Why you should not focus on money when looking for a new job

When job seekers look for a new position, they usually do so for various reasons.  But no matter what the reasons may be, a lot of attention seems to be focused on the monetary aspect when it’s time to decide whether the position is right for them.  While monetary compensation is important, one’s decision on a position should not mainly focus on it.

Here are 4 reasons why monetary compensation should not be your main deciding factor and other important aspects to consider as well:


1. Experience > Money

Experience is very important at all stages of your career. It is important to focus on taking the best path to help you reach your career goals. When considering an opportunity, you must evaluate how the position and company will help you reach those goals.

While a large monetary compensation may be enticing, it is also important to understand what else the position and company can offer you beyond that. For example:

  • Are there any growth opportunities in the organization?
  • What is the career trajectory of the position?
  • How can this company contribute to your personal growth and learning?
  • Will the company provide ongoing training and certifications?
  • Is the experience that you gain from this position and company going to lead to greater opportunities in the future?

For those who still have ten, twenty, thirty years ahead of them in their careers, you must think long term and gathering the right experience will ensure you receive the most monetary compensation at all stages of your career.


2. More money does not always equal more happiness[1]

Having more money is great, but it does not necessarily mean that you would be happier. There has been a study done by two Princeton professors that have discovered a weak correlation between people earning more money and their happiness levels.  In fact, they found that day-to-day happiness reaches its maximum point when one earns about $75,000 before starting to decrease again as they earn more beyond that.

In a different study by Matthew Killingsworth, a senior fellow at the Wharton Business School, he found that people who specifically equate money with happiness are generally less happy. There are many contributing factors to this, for example:

  • More money typically means more working hours and less time spent with family and friends
  • Sometimes the jobs that pay the most may not be the jobs that you want to do

The conclusion in this study was that income is only a modest determinant of happiness and it is important to balance your career and personal goals against the monetary.


3. Finding the right work environment

Finding the right work environment is very important for a long and happy career and tenure with a company.  Even if a position were to pay a million dollars, if you cannot last in that position for more than a day, then a million is just a number.  You must consider the following:

  • Will you get along with your team and colleagues?
  • Do you fit into the company culture and beliefs?
  • Do you feel comfortable in the working environment, scheduling, and set up?

If you can’t get along with anyone in the office, or you need the flexibility of being able to work remotely, but the company requires you to be in the office 100% of the time, it will not work out in the end. Joining the right company and team will increase your overall happiness, motivations, and willingness to learn and grow.


4. Finding a challenging role

Sometimes people work to make a paycheck so that they can cover their financial responsibilities and goals, as well as satisfy their needs and desires.  However, there have been many studies done that tells us that people pursue more than just physical and material needs.  As depicted by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, when physiological needs are satisfied, people look to satisfy their higher needs in the following order of: Safety Needs, Love and belonging, Esteem, and Self-actualization.  It doesn’t take much to satisfy human’s physiological needs, and it is the higher needs that become increasing difficult to satisfy.

As we get to the levels of esteem and self-actualization, these are needs that money may not be the answer for. It is only by constantly challenging yourself and improving each day to be a better version you that you begin to gain satisfaction in these areas. Working in a position that does not challenge you can lead you to feel indifferent about everything, question the need to learn new skills, and continue to advance in your career.


The importance of money cannot be argued as we need it to survive and live our lives.  However, when considering other aspects of taking on a new position, it is important to not solely focus on money, but what you may want in life and in your career.  What is important to you and what will really make you happy?  If you take on a position simply for a payout, but dread going to work each single day, you will likely lose purpose and motivations, then you job due to lack of effort and performance, and lastly the money that attracted you to the position.


Contact us today to speak with one of our Recruitment Specialists and let us help you find new opportunities for the next step in your career!


Photo Credit: Image by ijeab on Freepik


[1] https://www.nysscpa.org/news/publications/nextgen/nextgen-article/study-finds-strong-relation-between-income-and-happiness-does-not-max-out-at-75k

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