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How Money Affects Career Happiness

How Money Affects Career Happiness
career advice entrepreneurship happiness passion income money

    You know the expression ‘What would you do if money wasn’t a thing?’ Go ahead and ignore that, because money is a thing and we need it to survive. Finding a path that provides career fulfillment and a great paycheck comes easier to some than to others. When picking a career, does following a passion or chasing a paycheck lead to a happier life?

    There are a lot of factors that play into accepting the right job. Of course there’s company, location, timing, title and salary. Accepting a complex role with a great title in a place you love sounds like the perfect setup, but what if that job pays significantly less than the others in your field? Will a lower income affect your overall job satisfaction or make day-to-day expenses difficult to cover? What if your dream job offers your dream salary but a year into the position you realize it’s anything but what you had hoped for? At what cost do you leave for a role with lower compensation? These questions aren’t intended to make you second guess your career choices, but consider how compensation plays a role in decision making and overall job satisfaction. So let’s take a deep dive into how salary influences overall happiness when we let income determine our roles or completely ignore income when choosing a career path.

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    We spoke to a group of experts at GigSesh who provide career advice about the importance of money in their career decisions and happiness. When asked if the jobs they have loved the most have paid the best, the majority of people said yes, but on the other hand less than 15% said that salary was the most influential factor when picking a job or career. One expert, Vicente DyReyes, began his career as an investment banker in which he was the highest paid in his age bracket but also on the lowest end of the happiness scale. Now as the Founder & CEO of mise en place (mepNYC), he tells us that “happiness at work and at home has driven career decisions thus far.” DeReyes states that “finding happiness in your career is extremely attainable, and money isn’t even at the table to drive the decision.”

    They say that money can’t buy you happiness, but living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t sound like happiness either. Based on studies done across the United States, an average household income of 75K or higher does not correlate with overall happiness. While money might not be the only decisive element in career decisions, most young professionals desire compensation that will allow them to achieve or exceed this income. With a competitive job market and rising real estate and food costs, money is more sought after than ever, especially in large cities with notoriously high costs of living *cough* New York City and San Francisco *cough*. Yet 64% of Millennials would rather make $40K a year at a job they love than $100K a year at a job they think is boring. So more than ever, people are pondering if they should pick between a career of passion or a career that ensures a high income.

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    career advice entrepreneurship happiness passion income money

      When asked about how salary has influenced happiness at work, GigSesh expert Elise Giannasi told us that “In the past, I’ve used money as an indicator for the level of the job but also for how hard I’ll need to work. Working in jobs like HR or even consulting, your role can be rather similar regardless of the company. The more you are paid to do that job, the higher the expectation that you’ll always be on and the greater the responsibility and pressure. The money is great at first but the overtime hours lead to emotional, mental and physical burnout — which eventually outweighs any positives the higher paycheck brought.”

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      Some people are lucky enough to have passions that don’t make income and happiness mutually exclusive; software engineers who love writing code will most likely always be on the high end of the pay scale. Musicians who strive to be on stage might have a more difficult time supporting themselves when following their passion. The majority of us fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, wanting a career that is interesting, challenging and creative, but also pays well and has a promising future. Kevin Siskar, a Managing Director at Founder Institute New York believes that “the time we are given to live is a more scarce and precious resource than money. I believe you can make money doing most things in this world, so while it might take longer to get there at times, it’s best to make money doing something you enjoy. The earlier in life you realize this the more time you have to capitalize and grow while on the path you desire.”

      So why is it that so many people ask if they should pick between a career that brings happiness or a career that brings a higher paycheck? With rising education costs, it’s difficult to graduate without loans and justify a career that is not lucrative after putting yourself into debt. The fact that we’re able to have this discussion at all is a luxury as many people don’t have the opportunity to do what they love and simply do what they must to survive. Being grateful for the opportunities that you have and making the most of them is just as important as questioning if job satisfaction leads to a happier life than higher earnings.

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      Some people will spend long hours and overnights in the office to earn huge paychecks and live a lavish lifestyle once off the clock. Others value their free time more and choose career paths that may not pay as handsomely but provide compensation in the form of flexible hours and laid back work environments. So instead of asking if you should pick a career that brings you happiness or pick one that pays, think about whether a high paycheck or a passion-driven career is more important to you.

      Want to hear more from career experts about their professional experiences and get some personalized career advice? Check out GigSesh’s superhero roster of experts and sign up to book a call with someone who can help you find success while following your passion.

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      Gwen Schlefer

      PR Manager at Bonanza.com

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      Last Updated on November 5, 2018

      20 Best Places to Work for a Great Career in 2018

      20 Best Places to Work for a Great Career in 2018

      Looking for a job? There’s no doubt to the fact you will want to work with a company that appreciates you for who you are.

      Well, good news. The labor market today is one that has peened up with more opportunities for advancement and personal employee improvement. This is partly due to the fact that a lot of companies have been made to understand the value of their biggest assets: the employees.

      To wit, here’s a list of companies- across a wide array of industries- that have been able to develop working environments that are healthy and accommodating to workers.

      Take a look at these 20 best place to work for a great career:

      1. Salesforce, San Francisco, California,

        Salesforce is in the information technology business and the company ranks highest due to their commitment to learning and innovation. They are ready to try new things and everyone with a new idea is always welcome to share it at the company. The company has also been known to exhibit an exceptional approach to alignment.

