When the Job Is Not Worth the Money
Growing up, I had one goal in mind: to be successful and make lots of money. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew how much I wanted to make. Now, my mindset has completely changed and I am a firm believer in not considering the money in a job opportunity. A colleague and I just recently had this discussion: at what point is it worth it to take a less-than-ideal job that pays better?
In short, I don’t think there’s a blanket answer that applies to everyone and every situation but here are some things that I think are important to consider when evaluating this situation.
What career path does this opportunity send you on? Is it worth it to suffer for a few years in hopes for a better position later on? Taking a job for the experience and expertise that it will give you to prepare you for a future job is not a bad idea. Some say that everyone is required to pay their dues at some point or another. However, we all must find a balance between job enjoyment and relevant experience
How bad do you need the money at the moment? Will the increased salary be the difference between making rent and not? If it’s not a matter of rent and eviction, I would recommend considering the salary differences last, with the least amount of weight. Often, the most valuable elements of a job have nothing to do with the number behind the dollar sign.
What is the company culture like? Will there be an opportunity to move up to a position you would prefer within a reasonable amount of time? If the job isn’t too interesting to you now, you should still consider the opportunities that this job prepares you for within the company. Sometimes it’s worth it to take an underwhelming job for the opportunity to grow to a more desirable position within a great company. Just make sure that your goals are clear.
What is the management style like? Does it align with your work style? If the job and management team do not appeal to you, it might be time to look for another opportunity. It’s no use taking a job you hate, to work for people you dislike… all for a few extra dollars.
Level of Challenge
How challenging is the work? Is it too challenging that you get frustrated or not challenging enough that you get bored? As any employee knows, there is a fine balance between impossible and interesting, and between interesting and boring. If your job isn’t challenging, it’s time to move on.
Quality of Life
What kind of life would you have in the job? Is the salary a reflection of the number of hours required weekly to do the job well? As with any job, inevitably there will be slower and busier times. If it’s important to you to have alone time or family time, be sure to weigh the quality of life you would have in the position.
In short, for me, the choice is simple; 10/10 times, I would take the opportunity to work for a startup that pays less, in exchange for the opportunity to grow with the company, work for a management team I believe in, and significantly contribute to the growth of a company.