate from university we have no real sense of money. We don't really know how much life really costs because we've been living student rates for so long. So again: what would count as a 'good salary'? Enough to cover your bills? Enough to live in a mansion and have a live in staff of housekeepers and butlers?

And just as importantly what would count as job satisfaction? A job you don't love but don't hate? Or a job where you genuinely, really love being there day after day, even when things get tough? Or even a job you can completely forget about when you go home? These aren't easy questions to answer, and to be honest you probably won't have answers to them for a while to come, because after you graduate life is about exploring who you are and what's important for you. Right now you may be thinking to yourself 'of course job satisfaction is more important, duh?' but perhaps money will become more important as your progress, or vice versa.

Understanding what it is you want out of life is a very personal journey, but do bear in mind that when it comes to deciding between job satisfaction and salary, you really can have it both, as long as you know what each of those really mean to you.