        Find out more about careers in Salesforce

        2. Wegmans Food Markets Inc.,Rochester, New York

          Based in Rochester, New York, employees have been known to enjoy a sense of purpose from working here. The company has been able to achieve an optimal level of engagement across all working tiers and they’ve been able to achieve great things together. They even do deliveries.

          Find out more about careers in Wegmans

          3. Ultimate Software, Weston, Florida

            Employees get amazing benefits here but that’s not the only reason why this place is so awesome to work. Whenever there is a need or a death of an Ultipeep or any of other family members, the company shows love and support like no other.

            Find out more about careers in Ultimate Software

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            4.The Boston Consulting Group, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

              Development is at the center of anything that goes on here. The business is about people and employees are the company’s biggest asset. Employees are able to challenge the status and also leave impacts on clients.

              Find out more about careers in The Boston Consulting Group

              5. Edward Jones, St. Louis, Missouri

                Edward Jones is admired for their ability to acknowledge history without being mired down by it. The company builds on a solid foundation but there is also a level of flexibility that allows for innovation.

                Find out more about careers in Edward Jones

                6. Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, San Francisco, California

                  Kimpton is a trendsetter in the hospitality industry. The company always strives to try something different and that perspective is welcomed there at all times. Enjoy the weekends with luxury rooms, conformable mattress, furnished and well dressed service staff. A great opportunity for job seekers.

                  Find out more about careers in Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants

                  7. Workday, Pleasanton, California

                    Newbies will find no issues with feeling welcome and at home here as this has always been a core culture component of the IT giant. Everyone is treated like family and this fosters a sense of oneness.

                    Find out more about careers in Workday

                    8. Genentech, South San Francisco, California

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                      Here, employees are encouraged to be themselves. There is a feeling of care, safety, and acceptance that you get here that you can’t get at many firms. The development of an all-inclusive environment has always been foundational.

                      Find out more about careers in Genetech

                      9. Deloitte, New York, New York

                        Deloitte is one of the biggest professional service providers in the world, noted for their focus on constant learning, development and improvement. They invest in their employees and are concerned about their well being.

                        Find out more about careers in Deloitte

                        10. Baird, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

                          Baird is a financial services provide that is known for adopting a “no asshole policy’ which guides the way people relate with and respect each other, regardless of their position on the company’s hierarchy.

                          Find out more about careers in Baird

                          11. Quicken Loans, Detroit, Michigan

                            At Quicken Loans, the views and opinions of everyone are respected and heard. The organization is revered for the amount of investment they put in their team members and everyone looks for ways to grow and be better.

                            Find out more about careers in Quicken Loans

                            12. Capital One, Mclean, Florida

                              Capital One has adopted a culture that encourages employees to take risks and try new things. They foster a healthy work-life balance and associates are challenged to live better lives.

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                              Find out more about careers in Capital One

                              13. Cooley LLP, Palo Alto, California

                                Cooley LLP is a law firm known for their ability to care about the company culture and being able to develop a working environment that is empowering and fun. Cooley is known to go for the best when it comes to their employees, regardless of the occasion.

                                Find out more about careers in Cooley LLP

                                14. Southern Ohio Medical Center, Portsmouth, Ohio

                                  The medical center has been known for their propensity to delegate so much to their employees, thereby providing them with the ability to grow and learn on the job. In the end, you get a workplace that is all-engaging and super fun.

                                  Find out more about careers in Southern Ohio Medical Center

                                  15. American Express, New York, New York

                                    American Express is a firm that celebrates wins, no matter how small. Everyone is made to share the same attitude towards service and the people they are to serve, thereby making people care about what they do.

                                    Find out more about careers in American Express

                                    16. Adobe Systems Inc., San Jose, California

                                      The culture at Adobe Systems is one that encourages employees to develop their own ideas and get a strong viewpoint. As opposed to encouraging competition, work-life balance is fostered everywhere here.

                                      Find out more about careers in Adobe Systems Inc.

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                                      17. The Cheesecake Factory Inc., Calabasas, California

                                        The Cheesecake Factory rewards dedication and hard work. Promotions come pretty easy, and there is always space for guidance to develop your experience and skills.

                                        Find out more about careers in The Cheesecake Factory Inc.

                                        18. Sap America, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

                                          If you’re looking for a new career path, SAP might be the best bet for you. The company is adept at recognizing value and transferable skills. And you can always look for a new path while maintaining your employment.

                                          Find out more about careers in Sap America

                                          19. NVIDIA Corporation, Santa Clara, California

                                            NVIDIA is known for looking after even the smallest of things. With even a “pets allowed” policy this company accepts you for who you are, and helps you to work within your personality. Advancement is also fostered, and you are able to collaborate effectively.

                                            Find out more about careers in NVIDIA

                                            20. KPMG LLP, New York, New York

                                              Communication and progressive collaboration are the foundation of this company’s workforce treatment. Regardless of the level you are, someone is always at the ready to help and the company rewards extra effort with gratitude.

                                              Find out more about careers in KPMG LLP

                                              All in all, it’s safe to say that you will be able to find somewhere to apply your skills (whatever they are) that is all inclusive and highly accommodative. Companies today are being made to understand how much they can get when they treat their employees right and this has opened the door to an encouraging work environment for all.

                                              Happy job hunting!

                                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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